2008 Cuts

<p>In case anyone’s curious, the University of Arizona released their cut letters yesterday, and 11 people were cut from the Sophomore class (leaving their current graduating class at 10 people). I don’t know the exact number from the Freshmen, but I believe it was at nearly as many.</p>

<p>Just another FYI and word of warning about a program that, now by nearly any measurement, is irresponsible with its power over kids’ lives.</p>

<p>Unbelievable. I was so hoping that someone in administration would gain some control over the University of Arizona's theatre department. </p>

<p>Thanks, sweetclyde for sharing these horrifying numbers.</p>

<p>wow! I'm speechless....What happens to all those kids?</p>

<p>hushinfazen- It is so sad what is happening at Arizona. The letters go out too late to audition for the next school year. As to what happens to all those kids, I can only speak about my own D. who was able to recover and reaudition with positive results. Of course, the year (two years for the sophomores who are cut) of theatre credits most often will not transfer. It can be financially crushing.</p>

<p>My heart breaks for those students. I hope they know that there are schools out there that actually nurture and help young aspiring performers grow and develop.</p>

<p>What a sad and pathetic practice. Please do not allow your child to audition there.</p>

<p>There were 11 acting majors and 11 musical theatre majors in the freshman class. </p>

<p>3 MT's were cut. Leaving with this class with 8 original MT majors in the 2011 class. </p>

<p>4 acting majors were cut, and 2 chose to leave the program and one was switched to the MT program. Leaving this class with 4 original acting majors in the 2011 class. </p>

<p>The remaining acting/musical theatre majors will undergo another audition process at the end of their sophomore year.</p>

<p>That's why they do encourage people to apply to different programs even if students are already part of the Arizona program. Additionally, they have "exit interviews" for every student as you "exit" or complete the fall semester to give input and guidance on how they feel each individual is progressing in the program. </p>

<p>Often some clues are given during this exit interview- and very rarely are people cut for "no reason." Yes- cuts are harsh- but ultimately, if you cannot face rejection in an educational setting, will you be able to face it in the highly competitive real world? I'm not defending the process - I know it's harsh- but simply trying to add another view point. Also, those who are cut can still graduate from Arizona with a B.A. in theatre which their B.F.A. credits do count towards so all is not completely lost.</p>

<p>I am pretty sure that those who are hardworking and who attend class and do what they are supposed to but are still cut feel that all <em>is</em> completely lost.
Also, and forgive me for being blunt, but one would hope that, in an exit interview, the faculty would do more than give "some clues" as to why a person was cut: they should tell that person directly.
In addition, there is a vast difference between facing rejection in the real world (going to an audition and not being cast) and paying tens of thousands of dollars for an education and suddenly finding oneself out of a program. I am puzzled why people on this board continue to use that analogy. It doesn't work/is not apt/is meaningless. Not being cast in an audition and losing an ongoing educational relationship are not in any way commensurate. I am puzzled why the folks here defending Arizona continue to insist they are!
To me the big question here is: what does U of Arizona offer in its MT BFA that is so wonderful and amazing (and that is not offered at other schools that doesn't cut) that makes it worth a student taking the chance? I wish someone would answer that question. I think the answer goes to the heart of the matter.
I also would love to have the Arizona faculty/administration answer defend the system by telling all of us here how it benefits the STUDENTS. It's clear how it benefits the program. But a college/university is supposed to be about education and the students.
Lastly, the fact that so many kids are cut makes me wonder what Arizona is doing wrong in their audition process. In other words, why is the faculty there so often wrong about the students they choose?</p>

<p>NMR, you are exactly on point about the vast difference between audition rejections in the work world and the severance of an educational relationship in which a student has invested 10's of 1000's of dollars. If one reads all of the posts on this issue carefully, what becomes clear is that the problem is not some deficiency in the school's audition process but rather an operational philosophy that gives priority to the program's institutional interests over the educational interests of the students. There is no other rational explanation that reconciles the sheer volume of cuts, the fact that students who are earning very respectable grades in their performance classes are cut and the response offered by the faculty who have posted that since the showcases garner such accolades and commendations by casting directors and agents that the school must be doing something right.</p>

