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UCC issues letter regarding rumors surrounding cancelling arts programs

Written by on April 11, 2021

In a recent press release, Umpqua Community College says a message was circulating the campus suggesting the arts programs – music and theater programs – were going to be terminated. A letter from president Dr. Debra Thatcher, released over the weekend offers clarity on the issue. the letter reads as follows:

Recently, a well-intentioned but inaccurate message was circulated in the community suggesting that music and theatre were being terminated at Umpqua Community College. Many of you responded with very impassioned messages about the importance of the arts to you and to your community.

I assure you that the arts are NOT going away and that community members have been heard. The arts are an important part of UCC’s mission to enrich communities, and we have a commitment to the arts. Our desire is to re-establish the college as a center for the arts in Douglas County.

Discussions have indeed been underway regarding how to respond to the enrollment challenges in a number of programs and courses, including those in music and theatre. We are in the midst of a series of meetings about music and theatre, and the message sent to community members was premature and presumptive. More discussions and planning meetings are in the works. However, we are slowing down the decision-making process; rather than finalizing future plans for music and theatre in the next two months, we will extend the planning time and aim for December 2021 for decisions.

I sincerely thank you for your responses and apologize for the angst experienced by many. We can all work together – the community, UCC faculty and administration, and the UCC Board – to create music and theatre offerings that are vibrant and sustainable. A letter reads signed by Umpqua Community College President Dr. Debra Thatcher.

Because the arts are important to our community, we will be following this story.

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