Union notes from Union / Management Meeting

Present – Michael Abraham, Dennis Cecere, Peggy Codding, Peter Cokkinias, Marti Epstein, Danny Harrington, Jeff Perry, Wendy Rolfe, Jackson Schultz, and Will Silvio.  

Management – Larry Simpson, Bill Whitney, Kari Juusela, Amelia Koch, and Camille Colatasti.

  1. Jackson opened the meeting. Today’s topic is the Boston graduate program, which is scheduled to start Fall 2014.
  2. Larry discussed the history of the graduate programs; three have started in Valencia, 75 total students. Internationally there is a market for a Berklee graduate program. Accreditation is already approved internationally: NEASC will look at the conclusion of the first year to accredit the Mass campus. 

Valencia majors include:

  • Contemporary Studio Performance - MM
  • Scoring for Film, Television, and Video Games - MM
  • Global Entertainment and Music Business - MA
  • Electronic Production and Design (2013)
  • Contemporary Writing and Production (2013)
  • Symphonic Band Studies (2013)

Three programs have been approved through NEASC, Master of Music and Master of Arts for graduate studies and Bachelor in Professional Studies through Berkleemusic, these programs will start in the fall of 2014. Our target goal is 20 students for each program.  Boston majors include:

  • Master of Music - Contemporary Performance Careers
  • Master of Music - Music Education
  • Master of Arts - Global Entertainment and Music Business
  • Master of Arts - Music Therapy
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies - Music Business
  • Bachelor of Professional Studies - Music Production


Jackson – is this a stand-alone program? Some schools do a 4+1 with the senior year applied to master’s work.

Larry – all of these programs are designed to be one year.

Wendy – can you give more info on each program?

Camille – each program is designed as three semesters. She discussed specifics on each major. We are in sync with international accreditation; we are affiliated with the Bologna accord.

Jackson – are you planning to draw upon current faculty to teach, do you need a Ph.D.?

Larry – in order to offer the degrees we need a certain number of people with Masters and Doctoral degrees, but you do not need a Ph.D. to teach in a Master’s program. The current contract does not speak to grad programs in any way; the last time any language was used was in 2001-2002 when we had a joint program with Boston Conservatory.

Jackson – we will be addressing many of these issues in bargaining this summer.

Larry – yes, that is why I am glad we are having this discussion now, to start the process.

Dennis – will there be a rating system similar to current Berklee students?

Larry – we need to work that out, but the idea is yes.

Wendy – most Master’s recitals are juried; will we be having something similar to that model?

Larry – it’s all open at this point, we will be looking at all the options.

Jackson – who is looking at all these things?

Larry – there will be an inclusive approach, we will be engaging faculty to be named later, and it will NOT be administration only.

Jackson – who is developing the curriculum?

Camille – the curriculum is already developed, as the courses get ready to be taught, the faculty member will adjust the curriculum to fit their style and the class. Very similar to the way we do things here. The syllabi, course descriptions, etc. have all been created as a shell. As a teacher gets assigned to the course things may change.

Marti – will students be going through a similar A&I experience?

Larry – yes, we will work specifics out as we go.

Jackson – can you address the on-line degrees with more specifics.

Larry – many Berklee students come here and do not finish their degrees. How can we work with Berkleemusic to help some of those students graduate? Many students are within 20-30 credits to graduate. The on-campus degrees require 120 credits; the on-line version will also require 120 credits. There are currently 120 courses offered at Berkleemusic, which of these can be brought in to on-campus? How would they need to be tweaked to meet the on-campus requirements that we have?

Jackson – is Berkleemusic separate from Berklee?

Larry – no, they are the same – Berklee is Berklee.

Camille – the easiest way to think of it is as an extension school. Most of the existing classes are offered for both credit and non-credit.

Larry – I want to be very specific. Many institutions will accept Berkleemusic courses for credit. We will only accept six credits as general electives if a student comes to Berklee. What would we have to do to adjust the courses to make them the same as the courses we have here?

Jackson – my concern is the 4-year experience, could a student come in and get a Bachelor’s degree.

Larry – a Bachelor of Professional Studies NOT a Bachelor of Music. I don’t see a huge market for all 4 years. I can see students that need 20-30 credits to graduate or someone taking on-line classes and then coming to Berklee.

Jackson – it is good that we are taking about this but we have a lot of work to do.