<p>There in lies the rub. While no one is contending that the school does not offer high quality training and education, every thing posted points to the inescapable conclusion that how the program is presented and received by those professionals who attend the showcases, how many students can be placed with agents, is more important than the students themselves. So if a new student comes along who is perceived to be more "marketable" than an incumbent, as far as the school is concerned, there is nothing wrong with cutting the incumbent to make room.</p>

<p>There is nothing wrong with a program having demanding standards for a student to remain as long as the standards are clearly defined, articulable, published and fairly applied. That's why schools that have minimum grade requirements in the major classes, mandated minimum GPA's, regular periodic juries where students get feed back on where they stand and have opportunities to take corrective action, provide a fair and effective way of maintaining quality within the program while still serving the educational mission that a school should have. That's not what appears to be going on here. Instead, students who have expended a mini fortune and committed their educational career to a school, who all along have been led to believe they are doing fine by their grades and daily classroom performance, suddenly find themselves knocked out and replaced by someone who is deemed to be more marketable based on a short audition. In other venues, that would be tantamount to consumer fraud.</p>

<p>Amen, Michael!</p>

<p>Very good points, NotMamaRose and MichaelNKAT.</p>

<p>AZMT, I think you're missing several points. First of all, if I may be blunt, the BA program at the University of Arizona is a joke that has nothing to offer anyone interested in performing. It offers two beginning level acting classes (that anyone in the BFA will have already taken), no musical classes and no opportunity to participate in mainstage productions or musicals of any kind. The classes offered amount to surveys of scenic, costume and lighting design plus theatre histories. So please do not tell someone who's cut that "all is not lost" because they have the opportunity to take courses towards a BA.</p>

<p>Secondly, the major problem as I see it is not the results of this years auditions. The faculty has established an ongoing pattern of admitting people whom they obviously do not think have the requisite talent to graduate from the program, all in order to fill ensemble roles in their productions. Not only is it irresponsible to toy with the lives of kids in this way, it's downright immoral. There is SUCH a lack of accountability on the part of the majority of the faculty that it boggles the mind. Do these professors really want to teach and help kids, or are they there because of a steady paycheck and a chance for power?</p>

<p>Perhaps some people who were dropped from the program deserve it, but when (every year) those same students who were cut move onto higher profile programs (Carnegie Mellon, BoCo and UArts being three recent examples) or even directly to professional jobs, doesn't that beg the question of what exactly they lacked in talent or motivation at the UA that they immediately regained upon being cut?</p>

<p>There are certainly fantastic graduates and students the University of Arizona, and many of them are my friends. And if you want to judge the program by those select results (most of whom don't credit the faculty with too much of their development, btw), then by all means do so. However, if you look at the overall picture of how the students are treated you get a much harsher picture of the program.</p>

<p>As an additional note, the BFA Musical Theatre program has no director next year because the current one is retiring, the school was not able to hire a replacement, and they don't have the funding to continue the search until after the next school year.</p>

<p>Just FYI.</p>

<p>Actually- in regards to the director of the program for next year- They are only allowed to offer the contract to one applicant. They did so only to find that the applicant who had seemed to thoroughly want the position and have many things to offer the program was simply using this process as a way to increase his salary at his present school. However, it is university policy that if the contract is offered and declined they cannot offer it to any of the other applicants during that school year and must wait until the next school year to begin again. It is not due to lack of funding. Never fear though- all of the classes are being fully covered by faculty who have experience teaching all of these classes and all of the shows have directors so this is not hurting the program in anyway. It is just continuing on as it did before, but as if one faculty member is on sabbatical or on leave.</p>

<p>I would like to know what "sweetclyde" and "Not Mama Rose" have against Arizona's program personally? I see NMR's name all over this site and for several years. Why do you care what happens at Arizona? It sounds like your child was cut or you have a grudge against the school. Your attitude is so "over the top" I can't take you seriously. </p>

