- What are things that symbolize sustainability to you (for example, recycling bins)?
- What are actions that people can do individually?
- What are actions Art Center as an institution take?
Welcome to the Future
Friday, June 27, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
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!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Note: The previous "Full Speed Ahead" statement has been revised to more appropriate language. We thank the college for this.
Not sure what message the Board of Trustees is trying to send, but they released a statement saying they are moving full speed with the current Master Plan. They've also pointed to the City of Pasadena's site for the full application ACCD submitted. There is a lot of information in this application. We've included a couple images of the DRC and site plan below.
A few points to consider:
- Submitting plans to the city and making an EIR (Environmental Impact Report) is a long and expensive process. It may be the board decided to submit what they had as a maximum plan, which they can always pull back from later.
- Whatever the Board's intention, they and the school are SO STUPID about communications! What are they thinking? A few days before, Puerner states that they are reevaluating priorities, and then they come out with a statement like this ("full speed ahead") without any explanation of why, or how this relates to earlier statements, or if they are rejecting all the protests. It is a complete slap in the face to the entire Art Center community, and is evidence of the continued complete lack of respect the Board and college has for its constituents.
- If you look at the description of the DRC on the city's site (check especially Chapter 2, Project Description PDF), you'll see that besides the sculpture-like glass atrium, the building is nothing really special, and is hardly ideal for its intended uses. They've spread the library over 4 or 5 stories, and divided by the artrium. There are just two large rooms for "fabrication and assembly" and "reverse engineering" - whatever that means. Lastly, there is an outdoor "design exhibit area", which doesn't make any sense at all. While it is covered by the atrium, it is exposed to the outside with no security - so anything exhibited there would have to be behind glass. But we make tangible things at Art Center - putting them behind glass makes them remote and is just a terrible idea.
- The DRC is just under 50,000 sq. ft. So at $50 million, that's $1,000/sq. ft. That's an expensive building. CORRECTION: A anon poster has indicated that the $50M would cover the building cost plus FFE (furniture, fixtures, and equipment), plus an operations endowment.
- The plan calls for an increase of 400 students, with a corresponding increase of only 10 faculty. Huh? a 40 to 1 ratio?
Sunday, June 22, 2008
By Janette Williams, Staff Writer
PASADENA — Richard Koshalek, the high-profile, hard-driving president of Art Center College of Design since 1999, will not have his contract renewed when it expires in 18 months.
John Puerner, chairman of the college's 16-member Board of Trustees, speaking from his home in Santa Fe on Saturday, said the college was in the process of "crafting a communication to deliver to the Art Center community" in the next few days.
"We will provide communication ... using a new forum created by Art Center, a new on-line forum created to speak to students and faculty," Puerner said while declining to comment until Art Center staff and students are informed of the board's action.
Puerner later said he was not confirming Koshalek's contract would not be renewed.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
1) If you approve the status quo you will send the wrong message to the ACCD community and damage the reputation and viability of the school. There is a clear desire for change, both from inside and outside the institution. Those involved in the day to day education - students, faculty and staff - are clearly expressing a desire for a new direction. Those outside - alumni, donors, and employers - want the quality of the graduates to achieve higher excellence and the school to influence art and design far into the future. You must approve changes to the school's direction, or the community will directly question why the Board ignored this unprecedented outpouring of support for change.
2) The school must reorient itself towards inventing new approaches to 21st century art and design education. This must be the first priority, after which, expansion and new buildings can be considered in the context of these new modes of education. Certainly the existing facilities must be used to their fullest - the graduate programs should move to South Campus and the Ellwood building should be restored. But new development must follow educational goals, not the other way around.
3) Fund raising and the management of the budget must refocus on scholarships, recruitment, enhancing the classroom experience, developing new curriculum, and supporting faculty. The institutional emphasis on new construction has drained education and damaged the environment for instruction.
4) Art Center is an educational institution, not a for-profit business and not a monument on the hill. The hiring of a world class, experienced educational provost is of utmost importance. This educational leader must be independent and able to inspire, challenge, and leverage the incredible knowledge and commitment of the faculty and chairs. In addition, this person should be focused on education, and it may be advisable to split off some of the responsibilities that the CAO position has to a separate operational role.
