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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Beginning of a Process

First, the Future of Art Center team would like to acknowledge the incredible outpouring of passion and interest in the school from every corner of the globe and every part of the extended community - students, faculty, staff, administration, alumni, donors, employers, artists, members of the art & design communities, and many others. It’s clear that this great educational institution has a significant place in the hearts and minds of many people, and that there is sincere concern for its future. The ACCD Board of Trustee’s announcement indicates that your concerns have been heard. You have had a direct impact on the future of Art Center College of Design.

But this is just the beginning of a process. As the school embarks on a search for a new president, we enter a critical transitional period in the history of Art Center. It is now our - students, faculty, chairs, staff, administration, trustees and alumni - responsibility to work together as a community to position the school for the future. We must leave behind the negative and embrace a constructive, collaborative process. All perspectives must be heard and understood in the tradition of great educational institutions. Best of class education comes from committed, inspired faculty working with thoughtful educational leaders in the best interests of students. We’re not turning out widgets - our goal and commitment is to nurture an environment where top students thrive and learn, go on to produce great art and design, and have a positive impact on the world.

It is especially important at this point to remember and appreciate that Art Center is a diverse institution with great undergraduate programs in Fine Art Media, Film, Illustration, Photography + Imaging, Graphic Design, Environmental Design, Product Design, Advertising, Transportation, and Entertainment Design. In addition, the board has recommitted itself to the investment and development of graduate education and research in the Art, Broadcast Cinema, Industrial Design, and Media Design Graduate programs which can lead the way for future innovation. There is no simple “solution” that could possibly cover this amazing cross-section of programs. Diverse approaches are necessary and good. The creative interplay between all the approaches and programs is what makes any school, and especially this school, a rich and vital place for education.

The Future of Art Center site will be an independent forum for the coming discussion. We encourage positive, constructive participation from all perspectives - but we will not tolerate the distractions of personal attacks and endless debates of the past. It is time to move forward, find a new president and provost, and define our future. We look forward to working with the ACsG, Faculty Council, Chairs, Staff, Alumni, Administration, Board of Trustees and individuals. In this spirit of collaboration, Richard Koshalek has already reached out to us, and we look forward to a collegial relationship with him and all members of the community.

This is a time of synthesis, compromise, cooperation and invention. It is an incredible opportunity to influence art and design education in our institution, and to lead the entire art and design community into the open territory of the future of education. Over the next few days, we’ll be posting important topics to help define a direction for the next 18 months. Join us!

49 comments:

Alternate Energy said...

FoAC said:
In this spirit of collaboration, Richard Koshalek has already reached out to us, and we look forward to a collegial relationship with him...

It is almost difficult to respond to this without appearing to violate your prohibition on personal attacks, so I can only advise extreme caution, and please don't forget past lessons as you move forward.

It is not, however, an attack on anything to cite Richard Koshalek's own words, and the unique manner in which he attempts to influence perceptions. At 12 minutes into Segment 8 of the myspace video documenting the meeting between Koshalek and ACSG, he says:

"It's very interesting, the Board actually approved a new contract at the last Board meeting... it's an extension, basically... at the last Board meeting in February, they approved it unanimously, the extension."

http://xrl.us/segment8

Ophelia Chong said...

RK has a few projects he needs to finish. Anyone coming in now would have to get up to speed or someone from the administration would have to be interim head. I want Richard Koshalek to begin (1) finish those projects (2-4).

1/ Engaging the ACCD community to nrich curriculum and the overall student experience

2/Fundraising and the scholarship endowment

3/ Student Dorms

4/ Designmatters

Ophelia

Anonymous said...

Ophelia,

Good luck with RK finishing those projects. He didn't do it in 9 years, doubtful he'll do them in 18 months.

Take a hard look at his departure statement:

"I look forward with the greatest optimism to developing a series of international ideas and initiatives that have been offered to me—such as the conception, design and construction of an innovative art and design college with digital library and virtual design museum, and the organization of a world design event, both in Asia—together with other projects that are regionally and internationally based. Above all, I will continue to be unwavering in my support of and enthusiasm for the future of Art Center."

He was on company time cultivating new opportunities for himself. Sounds like he's cloning Art Center or trying to build the empire he couldn't do here in Asia (Shanghai?). Ripping off our model and intellectual property to compete. While everyone's trying to be cordial, he's loading the hard drive and ccopying the plans. nice......