<p>The students that were not cut have responded in a very clear manner and made excellent points and with a much less emotional response . I think the school seems to give plenty of warning and make it clear that there is no guarantee of being passed on to the sophomore or junior level. </p>

<p>My friends at other schools face not being advanced or put on probation. You sound like Arizona is the only school that makes you audition into the next year. If you study other schools programs they also have a cut policy (some name it something else, but it is still not making it into the next year)</p>

<p>If the students they cut are now at Carneige and Boston and other schools, WOW the people still at Arizona must REALLY be good if the other schools are getting Arizona's cuts!!! </p>

<p>There is another reason to not take what NMR says too seriously. She has
2,358 posts on College confidential!!! How do you find time to respond to so many people? What motivates you to spend so much time being negative?</p>

<p>I am recommending Arizona's program to all students who want a dedicated faculty of teachers who have worked professionally in all the unions and on Broadway. I would want to be taught by people who have done what I want to do.</p>

<p>If I am good enough not to be cut at Arizona, then I would feel very proud and encouraged about my work and talent. I would look forward to being in a class next year with other students who also work hard.</p>

<p>Congrats to all the students who made it to the next year, you obviously deserved it. To the students who did not make it, I am sure you will look back and be glad that you found another program that you were happy in and gave you what you wanted.</p>

I would like to know what "sweetclyde" and "Not Mama Rose" have against Arizona's program personally? I see NMR's name all over this site and for several years. Why do you care what happens at Arizona? It sounds like your child was cut or you have a grudge against the school. Your attitude is so "over the top" I can't take you seriously.


here is another reason to not take what NMR says too seriously. She has
2,358 posts on College confidential!!! How do you find time to respond to so many people? What motivates you to spend so much time being negative?


<p>BFAMT, I am not NotMamaRose. But I have even MORE posts than her and so I'll put that out there for you from the start. NMR has nothing against UArizona PERSONALLY. This is a message board where people comment about programs. She has no ties to U of Arizona. Her child was not cut (you'd know that if you had even read ten of her posts on CC). Her child is a graduating HS senior who had a VERY successful admissions outcome to BFA programs for this coming year and did not apply to Arizona. </p>

<p>YOUR attitude, is "over the top" because you are commenting on OTHER MEMBERS of CC whereas NMR and other members here were commenting about ideas, policies and programs. CC doesn't allow comments about other members and so you may wish to read up on the Terms of Service. However, people are free to comment about schools' policies. This is not the only thread in the U of Arizona MT forum on this topic of the cuts and so you may want to read the many comments from many thoughtful and well informed CC members on this topic. I put more stock in comments by someone with a lot of posts where I can evaluate the person's credibility than someone with ONE post.</p>

<p>You say NMR is negative? She is one of many well informed members on CC who do not agree with Arizona's policies and procedures. Her body of posts in general are NOT negative if you were to read her posts (do a search). </p>

My friends at other schools face not being advanced or put on probation. You sound like Arizona is the only school that makes you audition into the next year. If you study other schools programs they also have a cut policy (some name it something else, but it is still not making it into the next year)


<p>Everyone here has acknowledged that U of Arizona is not the only school with cuts (please read the several threads on the U of Arizona MT forum and not just this one....it has been an ongoing discussion for a few years.) You will see that everyone knows this is not the ONLY school with cuts. BUT it is how it is done at Arizona that many people do not agree with. The fact that you are fine with it is all that matters since you attend and chose the school knowing the policy and procedure. People are making others aware of it so that they can weigh if this is for them or not. I know it is not for me but I respect if it is for you. For one thing, at Arizona, there are a HUGE percentage of students cut in the first and second year, more so than most programs. I personally do not believe in cuts and feel that a school should see a student through as long as the student is not failing and is attending and so forth. But even if there are cuts, things are different at Arizona than other schools with evaluations. There are several students/parents reporting that they were cut even though they had very good grades. It would seem to me that even if the school lets incoming students know of the cut policy, they are not letting individuals know that they are at risk of being cut since they are giving them good grades and cutting them anyway. Then, the school is letting into the class "replacements" of kids they like "better"....BA students transferring tracks and transfer students. This is not common at other schools in this same way. </p>

If the students they cut are now at Carneige and Boston and other schools, WOW the people still at Arizona must REALLY be good if the other schools are getting Arizona's cuts!!!