5) Sustainability, design thinking, design research, social engagement, and an international perspective are all important, but the school needs to integrate them into actual education and college practices rather than simply talking about them or creating a few token activities for PR effect. The school should engage in meaningful ways or it will have no impact. In particular, the school should work with other educational institutions to build new best practices instead of operating in isolation. The best success is for the school to produce thoughtful practitioners for the future.
Thank you for your consideration.
Friday, June 20, 2008
With all this in mind, where do we start?
Bring the faculty together offsite to meet one another. Unity is built through handshakes not email.
Students need smaller class sizes. Maintenance on the existing buildings. There's nothing more irritating than a lawsuit for a trip and fall on broken tile that a student gave administration notice on during a video taped open forum.
Cut the International Initiatives budget and give back to the Educational budget. At this point a few trips to Spain would pay a new teacher's salary. Two staff people going to Milan would pay a part time teacher's salary. What good is a conference in Barcelona to a student when no one views the website? And when can a student afford $345 to attend their own sponsored Serious Play conference? Isn't the whole mission of that conference is to bring the world to ACCD? How can you do that by excluding your own faculty and students by charging them to attend?
Let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. Staff is constantly getting caught off guard on directives that were known to Administration for days or weeks.
Take a few positions from Communications and Marketing to Student Scholarship.
Twenty two in C +M compared to five in Scholarship. Where's our priorities?
I will be working with the site "future of art center" to bring a positive side to the issues at ACCD. Now that we have aired our laundry, it's time to bring the passion that we all feel about ACCD back into a positive light. I will be interviewing students and showing their work on that site. We are a great college, lets show it.
And Richard keep your door open, there's a line forming.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
1) Immediately allocate resources to make the student educational experience better. Fix the leaky roof, make the cafeteria more green, replace the falling-apart furniture, bring back popular & necessary classes that have been cut, cap classroom size (as appropriate per departments), create a better recycling program, take student complaints seriously, etc.
2) Create a 21st education initiative that challenges the faculty, chairs, and students to do a complete rethink of art and design education for the 21st century. This is not only about technology, but about merging the craft and finish traditions of ACCD with the thinking and making that has the deep concept, strategy, experimentation, and speculation that is needed by industry, art, design, as well as the larger world of policy and sustainability. ACCD graduates need to be great designers and artists, makers, leaders, and experimenters, change agents and entrepreneurs.
3) Recommit to high admissions standards in line with the historic quality of Art Center students, plus offer Art Center at Night and early term courses to bring the student work to a higher level. Also commit to a cap on total enrollment at a level that the facilities can handle.
4) Create a comprehensive sustainability plan with both immediate changes (e.g. better recycling, replace incandescent lights with fluorescents), and long term plans (e.g. solar panels).
5) Set aside the plans for the DRC and create a new top priority capital campaign and construction plan to improve the Ellwood building - fix the infrastructure, earthquake retrofit, make it energy efficient, improve the technology, make the classrooms and studios better, create an independent “plant,” and make it more accessible. Consider including in this plan a low cost structure on the Hillside campus that can house additional studios and classrooms. As a symbol of Art Center and a historic building, the Ellwood fund raising campaign can leverage the interests of alumni, corporations and others who appreciate the history and output of the school, as well as those who want to support the new 21st educational initiative outlined above.
6) Revise the current Master Plan. Implement new and more open ways of involving faculty, staff and alumni in the planning process, and communicate better with the community about planning. Use this new approach to create a new mission statement and goals for education. Then create a revised Master Plan for education and building that embodies this mission and goals.
7) Redouble fund-raising efforts for scholarships and the endowment to help improve the incoming student quality and diversity. Also create a new education campaign to raise money for more full-time faculty, advanced faculty training, and the implementation of the new 21st century curriculum.
8) Review the financial allocations across the school, and refocus funds to best support education and the new priorities of the school.
9) Start an international search for an education provost with experience in art/design education and who has the leadership skills to help the school develop and implement a new educational vision.
10) Increase the number of full time faculty. In order to develop a modern 21st century curriculum, faculty must be in place who can afford to invest the time to brainstorm about the best approach to curriculum, develop new courses, and who can mentor part-time faculty in the new approach. Along with this, the school needs to invest significantly in faculty training.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
1) May 14, Wed – Nathan Cooke posted a blog post criticizing the status quo at Art Center. He emailed the post to Richard Kosalek, President of Art Center, some senior administration, some faculty and students of Ecocouncil. Read the post here.