Sorry, i'm still pissed off and he doesn't get a "pass" from me.
Leopards can't change their spots.

We need change now!

Bambi said...

FOAC wrote:

"but we will not tolerate the distractions of personal attacks and endless debates of the past."

I'd really like you to define what constitutes a personal attack. For example, can I openly disagree with the appointment of Rich Haluschak on several task forces? Or at least point out his past history?

I'm scared that you are going to be heavy-handed on your own interpretation of "what's best" for everyone.

And what does "endless debates of the past" mean, specifically? Sure, we don't need to talk about 1998 til we're blue in the face, but a lot of what we take issue with has to do with past behaviors and correcting those past behaviors. A lot of people currently employed by the school have some bad history that follows them into this debate. I would personally like the freedom to "call them to the carpet" if needed.

I'll pledge to keep my written opinions civil and polite, but I do feel the need to tell it like it is (ow "was" if needed).

thirdgen89 said...

Critical:
He is not a good fit for the job and is performance is poor. Another person would be a better fit and this is why....


Personal:
He sucks at doing this job, his life is crap and he is a complete moron who should die in a fire.

Future of Art Center said...

Regarding Koshalek's continued tenure at the school, the Board has made the decision that he'll finish out his term. This also means that it simply does not make sense to bring back Nate Young, as the two had major conflicts. We're not really interested in debating if this was the absolute ideal result, especially since the larger goals of changing leadership and re-evaluating the Master Plan have been achieved (with the obvious caveat that the devil is in the details - we said it was the beginning of the process!)

From our perspective, the decision is made, and we'd much rather spend our time participating in the real work of defining and implementing the practical changes to education, as well as influencing the search for new leadership. Let's move on and take this opportunity as a community to really contribute, rather than sniping from the sidelines.

The Future of Art Center site will remain an independent voice in this process, and will hold the school, and Koshalek, to high standards of action and transparency. To borrow a phrase from Nate, Onward!

Ophelia Chong said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bambi said...

FOAC wrote:

"Regarding Koshalek's continued tenure at the school, the Board has made the decision that he'll finish out his term."

We have no idea if they're still negotiating terms for an early departure. 18 months is a long time for a guy on the outs. We owe him money. The only remaining question is "how much?". Attorneys are probably talking back and forth on the phone regarding this.

Ophelia Chong said...

To Anon 6/25/08 9:36 AM

This site is about Change. Post how you would like to see Change done. We need to hear how you would like to proceed to steer ACCD back on course.

It takes more than saying "We need change now!". I appreciate your passion, now we need to harness it with solid action points.

Ophelia

Future of Art Center said...

Bambi - thirdgen89 has it pretty much right, although we'd prefer to focus on the issues and "fit" rather than saying that someone's performance is "poor" which gets into touchy areas of liability and HR issues. The point is, use your good judgement and be constructive rather than destructive. People's jobs and lives are involved, so put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you would feel.

Our comment about history is that some who are posting seem to be more invested in avenging some past wrongs than looking forward and making the place better. We want to focus on the future of the college.

More to your point, one of the first topics we will post is regarding the Task forces. We look forward to your contributions.

Future of Art Center said...

thirdgen89 - As Ophelia did, I misread your post at first as an attack - exactly what you were NOT trying to do. Would you mind if we removed the comment?

Anonymous said...

From Nathan's blog (post 1,200 from john)

Hey Futur of Art Center:

You said:

Here's why bringing Nate back would be divisive. Richard is still the president of the college and they had a major disagreement. How could that possibly work? In addition, the structure Nate put in place last year was simply not working well for the department chairs.

Yeah He had a major disagreement with Richard like the rest of us and the board. So Richard is on the way out.

Nate must have known for a long time and did all he could do given the circumstances. Nate understands the structure and would be able to lead at least in the interim. Nate's a smart guy and honorable. i'm sure he is capable in hearing all the parties involved. It works because Richard holds the title of "president" in only concept. Keep in mind, the Board voted him out.

As for the chairs, is it all about the comfort zones for the chairs. They all seemed to be o.k. with the way Richard was steering the ship.


FoAC: It sounds if you have an agenda against Nate Young. I'm not for him but take into consideration John's observations.

A word of caution, you keep using words such as "we" and "our". Your opinions are yours. Please use "I" or "my". You don't speak for all.

As Nate said, "onward".

