Note: The previous "Full Speed Ahead" statement has been revised to more appropriate language. We thank the college for this.
The meeting today with Koshalek and Hafermaas was mostly positive, and indicative of the long term, fundamental changes underway. Koshalek discussed his departure in 18 months, and Hafermaas discussed the education committee and his desire for change, increased transparency, and for a diversity of educational thinking. While some may decry the outpouring of criticism that occurred on the blogs and elsewhere, the essential changes going on would have never happened without that critique. We believe the college is on a new path that has very high potential.
Regarding the DRC and Master Plan, it is now pretty clear that the "full speed ahead" announcement was more an oddly motivated distortion of what's going on, than any indication that the Board is going back on its word to reevaluate the building plans - and all indications are that the DRC is now a dead project. Patricia Oliver, though unnecessarily defensive, indicated in the meeting that it was about the EIR (environmental impact report) being moved ahead. Thanks to Jason for pressing the point - you didn't get an appropriate answer, but in a self-defeating way, it seems difficult for many in the administration to admit mistakes. By the way, there was a very interesting radio broadcast today on KCRW regarding the DRC that included art critic Edward Goldman, LA Times architecture critic Christopher Hawthorne, and Patricia Oliver.
So we're pushing the previous post and discussion on the Master Plan down the page, and would like everyone to get back to the more urgent task at hand - contributing to the future planning. In particular, please make in-depth comments on the best characteristics of the new President and Provost/CAO. Just saying these people should be Alumni or be able to raise funds does not dig very deep. As a provocation, perhaps comment on the recent and controversial appointment of John Maeda to be the new president of RISD. Was this a good move for them? Is that kind of appointment a good model for us? Why do you think he was appointed? What kind of qualifications does he have?