2) May 15, Thur – Nate Young, Chief Academic Officer, turned in his resignation. (note: this was coincidental to the blog post)
3) May 15, Thur - Erica Clark (Senior VP, International Initiatives) and Iris Gelt (Senior VP, Marketing and Communications) had a conference call with Nathan Cooke. They asked him to retract his statement. He did not. They claimed his facts were off, he asked them for the correct information. They did not provide it.
4) The blog post spread virally, among students, alumni, faculty, and administration. People started commenting with their critiques on the current direction of Art Center. Post your concerns here.
5) May 28, Wed - ACSG (Art Center Student Government) held a town hall in the cafeteria at Art Center for students to voice their concerns. Rachel Tiede (Nate Young’s Assistant) spoke up at the student forum in defense of Nate Young, saying that he left because he did not agree with the direction the school was going. She was dismissed without options for further employment by HR after this (confirmed on June 5, Thursday, letter from Rachel). Videos available here.
7) May 31, Sat - An online petition to the Board of Trustees was started, asking for the prioritization of education over all other projects. Read and sign it at www.accdpetition.com
8) June 1, Sun - Legacy Circle Photo is posted at Artcenter.edu with Nate Young (the dismissed VP Education/Chief Academic Officer) airbrushed out. When questioned about it, the older photo with Nate was reposted. Iris Gelt apologizes June 4, saying it was an inadvertent accident that happened while readjusting faculty lists. Read more here (has before and after photos) and here.
9) June 3, Tue - Alumni Potluck in Cafeteria started by Ophelia Chong (an alumni), for current students to connect with Alumni. Richard Koshalek was in attendance
11) June 19, Thur - Board of Trustees Meeting at South Campus, with concurrent Silent Protest by students organized by ACSG.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I have always planned on setting the record straight concerning my dismissal from Art Center last week, however I needed to take care of a few things before that was possible.
Over the last 10 years I have worked for three different departments at Art Center (my last position being the Executive Assistant to the Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer), through this I have come to know and respect many of the students, faculty, staff, and alumni. I have a great love for this school and never imagined this is how I would leave. The current administration would have you believe I left on my own accord to pursue other career goals. THIS IS NOT TRUE. In my final meeting with Human Resources I was told I could not work in any other department on campus and my only option was to leave. This happened less than 24 hours after I stood up in the student meeting in the cafeteria and explained why Nate Young resigned from his position as Executive Vice President and Chief Academic Officer.
In the ACSG meeting last Friday, Richard Koshalek stated that Human Resources asked me to come work for them and wanted me to stay at Art Center. Again I emphatically state that THIS IS NOT TRUE. Human Resources did ask that the temp (Francis) working in our office at the time stay on and work, but I was not given that as an option. Though I have been told by legal council and others that I have serious grounds for a law suit, I have decided against this course of action at this time as the only ones who would suffer and pay are the students.
I wish you all the best, you have my full support to make education the top priority at Art Center.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- The DRC (Gehry building) would be composed of three parts: the shops, a library, and an atrium
- Why Gehry? Branding, best of class design of building, draw donations, international exposure
- The construction plan would include a central plant for Ellwood and Gehry buildings - i.e. A/C, Heating, etc allowing equipment to be removed from roof of Ellwood. This allows for solar on the roof of Ellwood
- Would be an inexpensive building, like a design studio
- More involved in faculty hires, including international searchs
- Work more closely with faculty & students
- Better communication with faculty, alumni, students
- Build the Board of Trustees - more diversity, more design focus
- Sees competition as Stanford D-School, CMU, Ohio State, MIT, U of Minnesota, RCA
- $75M raised since 1999
- $25M of that went to endowment
- Endowment was $16M in 1999, is now $42M, next goal is $60M (typically, less than 5% can be spent each year, i.e. $2.1M of current - this was not stated in meeting - just typical for endowments)
- 90% of endowment goes to scholarships
- Last year, $1.4M raised for scholarships
- Last year, education budget was $25.4M, went over budget by $1.1M, blamed implicitly on Nate Young, and technology went over budget as well
- From 2003 to 2007 education budget increased by 24.6%
- Changes to the Cafeteria will be implemented in the next few weeks - no details of what those changes are
- South campus is LEED approved
- Gehry building would be sustainably built and operated