UNO announces new arts school's director

The University of New Orleans has named Charles Taylor, chairman of the UNO music department, as the director of the university's new School of the Arts. 

UNO said the school is the first of its kind in the city. It will encompass five disciplines: film, theater, music, fine arts and arts administration.

In a statement, UNO President John Nicklow called Taylor "an outstanding choice" for the position.

"He is deeply invested in the local arts community and has a vision for how we can give our students a unique academic experience and marshal support for our arts programs in a new and exciting way," Nicklow said. 

A professor of music, Taylor has been a member of the UNO faculty since 2001. He is also the music director and conductor of the New Orleans Concert Band and the New Orleans Civic Symphony Orchestra. 

"We will take full advantage of our location in one of the world’s greatest cities for the arts," Taylor said in a statement. "We will provide transformative experiences for our students and the community we serve through innovative educational programs and cultural events. 

Loyola names new music and fine arts dean

Loyola University has named Kern Maass as the new dean of the university's College of Music and Fine Arts following a nationwide search.

Kern, now an associate dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts at Appalachian State University in North Carolina, will assume his new position Feb. 1. 

Marc Manganaro, Loyola's vice president for academic affairs and provost, said Maass "will bring great expertise" to the school in art, design and music. 

Maass said he was honored by the selection. 

"The faculty, students and staff are so talented and passionate in everything that they do, I think it would be hard to not be invigorated by their amazing work and creative expression," he said.

"Combine that with a community that is the epitome of a creative culture, and the future is boundless for engaging in and creating opportunity through the disciplines the College of Music and Fine Arts offers."

Outside his work in higher education, Maass in 2001 founded a furniture design business, a move that led to exhibitions of his work both nationally and internationally. He has served as president of the Furniture Society and vice chairman of the furniture section of the Industrial Designers Society of America. 

College of Music and Fine Arts Interim Dean Tony DeCuir will retire at the end of the academic year.

Delgado ranked among best La. online colleges

Delgado Community College has been ranked the sixth best "online college" in Louisiana in a new listing by Affordable Colleges Online. The list included 17 four-year institutions and six two-year colleges. 

"We wanted to highlight the schools in each state that are driving innovative learning and meeting demands of students,” Dan Schuessler, CEO and founder of Affordable Colleges Online, said. "These schools are not only offering great programs, but they have expanded their program excellence to the much-desired online environment."

According to a recent study by the Babson Survey Research Group, the online student population in the country is now over 7 million, including nearly 8,000 undergraduate students in Louisiana who are enrolled in at least one distance learning course.

Ranked schools are required to offer at least three online associate degree programs with an annual tuition fee of less than $5,000.

Qualifying schools were evaluated based on factors such as their tuition and fees for in-state undergraduate students, the percentage of undergraduate students receiving institutional financial aid, the number on online programs offered for two-year degrees or certificates, the student-to-teacher ratio and the average amount of institutional aid received.

Affordable Colleges Online then compared the cost of each program to the cost of similar programs with the same qualitative score.

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