Four New Majors Added to Butler’s Offerings

ALEXANDRA BODE | Staff Reporter

Butler University will launch four new majors in time for the start of the fall 2014 semester.

Sports media, interactive media, astronomy and astrophysics, and music instruction and performance were approved by the Faculty Senate as majors at last week’s meeting.

Students can begin declaring these new majors as of next school year. However, many existing majors will easily lend themselves to the new ones.

Two of the majors, sports media and interactive media, are in the College of Communication.

Sports media is a broad approach to sports communications that includes aspects of sports production, journalism and marketing.

“A lot of universities emphasize one or the other,” said Gary Edgerton, College of Communications dean. “I think the strength of this program is it tries to melt all these into one.”

Interactive media is a program based in the creative media and entertainment department. It focuses on the usability and skills of web design, social media and mobile apps.

“Interest in interactive digital media is high,” Edgerton said. “The population of sports in general, at Butler and Indianapolis, is high as well. I am sure we will get some students that come to Butler specifically for these two majors.”

The astronomy and astrophysics major will be added to the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

The courses required for the major are already offered because this program is a current minor.

Butler is part of the Southeastern Association in Research of Astronomy, a group of small universities that are engaged in astronomical research.

“There are a growing number of universities in the partnership, but it really is a unique opportunity,” said Jay Howard, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Butler has an on-campus telescope in Holcomb Observatory.

“We are able to use computers here to control telescopes far away,” said Xianming Han, department head of physics and astronomy.

This telescope is currently being upgraded, funded by a donation from Frank Levinson, a Butler physics graduate.

Music instruction and performance will be a major that combines music education and music performance. This major will be within the Jordan College of the Arts and will incorporate classes from the College of Education.

For more information on the music instruction and performance major, read “New major combines music education and performance” by Vanessa Staublin on page nine of this issue of The Collegian.

Edgerton said last year, Danko asked the different colleges if there were any new, innovative kinds of programs people would be interested in.

Adding new majors is one of the many steps involved in Danko’s plan to improve Butler by 2020.