Welcome to the Future

Please send any private comments to futureofartcenter at gmail.com. Note that comments were turned off last May. They are available now for the most recent post only.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Nate Young erased from donation image

UPDATE2: Iris Gelt, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications applogized for the erasure of Nate's image.

Iris Gelt said...
We sincerely regret the removal of Nate Young's image from the Legacy Circle section of the web site. In the confusion of recent events, this was indeed an error that occurred while quick adjustments were being made to staff lists and images. As you know, the correct, original image was immediately replaced and will of course remain on the site for the usual cycle of rotation that pertains to all images.

We would never wish to diminish in any way Nate's significant contributions to Art Center. We truly honor the work of the Legacy Circle and hope that it will continue to flourish under the dedicated leadership of Stan Kong and Ramone Munoz.

If anyone has any other questions, I encourage you to contact me directly, at iris.gelt@artcenter.edu.

JUNE 4, 2008 3:29 PM

UPDATE: The image was restored to its original state
, with Nate Young back. We applaud the school for undoing this petty move to erase every trace of Nate.

Nate Young was photoshop-ed out of an image on the ACCD website. As one of the members of the Legacy Circle (in which members donate at least $1,000), he was in the photo at the top of this page. For more details from a member of the Legacy Circle, scroll to the bottom of this site to see a full post and image.


Anonymous said...

The original photo/ post with Nate removed is here:


scroll to bottom of page. unbelievable!! i can not believe the administration has time now to be doctoring photos. I also heard Koshalek was tearing down posters in the hallways for the student rally. All by himself.

This guy is losing it, it is time for the Board to step up and remove Koshalek.

Ophelia Chong said...

There is now an apology from ACCD about the Nate issue. We can now hopefully move forward.


Anonymous said...

Stop being Nate Young's puppet.

Anonymous said...


An apology, perhaps. But "Move forward"?

Trust is something that must be earned over time. To adopt the Soviet method of revisionist history is shameful on the part of the college.

This did not happen because some web production artist decided to "update" the photo. This happened because someone high-up in the administration ordered that the photo be doctored.

How about you demand some accountability as to the "true story" about how that photo was changed? Who ordered it? And then you must ask yourself this one question:

Why was it tolerated?

If they will not tolerate an administrative assistant publicly commenting about her boss' departure (firing her), why should you students tolerate their taking Stalinist action to re-write history and remove all imagery of someone who refused to tow the party line?

Ask yourself that question.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...


What began as a blog, evolved into a petition with an overwelming support of the student body, prominent alumni, faculty, staff, community members, parents of students, and was even picked up by the news media, has shown how much dissatisfaction there is with the current direction of the college and that change is needed immediately.

As of Thursday, June 18th 8:00 AM PST there are 1402 individuals that have signed the petition from all over the world.

1,402 signatures (as of 6/19/2008 8:00am PST) 100% of petition signers agree with these point:






Dear Art Center Trustees,

We, the undersigned, are members of the Art Center Community: its students, alumni, faculty, and staff. First and foremost, we are requesting that the Board of Trustees act --in its capacity as governing body of the school -- to put an immediate halt to the current Art Center Master Development Plan which includes the Gehry designed DRC.

The mission of Art Center has traditionally been and should be the nurturing of professional design and artistic abilities through the education of its students. We believe that this tradition of educational excellence has been compromised under the direction of the current administration and its president Richard Koshalek, and we ask
that the Board of Trustees take immediate action to again make education the school's top investment priority.

That prioritization of education should result in tangible and immediate improvements for students, classes, facilities, and teachers. To that end, we request that the Board also take action to dramatically reduce non-educational administrative expenses. We ask that fund raising efforts place the highest priorities on scholarships and endowments which directly benefit current and future students.

Lastly, we request greater alumni representation on the college's senior leadership team and we respectfully request the opportunity for one or more of our Community delegates to formally address the Board at its next meeting in order to make our concerns known.

As members of the Art Center Community, we stand together: firmly committed to the legacy of the school, its students and alumni. Art Center is not made up of one man's vision, but one vision built from the whole of past, present and future students. Please do not allow yourselves to be distracted by the legacy needs of one man. Do not continue to allow critically-needed capital to be diverted to non-essential uses. Do not spend more time and money on the distant future, when there is great present need. Put education first.

Thank you for your time and attention.


