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The Antelope

The Antelope

Derrick Burbul appointed as new Art Department chair

Jiyoon Kim / Antelope Staff Art department chair, Derrick Burbul, gives Victoria Maring feedback about her photo print.

UNK’s Art Department has gained a new chair, Derrick Burbul, a professor of Art and Design Foundations and Photography. Burbul took office at the beginning of the fall semester.

According to Ryan Teten, the dean of College of Arts and Sciences, Burbul was elected by a vote of the faculty of his department to succeed Dr. Richard Schuessler as art chair.

Burbul said he has high hopes after taking the position.

“Insanity motivated me,” Burbul joked. “I’m hoping that I can help steer the department in a direction that will help us grow and help our students more.”

The position brings new responsibilities for Burbul.

“Now I am involved more on the administrative end,” Burbul said. “I deal with the dean of College of Arts & Sciences, as well as the dean of Graduate Studies more than before. I don’t necessarily look forward to the administrative responsibilities as much. I enjoy teaching.”

As the new chair, Burbul hopes his calm demeanor can guide his fellow faculty members in difficult conversations. Growing together and understanding one another holds importance to him.

“I’m going to try to create an atmosphere where we are talking to each other honestly,” Burbul said. “There should be some tension in that if we’re being honest with one another.”

Burbul recognizes that the art department houses a talented staff that he wants to be more transparent with. 

The goal is to strengthen the creative staff as a team.

“We’ve got a very talented, intelligent and creative faculty, they make the department in so many ways,” Burbul said. “If we can focus on what our strengths truly are, we can put our talents to a more efficient use than what we are doing right now.”

Burbul’s focus is to improve the art department experience for students. 

“I love the art department,” said Amanda Francescato, a junior majoring in art education and minoring in photography. “Everyone is so nice and helpful!”

Francescato looks forward to what Burbul plans to do with his new position.

“Professor Burbul is a very easy person to talk to,” Francescato said. “I hope he keeps the department a positive and welcoming place to walk into for everyone.”

Looking forward, Burbul intends to help push students in directions they might not have explored before entering UNK’s art department.

“I think that right now is a very interesting time because things are shifting quickly and dramatically in our world in so many ways, we can’t just stay the course,” Burbul said. “We need to get creative, not only with our own work but with how we are teaching, approaching students and trying to engage with them.”

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