Bambi said...

I have a three great places to start:

1) Create a post and encourage all alumni, students and faculty to comment on "what is the true essence of Art Center?

What does it mean to you, what should it be, and how has it drifted away? And after a month or so, we send the board a massive collection of input, from all walks of the Art Center community.

Then the board should convene and issue their own mission statement (and not a generic one) about the simplicity (or complexity) of Art Center's goals, and hold any future adminisration to this standard.

2) Purge Richard Haluschak and hire a new (100% outsider) CFO. A CFO that will get out his excel sheets and fully evaluate the excessive administrative fiscal weight. Look at how Art Center spends money on "non-core" things such as world travel.

3) Make the CFO report to the board, not the president.

thirdgen89 said...

Ophelia-

I am using an extreme example of personal attacks versus constructive criticism to drive home a point that they add nothing and was not referencing anyone in particular. I am all for keeping this totally civil because the petty stuff only erodes the message.

I am an advertising design major. ;)

***No people were harmed in the making of this post***


Dylan

Future of Art Center said...

Anon 10:16:

Regarding John's comments, I refer you to my earlier post in this thread. In addition, the Board did not vote Koshalek out, they chose not to renew his contract which ends in the fall of 2009. It will take that long to do a search for a new president. The school still needs someone out there fund-raising and that's something Koshalek can do.

In regard to the chair's "support" of Koshalek, part of it was frankly panic, as well as a new-found freedom after Nate Young left. If you talk to them individually, I don't think you'll find a lot of support for the DRC or the lack of funding for education.

When I use "we" and "our" I'm talking about the FOAC site and trying to keep the discussion away from the personal. Not speaking for everyone for sure!

Ophelia Chong said...

thirdgen89

dang it. caught again by an Ad Major.
:O)
Now I get it. Sorry, the last few weeks has been rife with name calling, etc. And your post finally popped the bubble I was in.

:O) Ophelia

Ophelia Chong said...

Since we have a consistent crowd here.How would you all like to have this blog work? Blogger only has so many bells and whistles. Would you like to see areas that you can comment on specific issues?

And do we have a wish list for the next candidate for President? Not who specifically, but background, and work experience etc.

:O) Ophelia

Bambi said...

A "What is Art Center supposed to be, at it's very core?" post, with hundreds of people responding and showing the board exactly what the hell we mean in all of this discussion. After a certain period of time, we deliver the collected contents to each board member.

Every person gets one input opportunity.

The board is out of touch as to what Art Center means.

Future of Art Center said...

We may want to move the site something more sophisticated, such as Wordpress. For now, I'll put up a couple topics including the "core" one suggested by Bambi.

Ophelia Chong said...

Great idea Bambi. And thank you FOAC for posting that. :O)

Anonymous said...

Ophelia:

Here's a wish: the President or Provost should be an Art Center Alumnus. It provides for a system of checks and balances. It is Important forr someone at the top to have that precious Art Center DNA.All of us that have it know what the core of the school is regardless of who's steering the ship. Would be nice if the person at the helm has the DNA.

now place the ad in the employment section

Anonymous said...

NEWSFLSH!

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/arts/la-et-koshalek25-2008jun25,0,2310035.story


Art Center won't renew contract of president
By Mike Boehm, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer
June 25, 2008

After an intense grass-roots protest movement by students and alumni of Art Center College of Design, trustees of the elite Pasadena institution have decided not to renew Richard Koshalek's contract as president when it expires at the end of 2009.

The decision came despite assertions by Koshalek, 66, that he wanted a four-year extension of his contract. Koshalek said he hoped to pursue the ambitious agenda he embarked on in 1999: expanding the college, building its endowment and raising its profile. The school has long been known for training top designers, including an impressive roster in the automotive world.

In a videotaped meeting with the student government May 30, Koshalek said that the board had unanimously approved a new contract for him in February, "then set up a special committee to look into how long it should be."

Related

* L.A.'s Skyline to Get Gehry Touch

Key elements of Koshalek's program have now been thrown into limbo, including a proposed $50-million, Frank Gehry-designed high-tech library and design studio.

Discontent with Koshalek's agenda -- and what some saw as a management style that brooked little dissent -- broke into a full boil in mid-May. It was fueled by the sudden resignation of Nate Young, an alumnus and former board member who was second-ranked to Koshalek and had served five years as the college's popular chief academic officer.

