Official Statement

Theatre Major to Continue at Southern Virginia University

Today the Office of the Provost issued the following letter:

Dear Southern Virginia University Community (students, alumni, faculty, staff, and friends):

We will continue to offer a Theatre Major at Southern Virginia University.

Over the past several days, my colleagues on the President’s Leadership Council and I have read and listened to your passionate, articulate feedback in response to my recent Open Letter about Performing Arts. It was beautiful to see the outpouring of love and support for our Theatre Program and Performing Arts.

It was also heartbreaking to see the unanticipated pain that the letter caused. We sincerely apologize that it felt like a betrayal to some. Causing distress was never our intent but it’s clear that those feelings were real. Again, we apologize. 

Please know that it was never our plan to eliminate theatre. We planned to invest in theatrical productions while phasing out the theatre major which, despite valiant efforts by all involved, had become unsustainably under-enrolled in recent years. Our communication clearly caused some to misunderstand this plan, thinking that we were proposing the elimination of theatrical productions. Others understood the plan but reasonably disagreed with it—which we respect and appreciate. We have carefully listened and will change our course.

We will spend the rest of this summer working together to construct and invest in a sustainable theatre program that can maintain both excellent performances as well as academic rigor. The challenges with the theatre major remain—primarily its low enrollment—but we are committed to identifying solutions and finding opportunities. Doing so will no doubt require fresh thinking and cooperation from everyone, so we ask for your continued support as we work to harness the clear passion that exists for theatre at Southern Virginia University.

Thank you again for the love and support you have shown our university and its programs. We have seen and heard you, and, as is appropriate with the best of Performing Arts, we sincerely applaud you. We will go forward with renewed energy to ensure that our Theatre Program remains wonderful, exciting, and vibrant.


James Lambert, Provost

Southern Virginia University