<p>Nobody claimed that the Arizona MT students are not really talented. The point was that they are SO talented enough so to be admitted to some very competitive BFA programs such as CMU and BOCO after being cut. If they have that level of talent, then why did Arizona cut them? Some also had very good grades and did not see the cut coming (even though they know Arizona cuts students). The time a school should be deciding if the student has the requisite talent is at that admissions audition. After admitting students in a grueling and highly selective process, they should keep these students as long as they are passing with grades to a certain standard and not cut them based on their view now of their talent or potential in the field or because they have found replacement students they like better and then leave these kids out to dry when it is too late to transfer elsewhere (or else Arizona maintains that "just in case", all frosh and sophs should go to the time and expense of transfer auditions....as if that is going to keep them focused on their current work?)</p>

I am recommending Arizona's program to all students who want a dedicated faculty of teachers who have worked professionally in all the unions and on Broadway. I would want to be taught by people who have done what I want to do.


<p>I honestly think it is wonderful that you enjoy this fine training program at UArizona. Just so you know, however, you can get a dedicated faculty with a high level of professional work in the field at many of the BFA in MT programs and also not have to deal with this cut policy. </p>

f I am good enough not to be cut at Arizona, then I would feel very proud and encouraged about my work and talent. I would look forward to being in a class next year with other students who also work hard.


<p>At other BFA programs, you ALSO have to work VERY hard. Not having cuts doesn't imply easy work. The programs are very demanding and you certainly have to have certain grades to pass. But the school works with students and doesn't cut them off part way through (not counting failing students or kids who don't do any work or not show up for class....but these are not the reasons most students were cut at UArizona either and I can't imagine with the quantity cut there that they have rampant failing students who don't come to class.....or if they did, then they didn't pick wisely in the admissions process). </p>

To the students who did not make it, I am sure you will look back and be glad that you found another program that you were happy in and gave you what you wanted.


<p>From what I have read of accounts of cut students, they were none too happy about being cut and having nowhere to go that first year out as they didn't know they'd be cut with any warning (besides yes, I know, Arizona makes the POLICY known ....but they don't warn students they will be personally cut until it is too late to transfer that year). They have lost a lot of time and a lot of money and often have to start over in another program or loose at least a year's worth of school. As a parent, when I send my kid to college, as long as she is doing the work and getting good grades, I expect the college to keep her.</p>

<p>IF YOU are comfortable with Arizona's cut practices, that's all that matters as you chose to attend. But others deserve to be informed before they choose to apply and also have a right to discuss their opinions of such practices as this is a discussion forum. I have read comments that are critical but that are respectfully written and within the Terms of Service posting guidelines on CC. To the contrary, your comments about OTHER members are NOT in CC's posting guidelines. </p>

<p>Ms. Bagwell stated that it is "rare to dismiss more than one or two students from a class." She stated that this past winter regarding a discussion of a previous class that suffered huge cuts. But apparently this year, that happened again. People want this kind of information and this forum is one where such information is shared and commented on. Members have a right to voice opinions even if you do not agree with them. I am concerned about how many students are cut each year at Arizona, some who have very good grades, and that transfer students and BA students are taken into the program over current BFA students whom the university had accepted into the BFA program. I am baffled by accounts I have read of students who felt they had no personal warnings of being cut ahead of time and who in fact, had very good grades right along. If the school wants to evaluate who can move on in the BFA program after two years, perhaps they should start all students out as BA students and require auditions after two years to advance to a BFA track (a couple of schools do that). These policies are causing SOME talented students to not apply to UArizona and it is affecting the talent pool in ways that other BFA programs would not have. Those who apply to BFA programs should be fully informed and the discussions here are helping with that. </p>