Soon, student-coordinated blogs and an online petition posted by a group called Future of Art Center were serving as sounding boards for complaints on a number of fronts. Many charged that Koshalek had focused on enhancing Art Center's reputation to the detriment of educational quality. At the same time, tuition had been increasing 5% to 6% annually. (The cost of an undergraduate degree is now $117,376.)

Among Koshalek's critics were some highly placed alumni, including executives at Walt Disney Co., Microsoft, Mercedes-Benz, Renault and Johnson Controls Inc.

"This is unprecedented," Clement Mok, a San Francisco designer and 1980 Art Center graduate, said Tuesday. Mok resigned from the board early in 2003 because he thought that Koshalek wasn't putting enough emphasis on education.

"Leadership must continue to evolve," Art Center's chairman, John Puerner -- a former Los Angeles Times publisher -- said in a prepared statement Tuesday.

Puerner also thanked Koshalek and announced a search for his successor.

In a separate interview, Puerner declined to talk about the board's deliberations or whether the protests and petitions had influenced the decision.

Board members all received "representative examples" from the opinion barrage, Puerner said. They included e-mails and comments posted on rival Internet petitions: One called for change and bore nearly 1,500 names, while the other backed the administration and carried 409 names. The board also received a request from the Art Center student government to boost scholarships and meet current needs for better equipment and facilities.

Puerner said he was pleased that Koshalek had "expressed to me a sincere desire" to stay through the end of his contract, as the board had requested.

When he was hired after a long tenure as director of L.A.'s Museum of Contemporary Art, Koshalek was handed the mission of raising money for the expansion of a school, founded in 1930, that had never mounted a major capital campaign.

On Tuesday, Puerner said that "all our capital projects are on hold" while the board's finance and facilities subcommittees examine whether they are "the right priorities" -- and whether it will be possible to raise the money for them.

mike.boehm@latimes.com

graphixgal said...

The L.A Times cought the presdent in a lie:


In a videotaped meeting with the student government May 30, Koshalek said that the board had unanimously approved a new contract for him in February, "then set up a special committee to look into how long it should be."


I'm disappointed that he is the presidetn of our college. I don't trust him during this time. WhY does everyone seem to trust him now?

I agree with anonymous 6/25/08 9:36 AM

"leopards can't change their spots?

Anonymous said...

Really? An alumni?

From which department? Which era?

One of the HUGE problems brought to light in this whole debacle is that people don't understand that there is NO SINGLE STRAND OF ART CENTER DNA.

Future of Art Center said...

graphixgal: Your distrust is understandable, and this site is here to make sure that Koshalek and the college stays on track during this transition period. The reality is that Koshalek will continue to be President for the next 18 months. He has expressed that he is supportive of change, and we will hold him to that.

Ophelia Chong said...

There are times that I can picture the ACCD DNA in one person. They would be confused half the time and clear the other, part of their brain would want to have neat lines, the other would want big fuzzy gooey acrylic splotches. The left hand would fight the right over which one holds the pencil.

Some mornings when they look in the mirror, they see a stranger with matted hair and then flail around looking for the razor. Other days they would purposely paste the square off center. If you ask them what color you are holding, they would jump from magenta to fuschia and back to magenta while slapping themselves across the face.

ACCD DNA is made up of a dozen crazy strands, and it's all twisted up into a ball.

Partly frustrating, and fascinating, it's not right or wrong. Its Art Center. Where there is no center, just strings of matter held together by passionate people.

graphixgal said...

Hey Future of Art Center:

Thanks for your reply and optimism. I don't trust Richard Kosahalek as far as I can throw him. What makes you or this site able to keep him or the college on track? No one else seemed to. He lied to the L.A. Times, he'll lie to this. I watched him dodge all the hard questions and lie at all the meetings.

I don't know much about Nate Young other than he opposed Richard Koshalek. This man fell on his sword to protect the college and his sacrifice and Nathan's blog are greatly responsible for this outcome. Is there some reason why he should not come back. His actions were certainly in the right place.

Can you or anyone tell me more about Nate Young?

