Faulkner University is Closing its Dinner Theater Program …And It’s Making a Big Mistake.

Written by Israel Afangideh 

Faulkner University is closing it’s theater department, due to an alleged lack of student interest in theater arts at Faulkner University. Students were heartbroken and outraged at the announcement that the theater program would be discontinued as quickly as next year. This decision will destabilize the entire university, not just the faculty, who for the past several years have devoted themselves to the theater program, but the students, some of whom are only a year into their theater studies. Students who will now find their chosen paths snatched from under their feet.

And what will these students do? Students who trusted Faulkner University to teach them how to serve God in their chosen professions.  Either they must leave the campus, or extinguish their dreams of being educated in theater (in a Christian atmosphere) finding another path, maybe accounting, or business or something more “practical.”

As sad as it is to watch the theater program go, that is not the saddest part of this story. The saddest part is its abrupt ending. The saddest part is watching students change their majors only a year into their studies. Watching them lose faith in the administration. An administration that they believed would serve them to the best of its ability. Watching them not being given even the slightest chance to help save their program. Watching the administration complain that “The theater isn’t making any money” without putting even the slightest effort into advertising its events.

One thing is clear: Faulkner students are more unhappy than they’ve been in a long time, they feel helpless, betrayed and desperate. I’m sure we don’t need to explain why that is bad for an institution’s administration.

 

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15 thoughts on “Faulkner University is Closing its Dinner Theater Program …And It’s Making a Big Mistake.

  1. I totally understand this feeling but I am curious if the writer of this article which has potential of hurting Faulkner University has made arrangements to speak with the administration over any of this? If someone was theoretically hurt or damaged by you or those you know through words and or actions, wouldn’t you want them to come to you first before publicly denouncing you or your actions?

    Please take the time to get all the news. The potential of losing a Theatre program or any program is painful and usually for everyone involved. Have some faith that the leaders weighed the options and ask them why. Let’s hear the whys from those who made the decision. It’s important to get as many facts as you can. Words, posts and Facebook can be damaging and often cannot be taken back.

    Thanks.

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    1. I’m not sure what you mean by damaging. All I read were facts that the university was closing a department and that people were upset about it. It is merely an opinion. It’s not as if they defamed them in any way by stating they were upset about the outcome of the results. Sure you should no why someone did what they did but you can’t fault people for expressing their feelings about the matter when it affects the students at the school.

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    2. I think the main issue with what you stated was that Faulkner WAS given the opportunity to explain their reasoning via an article published in The Montgomery Advertiser. Their reasoning they published is the reason for the backlash. And trust me that this article is just the first of many things to come. Furthermore, what you are saying is that Faulkner should be given the benefit of the doubt and trust when they, themselves, did not get all the facts and made a decision with no respect or regard for certain people. Gotcha.

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    3. I totally understand the need to make financial cuts but I am curious if the administration of Faulkner University made arrangements to speak with the Theatre department prior to reaching this decision. If someone was theoretically going to evict you from your home, wouldn’t you want them to give you a notice, or deadline to resolve the situation by, before evicting you from your home?

      This is the significant injustice to me and where I believe Faulkner has grossly mishandled the situation. The Theatre faculty, students, and fine arts community of Montgomery were all blindsided by this decision. There was no warning, no deadline, no notice given to the Theatre department that they were under threat of being shutdown; no opportunity given to meet any threshold or requirement to avoid the axe. Instead, there was no transparency in this decision-making process and an entire program, beloved by the Montgomery community, is forced to close its doors without an opportunity to resolve the situation.

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  2. Let’s hope the author isn’t a journalism or English major. Actually, this piece fails at collegiate-level writing regardless of the major. While I might sympathize with your plight, I am appalled at your attempt at writing.

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  3. I might sympathize with your plight, but I am appalled at your writing. I hope the English department remains open for your assistance.