<p>As far as the harsh realities of the REAL WORLD....college is about training and an education and it is not the real world. It prepares you for the real world. Once in the real world, a student will deal with rejections, sure. There are highly selective BFA programs that do not cut students bur rather nurture them to succeed. They do not guarantee success in the real world but neither can Arizona.</p>

<p>I do not believe anyone is questioning the fine training at Arizona. But many are not comfortable with the cut policies and practices, some of which ARE unique to Arizona and not like other schools that have evaluations. I have not seen other programs, for example, cut students if they find ones they like better from their BA students or the transfer applicants. I have rarely seen this high percentage of cuts either year to year. Somehow, other highly regarded BFA programs select students to admit and manage to keep them all four years and turn out some pretty successful graduates without cuts or these practices. So, the fact remains that in order to have a GREAT training program, you do not have to do things the way Arizona does (and I don't doubt that UA also offers fine training!). In any case, always research your schools ahead of time to find what fits what you want. If you are fine with these policies, as BFAMT kid is, then no problem. I imagine he/she may be fine with it because he/she was not cut. I imagine he/she would have something different to say had he/she been out with no place to go next year after having been admitted to a selective program by audition and gotten good grades and NO warning that they were personally at risk of being cut (that is not the same as knowing the school employs cuts). Remember you can get excellent training at a well regarded BFA program and not risk being cut if you do the work. Lots of schools, including my D's BFA program, have evaluations each year, BUT these do not result in cuts. They result in extensive feedback and guidance in what needs to improve. If a student is failing in any major, of course a student may not get to stay. But that is not the same as talent cuts. It is the way cuts are done at UArizona that causes some to question it.</p>

<p>BFAMT, my daughter is currently a high school senior who will be a freshmen at NYU/Tisch/CAP21 next year and did not audition for Arizona's program. So your supposition that I have a personal "grudge" against the program and school is way off the mark. I just question why other very fine schools (frankly, schools such as CMU, whose reputation exceeds that of Arizona) have seen fit to do away with the cuts, while Arizona continues on. No one has yet answered my question about what Arizona offers (other than in-state tuition rates for those who live in AZ) that other non-cut schools do not that makes it worth most students taking the risk. Believe me when I say that I definitely do understand that programs need to have very rigorous and demanding standards and that every program needs a framework for not continuing with students who are not putting in the effort or who truly cannot meet even the minimum standards. But it seems to me that that is not what we are talking about with AZ's program. Kids who are earning A's, for instance, can and are cut, apparently, from AZ's program and what's more, some of them end up at other very, very prestigious and well known programs. How do you explain that, if (according to AZ) those kids lack professional potential? I also certainly believe that a university/college BFA program is not the "real world;" it's an opportunity to prepare FOR the real world and I therefore believe that when a university/college program takes on a student who <em>is</em> meeting its standards, that program has an obligation to the student to help that student be the best performer that he or she can be and then let the market decide if the student has "professional potential" when he or she graduates and sets out on the audition circuit. Apparently, the people who run Arizona's program feel differently, which is their right. But it is also my right to question the policies and procedures on a free and open internet discussion board, as long as I do that respectfully, which I believe I have. BFAMT, honest and well intentioned people certainly can have differing opinions on any number of topics, and you and I disagree on this one. I guess we will just have to (as they say!) agree to disagree. Best wishes to you.</p>

<p>I'm sorry I was misinformed about the process of hiring a MT head.</p>

<p>I would also say that I don't have a problem with the idea of having cuts, just the way decisions are made and carried out by this particular program. Certainly if a student isn't doing their work or showing up for class then they have lost their right to earn an education, but I think the faculty should have more of a responsibility to the kids they've chosen to let into their program than to unceremoniously dump them at the end of two years.</p>

<p>Certainly there are students happy with the program, and it's great that they are, but the fact is, if you're admitted to the program as a freshman, there's a greater than 50% chance that you'll be cut by the end of sophomore year (at least in recent classes).</p>