Future of Art Center said...

graphixgal - these are good questions. there is a good discussion of Nate Young in the last day over on Nathan's blog. In particular, read the posts by "Alternate Perspective" & thewallshaveeyes. To summarize from what I know: Nate Young is a very straight up guy and added some sanity and order to the college that had been missing for a long time. But his approach to educational leadership had some major blindspots. In particular, he implemented a Dean structure about a year ago that most of the Chairs absolutely hated. They felt over-managed and drained of their power as educators. And the photo, illustration and fine art media programs were left without any representation at all. Nate's top-down, business-style management approach simply wasn't working in an education context. So bringing him back would make most of the Chairs, and many faculty very unhappy.

This is not stay that Koshalek's plans and approach were good either. But the college needs a president out there fund-raising during the interim period, and meanwhile the rest of us feel newly empowered to make serious changes to the school because the board has elected to hire a new president.

It is frankly complicated. The politics are pretty deep, and as is true in many parts of life, we don't always get our ideal situation. But FOAC and many others in the community are working to implement real change.

Bambi said...

From my past days, the chairs themselves had too much power. There was no one to keep them in-check other than the president himself. If a student had an academic issue that he needed to raise and get closure on, it ended with the Dept chair.

I like the idea of having a dean who is a step removed from operational departmental politics. Students need to know what their academic rights are. In my day, if a teacher hated your guts and failed you, you had very little recourse other than to sue the school...and I know 1 or 2 who actually did that.

Future of Art Center said...

Bambi - and that's why we need to good provost. A person who is totally focused on education. This was one of the problems with Nate's position - he spend a huge amount of time running the whole school, not coming to understand all the different program's needs and how to wrangle the chairs to get them to do their absolute best. It is not clear a school this small needs 4-5 deans though. If a single provost was truly involved, maybe that would be enough, or maybe an undergrad and grad dean, plus provost.

Fifth Way said...

Future of Art Center said...

"Bambi - and that's why we need to good provost. A person who is totally focused on education. This was one of the problems with Nate's position - he spend a huge amount of time running the whole school"

Interesting point. If Nate was running the whole school, why wasn't everyone more happy at the school? The CAO was a fancy name for provost, I thought. How do you differentiate between CAO and provost? (Most colleges have provosts, but isn't CAO a special title just at Art Center?)

Future of Art Center said...

While many schools do use the CAO title, art/design schools tend to use the Provost title. The CAO title seems very corporate to me. Regarding Nate Young - from what I could see, he spent a lot of his time on operations rather than on educational issues. In other words, a lot of the day-to-day decision making had to go through Nate, because there was no one else who played that role.

My point is not to blame Nate for anything, but to indicate that his job was probably too much for a single person, and this tended to hurt education, especially since he was not particularly interested in the details of educational vision and implementation. His solution to this was to create all those Dean positions under him, but that didn't really work either.

A better solution would be to have a separate person in the administration who's job is operations and management. Otis and RISD for example have a Vice President, Finance + Administration.

Fifth Way said...

I've heard that back in the old days - before the addition to the south end - the education and administrative sides of the house were all on the bridge.

That makes a lot of sense. The separate silo thing is not conducive to communication, nor to working together. Also it sucks as symbolism. Mix it up on the bridge!

A COO or combo COFO sounds like an idea worth exploring as well.

distant thunder said...

Sorry Ophelia, but I have to agree with RIP. The best chance AC has for the near term success is to bring Nate back. It’s incredible that RK’s ego lets him stay after a vote of no confidence. Maybe there are truths that have yet to be covered up? Nate’s plan to expand into research made sense. I am also very fond of the idea of having someone with AC DNA at every critical level of the school’s administration, the fact that there isn’t, is amazing. For example the heads of HR, Development, Financial Aid, should all be AC grads, yes I know how that sounds, but the experience and issues at AC are that unique.

Of paramount importance is communication. Lack of communication—due to basal human nature—breeds fear and anxiety, for one’s job, position and tenure. Fear and anxiety give way to anger and resentment. Art Center needs transparency at all levels. The “At Will Culture must end.” (from another post)

The fact that the HR department functions as the President’s Clandestine Service is madness. HR needs to be reorganized; someone with AC DNA put in charge; and made transparent—with respect to procedure and practice. A large portion of the fear and anxiety that the faculty and staff experience, emanates from HR. The fact that every employee review must contain a negative point as a potential caveat for dismissal is specious. In lieu of AC DNA the ideal candidate for head of HR would have degrees in Industrial Psychology and Academic Business Administration.

