In fall of 2009 the Patti and Rusty Rueff Department of Visual and Performing Arts was officially introduced as a school within the College of Liberal Arts. Today, the school is composed primarily of two departments, Art and Design and Theatre. However, other divisions within the school include Dance, Music, and Purdue Galleries. Classes can be taken as electives needed by other departments and schools, or they can be used to satisfy requirements needed for the Liberal Arts undergraduate degree. On the graduate level, the department grants Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Ph.D. degrees. The school's mission is to serve a wide-ranging group of students while also serving Purdue University and the Greater Lafayette area as the primary cultural resource for the community.
The school at this time has approximately 800 undergraduate students and 60 graduate students. Beyond the undergraduate and graduate students, several thousand students enroll in practical, theoretical, or historical courses within the school.
The faculty is composed of nationally recognized individuals who continue to practice and research their arts while still serving as dedicated classroom teachers. The publications, art exhibitions, and performance-related activities bring wide-spread attention to Purdue University and contribute to the presence of arts activities on campus. These academic and artistic endeavors also serve the University by being a prime recruiting tool for improving our graduate training programs. These teachers/scholars/artists in many instances also serve the community through leadership and participation in organizations dedicated to the arts, along side of helping to improve our graduate training program. The school is named after Patti and Rusty Rueff who are its principal benefactors. Their 2004 gift of $5 million was the largest gift ever received by the College of Liberal Arts. The Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts is housed in Yue-Kong PAO Hall on Purdue's West Lafayette campus.
The school’s mission is to serve the citizens of Indiana, the United States, and the world through (1) Discovery, that expands the realm of knowledge of the visual and performing arts; (2) Learning, through dissemination and preservation of knowledge about the visual and performing arts; and (3) Engagement, through exchange of knowledge about visual and performing arts.