YSU names College of Creative Arts and Communication

The College of Fine and Performing Arts at Youngstown State University is getting a new name.

The college, which includes the departments of Art, Communication, and Theater and Dance, as well as the Dana School of Music, will now be the College of Creative Arts and Communication.

“In essence, all of the disciplines in this college are about creativity and communication, so it is appropriate that the name of the college reflects that mission,” YSU President Cynthia E. Anderson said.

The College of Fine and Performing Arts, housed in Bliss Hall, was founded in 1974. For many years the college consisted of three departments: Art; Communication and Theater; and the Dana School of Music. In 2007, the department of Communication and Theater was divided into two departments: Communication; and Theater and Dance.

Bryan DePoy

Bryan DePoy

“In the previous name, there was a bit of an identity crisis for the Department of Communication,” said Bryan DePoy, dean of the college. “Although Communication is an important part of the college, as it encompasses artistic components and awareness, the field is not best conceptualized as a ‘fine and performing art,’ such as art, music or theater and dance disciplines. Accordingly, by name, the Department of Communication is rather marginalized.

“Our College is truly a hub of creative education, scholarship, and community engagement, and having the name ‘creative arts’ more reflective of that attribute. Also, according to a recent survey by the Boston Consulting Group, creativity and innovation are the top ranked skills sought after by employers. Creativity is imbedded within what we do in the College, so it’s logical that it would be a part of our brand awareness.”

DePoy said his office held several meetings and consulted with several individuals, both inside and outside the university, and that the consensus was the a new name offered a means of modernizing the college and an opportunity to enhance the exposure of the college.

“So while it was agreed that a change in name is appropriate, the predominant challenge then became choosing the name,” he said.

DePoy said similar colleges at other universities have adopted names that are more inclusive, accurate and contemporary. “We are certainly not an outlier by selecting the College of Creative Arts and Communication,” he said.


Youngstown State University is a comprehensive urban research university that offers nearly 14,000 students more than 135 undergraduate and graduate programs backed by a strong tradition of teaching, scholarship and public service. As a major educational and economic development resource in the region, YSU is known for its focus on academic research and creative programs that transform its students into successful professionals, scholars and leaders. Located in the heart of the Tech Belt between Cleveland and Pittsburgh, YSU provides opportunities for students to actively participate with accomplished faculty, often in one-on-one settings, on advanced research and creative collaborations. Visit Youngstown State University for more information.