AC should find the single most angry alum and put them in charge of Development. Development is an issue that is deeply complicated by anger and resentment; and one might suspect that someone deeply in touch with their anger could sympathetic to anxiety and frustration our grads feel in the wild. There should never be an Art Center Alumnus working at The Apple Store, Trader Joe’s, The Container Store, a bike shop, and a police department’s traffic division, finding barely enough money to pay their bills—unless they are employed in a capacity germane to their discipline.

Why has no one seen that the Financial Aid Office could be the conduit for money flowing into the school. An AC alum would be much more sympathetic to the AC experience and would drive student success through optimism and curiosity. The answer is a proactive Financial Aid Offic; student success is the only goal.

Finally, if Nate Young is off the table. We should encourage Andy Ogden to throw his hat in the ring for consideration as the new president. AC needs someone with an education / research vision. Nate could still be provost. As for a financial officer, we should find someone with academic experience, the best—even if he / she is the most expensive—AC must be on firm financial ground.

These are the changes that must be the foundation for AC’s future.

Anonymous said...

Just to remove any possibility that we're all being "played" by some shrewd power-seekers, I'd suggest that we NOT seriously consider Ogden, Young (or anyone from that group of friends) for the role of President.

I think we should have a board of insiders (alumni or former long-term faculty) that then hires the best possible ADMINISTRATORS to execute the vision set-forth BY the board.

Ogden has an ego. Young has an ego. Koshalek has an ego.

I think we're being played by this group as they go through their comparitive "size" contest. Let's leave that stuff in the high school locker room where it belongs. Forget them.

We're also being payed by the current board, and we need to hold them accountable for this.

Anonymous said...

Played, not "payed" (sorry)

Anonymous said...

Ogden can run for president, so can Young, and all of their friends. How about Dave Muyres? We need more educational initiatives, yes? And we need more trans guys, seeing what they've accomplished in Detroit. Have them all throw their hats into the ring. A lot of them are looking for jobs now.

First, we'll need to see their specific fundraising and five-year strategic plans and have it in writing. The Board then can pull the lever and put that in writing and be held accountable.

The Board then cannot just walk away from the leadership they choose IF the wind blows and a blog blows in a different direction.

Anonymous said...

That should be WHEN the hot air blows...

Future of Art Center said...

Sorry, but I have to rant. My original post was a forward looking call to come together as a community to define what the future of Art Center should look like. I.e. that we, the members of the institution, take this unique opportunity for change to define the future of the college. And instead of responding to that, most posting here are bickering about Nate vs. Richard. What a bunch of petty BS!

Get over it and start thinking, collaborating, posting and working to create what this school should be in the future.

Anonymous said...

FOAC,

You haven't exactly been above the Nate vs. Richard fray yourself (or yourselves?).

But you're right, we can all try to get beyond this, but there are still so many unresolved feelings. Plus, this school has always been about personalities and PR. Tink Adams, the ad man, set the stage...

Ophelia Chong said...

to 6/30/08 11:20 AM

We are like a dysfunctional family. Eventually through a lot of open communication, we will be able to sit down and have a turkey without reaching for the butter knife and lunging at each other. We all carry our own agendas which are shaded by our own experiences and those agendas never match up to anyone else's. How we make our way through this will be through talking and letting down that guard just a tiny bit. With each small step, we will be further ahead.

Ophelia

Anonymous said...

A reminder to those asking questions about Nate Young: he closed down criticism and theory, failed to hire a Dean to represent Arts & Media, and had plans to close down first undergrad Fine Art, and later after Richard was gone, grad Fine Art. He was not a friend to those who are engaged in critical thinking and creative or artistic practice. He was pro-corporate design all the way and his Dean Structure was the first step in a long-term vision to make the school all design, all the time. That is a dangerous situation--not only for photographers, filmmakers, and artists--but for designers!

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous 7/9/08 7:41 AM:

You blew your credibility with many of us with this line:

"He was not a friend to those who are engaged in critical thinking and creative or artistic practice."

That's just a lie.
A lot of us have direct experience to the contrary. So why should we believe your other points?
You and "FifthWay" are just on some destructive binge.

Future of Art Center said...

Again with the debates about the past? Nate, love him or hate him, or perhaps more reasonably, seeing him as someone who had both positive and negative impacts, is gone. He's left the building. Let's move on.

I ask you all to put your energy into positive suggestions that will help make the school better. For example, in your particular area of interest, what changes need to happen to make education better and more appropriate for in the second decade of the 21st century?

Anonymous said...

