TCU welcomed back graduate school alumna Sally Packard this fall to replace recent retiree Ronald Watson as the director of the School of Art.
Packard, who graduated from TCU in 1997, said she had both internal and external plans to expand and cultivate the art department. She is particularly interested in cross-disciplinary studies while expanding the visual arts beyond just the arts community, she said.
Packard has already begun reaching out to colleagues of various disciplines across campus to try to find new ways for students to combine their bases of knowledge with art. Her goal is to allow every student the chance to study art, she said.
“I’m interested in students who may not be practitioners, and students who would like to have art training as part of their basic education,” Packard said.
As for her external efforts, Packard said she believes that the School of Art “is in really good shape, and it’s long established.” However, she expressed interest in further extending the visual arts beyond just the TCU community.
Packard and the Dean of the College of Fine Arts, Scott Sullivan, said that they believed that her theater background and experience at both the Sage College of Albany, N.Y. and the University of North Texas would help her succeed in her new position at TCU.
Sullivan said he had high expectations for her and that “[Packard] is ultimately the success of the School of Art.”
She will stand as the face of the School of Art in both the TCU and Fort Worth communities, Sullivan said.
“She is the spokesperson for this school, both internally and externally, and tells me what the School of Art needs to get better,” he said.
Packard will be off to a fast start this school year, Sullivan said. She will have to make decisions immediately about budgeting for new equipment and prioritizing to fit the needs of the students.
Additionally, she will be in charge of accepting graduate students, proposing new courses, and hiring new faculty members for the School of Art. This would not be a challenge for the new director, Sullivan said, adding that Packard was picked for the position because of her understanding of the School of Art and its needs.