Indiana State University Newsroom

Sweet sound: Department changes to School of Music

January 18, 2011

A name change at Indiana State University has some faculty celebrating.

With the start of the spring semester this week, the department of music became known as the School of Music.

"This is added prestige," said Nancy Cobb Lippens, director of the School of Music. "For our students to be graduates of a school of music will be an added value to their degrees."

The School of Music remains under the College of Arts and Sciences and the curricula also remains the same. The university's board of trustees approved the name change in December.

"We've been almost operating as many other schools of music do for years because we're a very large unit with multiple degree programs and sources of revenue," Cobb Lippens said. "This just makes it an official name change."

The process began in 2006, but nine months ago the final push started as it moved through university committees toward its final approval.

"The faculty have worked at this off and on for a number of years and they have a huge part in making this real," Cobb Lippens said. "It's all those people who work together and certainly I couldn't do this without them. They are the School of Music."

Now, the faculty and students working in the School of Music are on the same level as sister institutions, according to Cobb Lippens. She said it should help with recruiting students and faculty. Yet, being a school can also help in other areas.

"Most people are aware that ISU embarked on its first major campaign for fundraising in the last few years," she said. "There are a number of people who see university music programs as something they want to support, and by bumping up our name, I think that will help with that fundraising. We're really trying to work with the foundation to come up with ways that people who are friends and alumni of the ISU music programs can be a part of this new initiative to help us be the best that we can be."

Moving forward with the excitement generated by becoming a school, Cobb Lippens said she is working with music faculty members to create a strategic plan for the school.

"We want to recruit the best students and so we're going to have a very specific plan about that," she said. "That will mean some growth and there will be needs for some added faculty as a result of that growth."

Excellence within the music faculty has remained the same, according to Cobb Lippens.

"Our faculty is this absolutely wonderful group of people who put students first in what they're doing," she said. "They are excellent scholars, performers and conductors, but they really do care about our students. There is the ability for each student to achieve his or her goals in the best way, to reach their potential."

ISU students perform on stage during the Contemporary Music Festival.

Contact: Nancy Cobb Lippens, Indiana State University, director School of Music, at 812-237-2772 or

Writer: Jennifer Sicking, Indiana State University, associate director of media relations, at 812-237-7972 or