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Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Pasadena, California, September 24, 2008 … The Board of Trustees of Art Center College of
Design announced today that they have reached an agreement with Richard Koshalek allowing
for Mr. Koshalek to be released from his position as president of the College prior to his contract
term date (December 2009). With this agreement, Mr. Koshalek’s departure from the College’s
Board of Trustees is effective immediately.

“We honor Richard’s request to leave early and want to thank him for the hard work and
dedication he has shown over the past nine years,” said John Puerner, Chairman, Board of
Trustees, Art Center College of Design. “Richard’s commitment to educational excellence and
the value of design education in the world is truly noteworthy, and we wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”

“It has been a great privilege to lead this important institution and to work with the College’s
talented students, faculty and staff,” said Mr. Koshalek. “Throughout its history, Art Center has
been a leader in art and design education, and I have no doubt this will continue to be the case
well into the future.”

While the Board of Trustees has already launched the search for a new president, they have
recognized the need to appoint an interim president as soon as possible. Meanwhile, the
College’s senior management team will report directly to the Board of Trustees.
“The trustees are moving swiftly to secure interim leadership to ensure a smooth transition,” said Mr. Puerner. “This will also enable the search committee to focus their full attention on finding a permanent president who can lead Art Center into the future while meeting the
curricular and programmatic needs of our students.”

The presidential search committee, which was organized several months ago, is headed by
Trustee Robert Davidson and is comprised of a broad representation of key Art Center
stakeholders, including trustees, faculty members, students, and administration. The committee
has begun working on identifying the qualities the College will seek in candidates for the
presidency, including a strong track record of successful leadership in the academic world or in
industry, a deep understanding and appreciation of design and the creative process, and the
ability to articulate and implement a strong strategic vision for Art Center.


Anonymous said...

OK, time for transparency:

How "Golden" was his parachute?

Anonymous said...

Just curious:

Does ANYONE know anyone who is part of the "broad representation of key Art Center stakeholders" who have been invited to be part of the search committee? One would think that word of the identity of such stakeholders would have trickeled down the line by now.

Anonymous said...

Is the Future of Art Center on the search committee?

Ophelia Chong said...

no the FOAC is not on the search committee. Interesting note that it didn't mention Alumni on the committee.

Ophelia Chong said...

We will see the parachute in the IRS 990 in about a year.

Anonymous said...

"broad representation of key Art Center stakeholders"

That's a euphemism for "the board and people who will kiss their a$$ except Jill"

I vote for Ophelia

Anonymous said...

" One would think that word of the identity of such stakeholders would have trickeled down the line by now."

Why should it have to trickle down? Why shouldn't we know who is on this already formed committee? Why are these names not listed as part of the public communication? Are student government and Faculty Council on there?

Anonymous said...

No Alumni representation? Fine. I don't need you anymore Art Center. You only needed me when my money was greener (and funded by government-backed student loans).

Anonymous said...

"Sunshine is the best disinfectant"

Open up the books. Expose them to sunshine. Honesty now will help build trust again later.

Let us know what you paid him to leave (-vs- what his contract called for).

Art Center is contaminated and needs disinfecting. We do not trust you anymore.

Future of Art Center said...

Regarding the search committee for the new president, this is what I've heard: There is a rep from the student council, the faculty council, and the chairs group (or whatever they call themselves). Each of these reps was elected by their piers, so it is wrong to characterize them as sucking up to the board. Others on the search committee include Jean Ford (head of HR), and about half the board members. I haven't heard one way or the other about an alumni rep, though it's likely that one or more of the board members on the committee is an alumni.

Why the board hasn't announced the members of the committee is a mystery. Just more of the same ineptness and lack of respect for the college community. And where is the news about all the task forces? What are they doing?

Future of Art Center said...

Regarding the departure of RK, well, finally! But the board had better act quickly in appointing an interim president, or the severe lack of leadership right now will really start to corrode the school. The latest rumors are that Frank Ellsworth, a former Pitzer College (one of the nearby Claremont Colleges) president is going to be the interim guy.

How about people here start making suggestions for the new interim president? A few to get started:

1) Make a clear statement to the students, faculty, alumni and staff that from now on the college will be more transparent and communicative with them. Start by holding a public forum that explains the current status of the college, and then listens to the concerns of the community.

2) Immediately spend money on visible improvements to the educational environment - these should be things that students and faculty experience as part of the day-to-day educational experience.

3) Embark on a comprehensive review of spending with an eye towards focusing the school's budget on high quality education and recruitment, and the elimination of high-cost, low benefit spending and staff.

Anonymous said...

Look at what is happening on Wall Street and on Capitol Hill right now. The leaders of these institutions lied and lied and lied about their financial exposure. All the way up until they could not hide things anymore and they scrambled to find rescuers (us).

It's really not much different than what is happening at Art Center today. We have a community that is seeking transparency and a leadership that is resisting while maintaining that all is just fine.

All is not fine.

Anonymous said...

FYI---There are 3 alumni on the search committee--Ann Burdick, Kit Heinrichs and Tim Kobe. A full list of names can be found on the Art Center forum site under "Announcements"

Future of Art Center said...

Presidential Search Committee Members Announced

September 25, 2008

Robert C. Davidson, Committee Chair (Bob)
Kit Hinrichs*
William D. Horsfall (Bill)
Timothy M. Kobe* (Tim)
Samuel J. Mann (Sam)
John P. Puerner, Board Chairman
Judy C. Webb

Art Center Department Chair Representative
Anne Burdick*, Chair, Graduate Media Design

Art Center Faculty Council Representative
Thea Petchler, Director of Writing,
Humanities and Design Sciences Faculty

Art Center Student Council Representative
Jillian Mamey, ACSG Vice President and Secretary,
Fine Art-Photography major

Art Center Staff Representative
Jean L. Ford, Senior VP, Human Resources and Trustee Relations

* Art Center alumni

Anonymous said...

Wonderful. All 3 alumni are "insiders", meaning that they are either people with a financial incentive for themselves (as Art Center employees) or they are current board members. Hinrichs' firm has earned plenty from his connections as a board member.

I hate to sound permanently negative, but this is a crappy list. And just one current student? Unacceptable.

Anonymous said...

As far as Jillian, I'm sure she feels great about being included, but she is also the sole student on the education task force too. Clearly, the board only wants to work with those who somehow make them feel comfortable. So if they are going to consult students, they are going to consult with just ONE student. And they will outnumber her with so many others, that her student voice will be well-drowned.

What about some alumni that have no financial/professional connection to the school other than caring about its future direction?

Future of Art Center said...

Again, the Board did not choose the reps from faculty, students, and chairs - they were elected by their respective organizations. So it is wrong to say that the board is somehow picking Jillian to work with. I agree that it would be better to have an outside alumni member, but the committee membership could have been much worse and more closed. The real test is how they operate.

One can hope that the final candidates will give job talks to the entire community and that the search committee will be open to input from everyone about the final candidates.