Additional notes and analysis

The charge with bringing Art Center into the 21st century, from a design school with a sterling insider reputation to a global brand name, is not being contested here. The charge to revamp the educational system and put Art Center at the forefront of the sustainability movement — carving out new roles for design in dealing with the world’s
problems while raising the consciousness of the next generation of designers— is also not being questioned. Being a model design institution of the 21st century is an irrefutable goal. But what are we having to sacrifice in the present to reach these longterm goals?

Using a Frank Gehry signature building to embody a renewed Art Center is symbolic and indeed a bold move. It is not the destination we are troubled by but the vehicle by which we arrive there. Art Center has never had to rely on anyone else’s reputation other than its own. Why have we found ourselves at a point where our own reputation is no longer good enough? Art Center’s reputation, unlike buildings, cannot be bought or hired, if it is compromised while we are searching for this far off goal we will find ourselves to be a relic instead of a 21st century design school.

Our trouble with the current plans stems from a condition known as “Blind Momentum” — a condition created by the embrace of a great idea and a desire to move expeditiously without ‘CAREFUL’ assessment of the ‘how’ in getting there. “We build it and they will come” is the modus operandi of this condition. But what about the students of today?

“Blind momentum” is operating without a roadmap and often without real indicators whether one is moving in the right direction or not. This “figuring things (time, resource and money allocation) out along the way” has worked well for many start-ups but has proven to be disastrous for established companies and institutions with existing brands,
constituents, and legacy issues to maintain. This lack of understanding about “blind momentum” creates stress and resentment, in addition to creating waste, infighting, and a largely disenfranchised community.

If one is left without a choice but to move forward with a “blind momentum” strategy, hard questions need to be answered. What processes and support are required to make sure the development is on track and meeting its goals? How is success measured? Is the money raised for scholarships and for the buildings the only benchmark measured?
What about input from other constituents? Are the dissenting voices marginalized as a misinformed vocal minority or are the issues real? The assumption is someone will address these questions once things get going and the Board will provide the oversight. Has the Board been provided with adequate information to make informed judgments? Without attention or awareness of this condition, one of the end results of such a
strategy is the creation of a financial quagmire.

This petition is about asking questions, tough questions that have not been answered, and these answers are long overdue.

Does Art Center have a strategic plan that links the educational, financial, and facilities needs together so that they can be evaluated and measured?
If not, why not and who is responsible?
Or is this being made up along the way?
If it exists, can we see it?

We do not deem the updated 2004 “The Universe of Possibilities” document as a substitute for a strategic plan.

This petition is about the administration’s lack of focus on education and its priorities. Of the 1350+ comments, approximately half are students, the balance are from alumni, faculty, staff, parents, and even concerned Pasadena constituents. As for Richard’s petitioners, they are comprised mostly of outsiders — architects, writers and names
unfamiliar to the Art Center community.

Of the 1350 tallied petitioners, 50% of the signers were compelled to make additional comments. The statistics are significant as they reveal things are not going well at Art Center. There is a palpable level of anger and frustration, as problems have not been dealt
with honesty and integrity. We’ve synthesized this data to help the Board understand the nature and scope of the discontent.


48% raised additional concerns about the state of education at Art Center.

(If scholarships and tuition are added to the percentage, it becomes 70%)

a. Education has not been the primary concern of late

b. Education is not about buildings

c. Re-examination of priorities and allocation of resources

d. The history of unfulfilled promises

e. Receiving fair value for tuition –it’s not the amount but the quality

f. Fix things now. Not later.


39% raised additional questions about the merit of the Gehry Building / DRC

a. Halting building development until the house is in order

b. Questioning of the “build it and they will come” approach

c. Distraction to the education mission

d. Wasteful development costs

e. Is Gehry’s building appropriate for the school

f. Poor upkeep and utilization of current facilities


13% challenges Koshalek’s effectiveness as President

a. Vote of no confidence

b. Initiatives with no ties to education

c. Profligate spender

d. Lack of financial transparency

e. Policy of secrecy and intimidation

f. Questioning of accountability and require a performance review


33% raised questions about Art Center’s Reputation and Standards

a. Feel deceived due to administration lack of integrity

b. Slip in standards

c. Slip in reputation

d. Will no longer consider ACCD

If the current administration were doing its job effectively, these issues would not be tantamount at this crossroad. We now need answers to these challenging questions. Given the uncertainty of the economy and the scope of problems that now confronts the Board, it would be prudent to delay the decision to extend Richard Koshalek’s contract until you have a clear understanding of the challenges and priorities ahead.

We want the Board to pay close attention as the administration has a history of diverting attention from real issues. To reinvent Art Center is a 21st-century education initiative; transparency and openness is required. Action, not words, is required.