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.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Q&A with the administration, Tuesday 12-2

The ACsG will hold a Q&A this Tuesday in the Ahmanson (6/10) from 12-2pm. Koshalek and administration members will answer student, faculty, alumni, and staff questions. Open to everyone. Full text of announcement as first comment.

Post your most important questions for the event in this comment section. Please keep your posts SHORT AND TO THE POINT! We're proposing questions that can be answered at the event Tuesday.


Future of Art Center said...

June 5, 2008


Follow-up Information & Upcoming ACSG Hosted Forum with President Koshalek

Fellow Students,

Over the past week Art Center Student Government (ACSG) has taken significant leadership in opening-up needed dialogue between students and administration concerning the many issues that have recently surfaced following the resignation of a key academic leader at Art Center and the blog started by ACSG elected officer and fellow student Nathan Cooke.

As many of you know, ACSG met with President Richard Koshalek and members of the administration this past Friday in order to forward the concerns aired at last week's open forum. After a three and half hour meeting with the president (video available online at http://tinyurl.com/6hgwdg) and members of his senior administration, ACSG has decided that they will host a second forum, so that students have the opportunity to have their questions and concerns addressed by the administration in person.

Please join us in the Ahmanson Auditorium this coming...

Tuesday, June 10th, from 12:00-2:00pm

President Koshalek and other members of the administration will be present for the duration of the forum, while ACSG facilitates a direct "Question and Answer" session for students. Please come prepared with questions. Moreover, the purpose of this forum is for students to open dialogue with the administration on the topics of:

Educational Spending
Educational Leadership and Staff

These were the overwhelmingly unanimous concerns aired at last week's forum, and this is your chance to receive specific information regarding these issues. ACSG hopes you will attend this important event.

We are here to serve as your representatives and do what we can to improve the student experience at Art Center for ourselves and our fellow students.

If you have further questions, please email acsg@artcenter.edu.

Thank you,

Art Center Student Government

Future of Art Center said...

What do you think is the cause of the recent dissent?

What specific changes are you considering to improve education?

What can you do to immediately improve the classroom experience?

How should education change to adapt to the new needs of the 21st century?

Why isn't the restoration of the Ellwood building the first building priority?

Anonymous said...

President Koshalek,

How were your current task force leaders chosen and why? Can you describe their directives in more detail? Will there be any faculty and student input on those task forces? What tasks are the task forces identifying?

Will the Enrollment Task Force commit to no lowering of standards for admittance?
Can we have some transparency on this issue? What are current protocols of acceptance to the college?

Will the Educational infrastructure task force commit to recognizing the differing needs of all departments equally?

Will the Technology task force recognize that the various departments have different needs, and incorporate input from students and faculty of all departments?

What exactly is the leadership task force? Will it address problems in leadership top to bottom?

What happened to the faculty salary grid?

At the core of all my questions is a concern about fairness and representation for all members of the educational community.

lee bolton said...

Dear Richard:

I hope you understand I do not hate you, and it is a matter of personal opinion regarding the school's current direction that caused me to be tense with you the other evening. I look forward to speaking to you again in a similar setting.

Richard, if you could please, I would like you to have your staff research the questions we discussed during the potluck meeting on Tuesday. If you have a pen available, I can briefly go over them so that you can give me the figures I seek that I will be asking about at the meeting coming up this next Tuesday.

1) How much over the past 5 years have you compensated Frank Gehry for his services? (This question doesn't pertain to the plans that he completed for $351,000.)

2) How much has money has gone out to students in scholarships over the last 5 years? (This does not pertain to endowments, and monies not doled out to students.)

3) Have you put more thought to matching scholarship dollar for dollar to the architecture funding? What are your ideas and solutions?

4) What thought have you put to fixing faculty morale other than thinking about the possibility of tenure? What are your ideas and solutions?

Could you also make sure that your staff presents these numbers in a numerical fashion in concurrent years on say.. a chart for us on Tuesday? (I am not looking for percentages.) I would like cold, hard numbers, that way I can understand it much better.

I will certainly be asking these questions at the meeting, and want you to be prepared with solutions and ideas for my questions.

I promise not to be so rude and I look forward again to our debate Tuesday.

Lee Bolton

Anonymous said...

What was the $amount for the education budget when Nate was in charge?

How was this $amount broken down by category?

What was the exact $amount Nate went over budget?

Specifically, how was this overage $amount spent?

Anonymous said...

"How do you assess the level of education? Just wondering."
- blog post 5/28/08

ANSWER – Ask the administration to please provide the metrics (listed A. - G. below) for the Art Center Community - and the Board - to review.

Happily, there are metrics for measuring results in education, just like in every other field of human endeavor.

Institutional leadership can and should be held accountable for these metrics, tracking them as carefully as a business tracks employee turnover, revenue, profit margins, market share, quality, customer retention, etc.

Similar metrics exist in higher education and Art Center's administrators and its Board of Trustees should have been tracking them regularly. And, basing all major operational decisions on them. Perhaps this has happened. At least anecdotally, that appears not to be the case - given the level of "customer" (i.e. student, alumni, and faculty) discontent currently being exhibited.

If the Koshalek administration has been performing successfully over the course of its nine-year tenure, it should be more than pleased to provide statistics that will graph positive trends since 1999 in measures of:

• A number known to be generally rising precipitously at most university-level schools;
• The overall number of college-level students studying in various fields of design has increased perhaps ten-fold in the last 20 years or so;
• Art Center's applicant base, to stay abreast of this trend, should probably have increased at least as much;
• Secondly, the applicant base should show an increase somewhat proportionate to the increase in spending on public relations initiatives;
• Please provide and chart ANNUAL STUDENT APPLICATIONS as far back as statistics exist.

