Our friend Barb, who is in the process of becoming a music therapist herself, passed me this news and asked if I could put it up. I’m not a music therapist, but I’ve seen the positive impact that music therapy can have on people’s lives, so of course I can.
On March 4, 2016 The University of North Dakota informed its faculty that the school would no longer accept new music therapy majors and the University’s music therapy program would be suspended. Former North Dakota Governor and the University’s current interim President, Edward Schafer, will announce the school’s official decision, April 15, 2016.
According to the Grand Forks Herald, College of Arts and Sciences Dean Debbie Storrs sighted mandatory budget cuts as the main reason for suspending the music therapy program. The State Board of Higher Education also announced it will uphold the University’s final ruling on April 15. The University of North Dakota is the only 4-year school in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana that offers an undergraduate music therapy degree.
With a month to go before the University issues its verdict, we are encouraging everyone to connect with someone in the music therapy community in North Dakota and join in the effort to reverse the decision by the University and reinstate the North Dakota music therapy program. Lets make this an easy decision for the University and show them how much people inside AND outside of North Dakota care about its music therapy program.
If you know someone or are someone who wants to get involved in the effort to save this valuable program, visit this site for all the info you’ll need to get started. There are links to further reading, contact information for decision makers and even a sample letter you can send out or use as a guide when writing something of your own.
Good luck, everyone.