VESTAL, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Binghamton University, known for its engineering, science and management programs, is making a huge investment into the arts.

B.U. is creating its own School of the Arts that will combine the following creative departments: art and design, music, theater and dance, art history and cinema.

The university has hired a founding director, Christopher Robbins, to run the school.

Robbins comes to B-U from SUNY Purchase where he was the director of the School of Art and Design.

His wife is from Endwell so he’s familiar with our community.

A sculptor by trade, Robbins has traveled the world extensively and studied ways in which art can collaborate with other disciplines to affect change and improve communities.

He says he’s excited to lead this new commitment to the arts.

“Art making processes can be relevant completely outside of a gallery. How they can help is peace-building and helping fix up a neighborhood. That’s part of what attracted me to this position is there’s such a great opportunity at Binghamton to really show people how art can have an impact on other fields and industries,” he says.

In his new role, Robbins will also oversee the Anderson Center for the Performing Arts.

Binghamton University is currently in the planning process for a major renovation of the Fine Arts Building.

Built in 1966, it’s one of the oldest buildings on campus.

Robbins says the multi-million dollar project will be completed over a number of years and will include moving the cinema department to the same building as the rest of the arts.