Welcome to the Future

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Where we are in May 2009

A brief update on where we are in May 2009:
  • The presidential search is well underway, and it is likely that a new president of the college will be in place for fall 2009
  • Interim president Frank Ellsworth has made major cuts in the administrative part of the school, saving literally millions of dollars
  • Faculty and students are participating in many of the major committees including budget and technology/facilities
  • A new mission statement is in development
  • The board of trustees is much reduced, but now composed of mostly active participants - it seems much of the rancor and disagreement is in the past
  • Building plans are currently on hold, but some expansion is still planned in the long run. The recent South Campus construction is wrapping up and grad programs are moving from the hillside into the wind tunnel, and new classrooms are opening in the basement.
  • There are still many things that need to be changed at the school including updating of curriculums, greater role of faculty in governance of the school, better policies and procedures, and perhaps most important, an updated vision of Art Center's role in the art and design world.
  • Financially, the school is okay for now, but needs to update its educational and business models in order to survive in the long run.
Lastly, it is clear to most in the school community that Art Center would have faced dire problems if the changes over the last year had not taken place. Non-education spending was out of control, priorities were misplaced, education was suffering, and the mission of the school was seriously out of sync with a productive future for the school. The causes for this can be debated, but we now face several years of rebuilding. Thanks to all who helped start these essential changes a year ago.

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