FOAC wrote:

"I ask you all to put your energy into positive suggestions that will help make the school better. For example, in your particular area of interest, what changes need to happen to make education better and more appropriate for in the second decade of the 21st century?"

Well, in my area, there needs to be less emphasis on hoping to be employed by others, as those who Do get employed by others are facing a world where they might not earn very much. There needs to be more emphasis on teaching the kids to take their skills and make their own way in the world. Starting a business, running one, marketing one. Being relevant and staying relvant. Design is not a very stable employment existence. The kids need to learn how to find their niche.

Anonymous said...

FOAC is right.

I see a lot of polarization surrounding Nate Young's educational philosophies. Seems like certain people are trying to use FEAR as a way of coercing people to choose a respective side. That makes me want to avoid both of them (Young AND Koshalek) and start fresh. They were obviously swimming in dirty water. Time to toss it all out and rebuild the tank.

Fifth Way said...

How is the following suggestion destructive?

"I've heard that back in the old days - before the addition to the south end - the education and administrative sides of the house were all on the bridge.

That makes a lot of sense. The separate silo thing is not conducive to communication, nor to working together. Also it sucks as symbolism. Mix it up on the bridge!

A COO or combo COFO sounds like an idea worth exploring as well."

I think it's rather constructive! Break down the silos and -- build a bridge to the 21st century (like our previous president said).

Anonymous said...

Well, this is the 1st that I've looked more closely at the politics of ACCD in general, while I was going there I spent most of my time looking at just the political issues of the illustration dept; which, beleive me, were enough trouble without the entire school in a state of disarray.

That said, people have mentioned that we should post about changes that we would like to see, and the most important change that I would like to see once again falls under the Illu dept politics. The entertainment arts and entertainment design tracks should be merged as just one entertainment track. I realize that this probably seems like a quibble but let me explain it from the point of view of a student.

Granted, my experience is somewhat unique in that I started before the department was split into tracks. However I chose ACCD because of the promise of a good entertainment education. By the time that the entertainment design and arts tracks were up and running I was 3rd term. Already ent design was being treated like some sort of elite best-of-the-best thing. Of course I applied, but at the time, nobody knew what was good enough and I was told to apply again the next term after getting some work that applied more to the track (at the time I had only taken foundation classes, not enough to get in)

But the next term Scott decided to take a vacation, and the term after that I was told that my work was good enough, but I would have to go back 2 terms. Factoring in the cost of ACCD terms I decided to opt for the track that was already being treated like the lesser of the two, and went through entertainment arts.

The school made it sound like they were just as good, just a little different, but over time it became obvious that "separate but equal" was not what the entertainment design track was going for as they split off entirely from the illustration department, made their classes unavailable to the entertainment arts department unless the specific student got Scott Robertson's "ok,"and Scott turned it into his way of advertising the students that he hand picked. In the time that I watched things I've seen entertainment design students get full of themselves, looking down on the arts counterpart. The system continued like that, with the entertainment design dept getting more and more things in their favor and the arts dept getting held back further and further.

Now, as far as I can see it, the two should have not been split in the first place. There should not be a second portfolio review once a student has already been admitted. To say "you have to get admitted to the school and pay for 3 terms before you can see if we'll let you into the ent design dept" seems wrong to me. But worst of all I feel that keeping two entertainment groups just to feed the ego of an instructor and his chosen ones is totally uncalled for.

Counter to that has been claimed, the two are not that different. When you look at the grad shows the work isn't geared to different things. Its not like one's cartoony and the other isn't. I have not yet stumbled upon a good reason for separating them and I think that combining them would be the best thing that could be done. I feel that doing so would be best for the students; making sure that all entertainment students are entitled to the same treatment and access to the same classes. It would also be in the best interest of ACCD by providing a consistent education to those looking to enter the entertainment fields rather than creating castes within the school.

I hope that there are others here that agree with me and that the idea catches on. Thanks for reading.

Anonymous said...

http://conceptdesignacad.com/

Here's your answer, screw ACCD and its entertainment art and design departments....for $ 15,000 a semester.

I've seen some of the entertainment design departments student portfolios. Your life drawing skills are atrocious. Basically, I'm saying you're right, Entertainment Art and Entertainment Design shouldn't be split.

I don't believe you can split visual development and life drawing classes from the entertainment tracks. If you specialize too heavily, the flaws become apparent.