<p>That's one of the key points to me....is the sheer high percentage of cuts. I can't quite understand it because either they are cutting based on talent and potential in the field and who they wish to present at showcases in NYC, or else they have a lot of kids who are failing and not showing up to classes or doing the required work. And if THAT is the case, then the screening at admissions time should be greater. However, I can't imagine that to be the entire picture here as I hear many of those cut had very good grades and in fact, many also had the talent to transfer into top BFA in MT or Acting programs which is no small feat.</p>

<p>I don't mind a program with cuts but the way it is handled bothers me. My child has amazing grades, was told by a faculty member she had nothing to worry about when she was stressing over being cut. She was shocked when she was cut. There was no warning. Her friends thought she was joking when she opened her letter that said she was cut. When she called me to say she was cut I told her to quit fooling around. I didn't believe her. I felt so bad. She did not see this coming at all. She also received a generous scholarship from the theatre department a few weeks earlier. Why they offered this to her when they were going to cut her I don't understand. She would have applied over winter break to some schools if she had been told she was struggling. But when you have a 4.0 and a faculty member tells you not to worry and you are getting great feedback it doesn't seem necessary. It is impossible to go audition for other programs. There is no time because you are involved in the U of A shows. My daughter had the opportunity to audition for a new program at Chapman in May but it was the same day as U of A's showcase. The timing of all of this was horrible. She went to the Communications department and she was too late by one week to change majors. She had to deal with moving out of her dorm, finals, trying to figure out what she will do next year, etc... her last week of school. It made it harder that we live out of state. I am so proud of how she has dealt with this and handled herself through this ordeal. I just wish I had never suggested she go to this school.</p>

<p>Lauren, this is the part I don't understand at this program. It is one thing to tell students that there is a cut program ahead of time. But that is NOT the same as informing INDIVIDUALS that they are at risk of being cut in a timely fashion so that they can make alternate plans, or better yet, work through a probationary period to improve whatever it is. There is a mixed message if a student is receiving a 4.0, is told not to worry and is receiving a theater scholarship and then gets cut. That is not the same as a student who has been failing to show up at class, has a 2.8 GPA, is not handing in work and has a poor work ethic, has been warned that if things don't improve then they are out, etc. as that student would then not be so surprised come May. </p>

<p>Arizona maintains that all students should seek transfer auditions just in case they could be cut and/or register for classes in a different major, etc. I cannot understand how one emotionally can be vested in their own program if all the while they are expanding energy, money, and time for transferring "just in case." Who would go to that trouble if they are not going to have to leave? And how can one truly focus on the work at hand if having to plan contingency educational paths "just in case." Rather, it sounds like many are out on their butts come spring and have to regroup, which may involve a year out of school, not to mention lost funds. I don't think changing majors is the answer for all students, particularly not 4.0 ones who in some cases, have transferred successfully into top BFA programs and obviously have the talent and drive to pursue theater. The risks are too great. I think there will be families not willing to take this risk and not join the applicant talent pool. </p>

<p>It seems to me as well, that they audition BA students and transfers, as well as their own admitted BFA freshman/sophomores to advance to the BFA in the upper years and if that is the plan, it would make sense to start all out in a BA track and have an available BFA track for junior/senior years by audition, as a few schools have (Hofstra, Chapman) or as Northwestern has for the MT Certificate Program.</p>

<p>I find it interesting that people who do not attend a school simply take it for granted that everything written here is the truth. Why do people seem to believe the negative comments before the positive ones?</p>

<p>Some people who were cut write on this sight and only tell half the story.
I find it strange that anyone would judge a program from the comments made here. I would hope if someone were auditioning for a school they would take the comments they find alarming and call or email the head of the department. Isn't that the responnsible thing to do?</p>

<p>soozievt is listed as a counselor for this site. I would hope they have contacted any school that has been attacked, so that parents and students would have correct information. Are people not auditioning for some schools becasue of what they read here without finding the truth behind these statements? </p>

<p>What would the world be like if we believed everything we read on the internet? We don't know if the people making some of these statements have told us the truth about who they are, there is no background check.</p>

<p>This seems about as scientific and as factual as reading one of the magzines at a grocery check out and then planning your life because of what you read!</p>