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  4. What’s more to hear? The students have heard it from the faculties own mouth… The article did go alittle to far but at the same time they didn’t lie about Faulkner not promoting the Theatre department in media or any other circuits to the best of their ability. I have asked many students if they knew we had a Theatre and they said no. A lot of students are disappointed , because they tell us we don’t have enough money. At the same time our tuition is getting higher , we are building more dorms, and adding more departments. Forgot to mention the newly renovated cafe and Seinna. So in the eyes of a lot of people the reason ” not having enough money” is getting really old. That s why Faulkner has a huge drop out rate. No body ever stays the whole 4 or 5 years, because students can’t afford it. Even if they have scholarships. I love Faulkner but they need to get organized. The sad thing is these changes are only just the beginning…. I really hope and pray that Dean Cain and other members of the administration know what they are doing, because this is not Google. Where they congradulate people when they fail for writing checks their bodies can’t cash… #PrayforFaulkner

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    1. It’s disheartening to see the Theatre department cut with little to no warning; it happened so suddenly for everyone. It would have been more professional to warn “financially draining” departments/programs they needed to improve within a given time frame or risk being shutdown, rather than a sudden decision made behind closed doors. It’s that sudden, “out of left field” decision that is most upsetting to me. The Theatre department wasn’t given a chance to fight back.

      I don’t know where Faulkner stands financially and cuts such as this make me believe the institution is worse off than believed. Even though Faulkner had the ability to build a new dorm, I was hoping this was a positive sign for its financial stability — money to build new buildings and renovate old areas to improve the look and feel of campus; a new dorm to increase capacity and bring in more students, which equates to more tuition revenue for a tuition-drive university, improving the university’s financial stability.

      So what happened…?

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  5. I forgot got to mention something else that is truely sad. Faulkner recruits all these athletes but most of them are on the JV teams with hopes of making varsity but we have Juniors and Seniors still on JV!!!!! If you ask me that’s where Faulkner is losing money! They get the boys and girls here ,take their money but give them a half of a scholarship. These athletes are just sitting on the bench waiting and hoping to play but never do. If you look at Baseball Varsity team then look at the Baseball JV team it’s like looking at MLB playing the Sandlot ( seriously Varsity team looking alittle suspicious). So unless these boys become Goliath, they are not playing. P.s What real colleges have JV teams anyway this isn’t high school. Either you make the team or you don’t.
    P.s. We need to support the soccer team because they don’t feel like Faulkner supports them at all. Nobody really went to the games this past year. They have voiced their opinion about feeling disrespected.

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    1. I hope they got a translator to help them voice their opinion considering most of the are foreign. But even the remedial English teachers need a Job too, I guess. Maybe they should give something back to the campus instead of demanding that we sit for 90 minutes watching one of the most boring games to be invented. They have their scholarships, what more can they ask for? Athletes Have the worst morals of all the students, besides the Bible majors, arguably. My “Christianity” prevents me from condoning that evil.

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      1. Guitar man, you’re killing it! Don’t be too rough on them, though, we’re always watching.

        -Eyes in the cloud

        P.S. Put a piece of tape over your selfie lens, we don’t want to see all that.

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  6. This is a shame and very short sited on Faulkner’s part. The school is missing a great opportunity to bring something good to the city of Mintgomery. I would think if managed properly this could be a great money maker and out reach for the school. There has to be more to the story then they are saying. There always is. My guess is having Christians express theirselves in the freedom only art can allow is scary to those not knowing this freedom in their own walk. I grew up in this theatre as a member of the community and a non-student. The theatre at Faulkner is a huge part of my faith story. The people there were the main reason I chose to live a life of faith.

    Montgomery is loosing a beautiful gift but Faulkner is loosing so much more. To those loosing their job, major, or in my case “a safe place to fall”, don’t loose faith. Use this to build character. ❤️

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  7. When I was a student at Faulkner in the 80’s there was not a Theatre degree, yet under the direction of a dedicated choral director we had a number of productions and the early beginnings of a what is now the Dinner Theatre. We did this all without a degree in theatre being offered. According the an article in the Montgomery Advertiser, the Dinner Theatre will remain open with fewer annual productions (http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/story/news/education/2017/03/14/end-scene–faulkner-university-close-theater-program/99161422/).

    Maybe the administration could have approached this from a different direction. Maybe the department can still be salvaged. Those that see the value in the department – speak up and help find financial support.

    Faulkner, like most schools, have funds that are “earmarked” for different programs, buildings (facilities), degrees, etc. that they cannot legally or ethically divert to other areas. For example, money from a new dorm is often specific for a dorm and cannot legally be diverted to another department.

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  8. It is a shame to cut the theater when there is a perfectly crappy human cess pool that is the football program that should have been cut. Or maybe faulkner will cut them while they are still in the “cutting mood”, but that would require them to make a smart decision or even care about the spirituality on campus. But no, so enjoy hearing every variation of profanity possible when you try to enjoy a peaceful meal in the J.L. Perry Cafeteria, courtesy of the athletic department!

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