Advocacy + Policy

NAEA Position Statement on a Joint Resolution on Terminal Degrees, Appointment and Advancement

From National Art Education Association and National Association of Schools of Art and Design

A person’s qualifications to teach a studio subject in art or design are best tested by his or her involvement as a practicing artist or designer. In teaching studio subjects, it is of overriding importance that the teacher be deeply and currently involved as a practicing artist in the particular discipline and be able to communicate personal knowledge and insights effectively.

Faculty members shall be qualified by earned degrees and/or professional experience and/or demonstrated teaching competence.

NAEA and NASAD recognize the Master of Fine Arts as the appropriate terminal degree for studio faculty. At the same time, some artist-teachers may hold other degrees; some may not hold any academic degrees. In such cases, institutions should base appointments for studio faculty on the basis of experience and training at least equivalent to those required for the Master of Fine Arts degree.

Academic degrees are a pertinent indicator of the teacher’s qualifications for instructing in academic subjects, including art history, and in the pedagogical aspects of art education. In general, the Ph.D. and Ed.D. are the appropriate terminal degrees in these fields. Research and publication are also indicators of a teacher’s productivity, professional awareness, and contribution to the particular discipline.

Faculty involved in various areas of specialization should represent a diversity of background and experience in their field of expertise.

Teachers of studio art and design in colleges and universities who hold the recognized terminal degree of Master of Fine Arts or its equivalent are entitled to full faculty status and should be given treatment comparable to that for faculty members in other disciplines on a given campus with regard to appointment, tenure, increases in salary, and advancements to higher academic rank. The creative production of artists and designers should be accepted as equivalent to scholarly publication or research as a criterion for appointment and advancement.

Institutions should encourage continuing professional development through sabbatical or other professional leaves and through participation in professional organizations with foster exchanges of ideas and cooperation for investigation and research.

Adoption: Adopted by the NAEA Board of Directors, Summer 1993

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