• Should be consistent, and "ivy-league-low", reflecting ACCD as a selective institution;
• Many posters and petition signers have claimed acceptance standards have become disturbingly lax;
• Furthermore, recent administration pronouncements that enrollment needs to increase quickly should be cause for concern;
• Please provide and chart THIS RATIO on an annual basis as far back as statistics exist.

• A low ratio here means lots of accepted students go elsewhere; the reason(s) need investigation and addressing: high tuition, loss of school's prestige, no available housing, etc.;
• Please provide and chart THIS RATIO on an annual basis as far back as statistics exist.

• Led by Harvard, many private institutions have recently announced a large increase in this ratio in favor of the students. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/22/opinion/22lehecka.html
• This should be happening at Art Center as well;
• Please provide and chart THESE AMOUNTS on an annual basis as far back as statistics exist.

• If this ratio is going down, the school's demonstrably not doing ITS job preparing grads to enter the workforce;
• Please provide and chart KNOWN JOB OFFERS on an annual basis as far back as statistics exist.

• 30 years ago, the typical starting salary for an ACCD grad would be ~$25K;
• 30 years ago, tuition was around $1,200...Assuming the total cost of an ACCD education was around $50K, the ratio was 1:2 with the job being a pretty good return on investment;
• If the same diploma now costs say, a total of $200K, but most design jobs start at $50K, the ROI has gone down and the education is not as relevant to the actual job market;
• Please provide and chart REPORTED STARTING SALARIES BY FIELD OF STUDY on an annual basis as far back as statistics exist.

• A good indicator of the efficiency of the school's operations;
• Art Center's admin has grown from around twenty or thirty staff members (1978) to over 200 today;
• Please provide and chart ADMINISTRATIVE VS. STUDENT HEADCOUNT RATIO on an annual basis as far back as statistics exist.

• A topic for another set of questions, but suffice it to say, administrative salaries, perks, travel budgets, "architectural office" expenses and the like all exist at schools that are comparable in size and scope to Art Center, and these numbers can be charted and compared - to determine whether ACCD's expenditures in these areas have been appropriate relative to its peer institutions.

An examination of the above statistics would help prove whether or not the Koshalek administration has operated the "business" of Art Center College of Design in a transparent, accountable, and customer-focused manner.

[Or, as has been alleged, it indeed preferred to pursue grandiose and ethereal architectural and fund-raising endeavors and has mismanaged the school's true educational priorities. Many have stated their belief that Nate Young was trying to bring this to light, track these metrics in a logical manner, and was forced to resign in defeat instead.]

If Art Center's metrics under Richard Koshalek are not trending positive - or are not forthcoming at all - a major house-cleaning is in order. It is the fiduciary and governance responsibility of the Trustees to obtain the relevant facts and numbers, and to act upon them to the benefit of the school's operations, its students, and its legacy.

Nathan said...

Reposted from a comment in my blog:

"Concerned Alumni"
If anyone can answer these questions it would be appreciated.

In a May 28 email Richard Koshalek stated: "that each task force will be comprised of a leader and 3-5 members of the Art Center community."

Leaders are specified below.

a.) Can anyone name the 3-5 members of each of the groups below
b.) What was the criteria for choosing the leaders and members of each group.

Thank you in advance for any answers, or these questions can be raised Tuesday.

- Enrollment Task Force / Leader: Mark Breitenberg

- Educational Task Force / Leader: Nik Hafermaas

-Technology Task Force / Leader: Rich Haluschak

- Educational, Administrative, Trustee Leadership Task Force / Leader: Jean Ford

Anonymous said...

a Question directed primarily towards the Educational Task Force (Nik Hafermaas, David Mocarski and other task members):

* It appears dangerous for an educational institution to function without a chief Academic officer (CAO), and could be worrisome to incoming students. Can you elaborate upon the current focus and plan of the task force.

* Please be specific about when and how many times you have met as a group, and if there might be a transcript of those meetings available.

* For example, is there a search for a new CAO, and if so how is the search progressing? Is there a plan for an interim (CAO) in the meantime?

* What do you see as the core job requirements and experience level of the new CAO

(I know Jean Ford is part of another Educational, Adminstrative task force. If she or members of her task force also have answers that would be great.)

thank you.

Anonymous said...

Why is that we promote sustainability yet we don't have a recycling program and our cafeteria uses styrofoam?

And why can't we be spending our tuition money to fix the facilities that we currently have instead of money for a building that I will never ever get to use?

Anonymous said...

Dear Richard,

Is it true that several past students and faculty members have been harassed and intimidated by the Art Center Administration for their activist behaviors.

Will you publicly pledge to refrain from supporting any such actions, and will you punish those within the adminitration that do take such actions?

Anonymous said...


Please join us in the Ahmanson Auditorium (overflow locations with live feed will be available in the LA Times Auditorium and the Faculty Dining Room):

Tuesday, June 10th, from 12:00-2:00pm

In addition, the event will be webcast at: http://stream.artcenter.edu/forum.sdp . (QuickTime 7.0 is required. For a free upgrade visit http://www.apple.com/quicktime .) Note, this link is only accessible from the Art Center network. You must be on campus or connected to the virtual private network (VPN) in order to view the Community Forum online. Following the event, a recording of the forum will be available on the Art Center website.

Anonymous said...

How many terminations or dismissals have occurred during RK administration, and is there a common theme to the reasoning behind these terminations? Are reasons/explanations offered? Are employees of Art Center afraid to express dissenting opinions?

Anonymous said...

Beware of "Task Forces". They are merely a stalling tactic designed to postpone discussions that could happen right now.

Anonymous said...

Three simple demands:



3) Make Andy Ogden the interim president until a new board can be seated and a President with an academic background can be recruited.