Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Serious Trash

[UPDATE: June 7, 2008. I have started posting on the Future of Art Center blog, and encourage the dialogue to shift over there. For those joining the conversation, there is a post summarizing events so far]

Serious Play was the latest in a series of bi-annual conferences hosted by Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, around the theme ‘Stories from the Source.’ It is part of an initiative from the top brass to position Art Center as a forward thinking school in competition with schools like Carnegie Mellon, Stanford D and others, equipping students with cross-disciplinary tool kits for the world of tomorrow.


As stated by Richard Koshalek, President of Art Center, Serious Play is an important event that strategically places Art Center within the global community of design and education. And as he quoted Erica Clark (the other person responsible for the ‘Stories from the Source’ Series), “isolation breeds irrelevance.”


Well, as a student of Art Center, and as a participant in the conference, I have a story, from the source. Art Center is in danger of becoming highly irrelevant to the very world it is trying to influence. This conference, along with Art Center’s ‘Sustainability Summit,’ is an example of Art Center continuing to present two separate faces to the world. While touting its desire to be a leader that prepares students for the world tomorrow, Art Center lacks any understanding of what that world will be. Or at least, lacks the legs to walk the path it loves to talk about.


Anyone who attended the Sustainability Summit was lucky enough to drink from glass cups and eat off ceramic plates for the dinners and snacks provided throughout. They also had the option of some recycling bins to place recyclable trash accumulated over the few days. Unfortunately, the people attending the three-day summit had more options to recycle and be responsible than the students who attend Art Center on a daily basis. The Art Center Cafeteria still uses Styrofoam plates, in spite of numerous efforts by select faculty and students for two years to change this. We know how to change this. We also know how to reduce the amount of waste we generate. And we know how to substantially improve our recycling rate beyond the standard 50%. Money has been cited as the limiting factor to this, but I can respect that only so much.


Student tuition has been raised 5% consistently over these past two years so that Art Center can “remain competitive,” or so the little letter I receive in the mail states. Well, I’m glad someone in Art Center was able to find the $385,068 in 2005 to pay Gehry Partners to design our new “advanced technical center.” A facility that has yet to break ground, and will not be finished before any attending student graduates. With a net loss of $128,955 reported in 2005, it’s not surprising that the 2008 Car Classic got cancelled. For that much money, we could hire an entry level Senior Officer who advises solely on Sustainability, and one-day work their way up to our President’s $439,950 2005 compensation. I haven’t seen the latest Form 990 from Art Center I’ll be naively optimistic and hope that these prices have been adjusted to remain “competitive.”


I’m not saying that it is as simple as cutting our president’s salary in half. I respect that he was worked hard to get where he is, and this is his earned compensation. I could simply not pay my tuition, as the popular thing to do now is “vote with my wallet.” That would take me out of their conversation completely (though one in which I feel I am already ignored to a serious degree). That option is comparable to walking away from the negotiation table before everyone has been invited. We have to affect change in our immediate spheres of influence. We have to be willing to make an effort. And I would very much like a return on my investment so far.


I want a degree, I want it to come from a place I respect, and will continue to respect in the future. I fell in love with Art Center before knowing its problems. The face that I fell in love with still exists, there’s just a bit more to her than I first realized. True to that love, I want to help out, if only my partner would admit to the problem and make an effort her self. Art Center is infamous for being demanding and destroying the relationships of its student body, but I think this is one relationship I can do something about. I just need a little help myself figuring out how to do so. And then maybe together walk the talk, hand in hand.


Information from:

Art Center Waste Stream Analysis 2007

Art Center 2005 Tax Form 990

Art Center Tuition Raise Information Letter

1,352 comments:

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Anonymous said...

I agree about the Ellwood building. Whenever I visit Art Center, I love winding onto campus and seeing that dramatic bridge, and the way it fits into the landscape. But, the Ellwood building was cut-rate, bargain basement inexpensive imitation. Check out these images:

http://tinyurl.com/3c3ew3

http://tinyurl.com/5gkxuh

They're the original, Crown Hall at Illinois Institute of Technology by Mies van der Rohe, designed in 1940. Art Center is the copy. Craig Ellwood wasn't even an architect, and his name wasn't Craig Ellwood, it was Jon Nelson Burke. Craig Ellwood was the name of a liquor store on Beverly Blvd that he adopted. An architect named James Tyler actually designed Art Center. Google it.

The point, to this discussion, is that good architecture, while absolutely important to the image of an art and design school, should not be the extravagent tail that wags the budgetary dog. Education first. Witness the reportedly near $2,000,000 Art Center has paid to date to Gehry's firm just for drawings and models. Where do you think that money came from? Where do you think the money to pay back the debt for building South Campus comes from -- every year? Where did the million bucks over budget for Sinclair Pavilion come from? Who pays for the Planning & Architecture Office? No tuition for architecture? Cooking the facts...

Anonymous said...

I agree about the Ellwood building. Whenever I visit Art Center, I love winding onto campus and seeing that dramatic bridge, and the way it fits into the landscape. But, the Ellwood building was cut-rate, bargain basement inexpensive imitation. Check out these images:

http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/iit/crownentrance2.jpg

http://www.bluffton.edu/~sullivanm/iit/crownback.jpg

They're the original, Crown Hall at Illinois Institute of Technology by Mies van der Rohe, designed in 1940. Art Center is the copy. Craig Ellwood wasn't even an architect, and his name wasn't Craig Ellwood, it was Jon Nelson Burke. Craig Ellwood was the name of a liquor store on Beverly Blvd that he adopted. An architect named James Tyler actually designed Art Center. Google it.

The point, to this discussion, is that good architecture, while absolutely important to the image of an art and design school, should not be the extravagent tail that wags the budgetary dog. Education first. Witness the reportedly near $2,000,000 Art Center has paid to date to Gehry's firm just for drawings and models. Where do you think that money came from? Where do you think the money to pay back the debt for building South Campus comes from -- every year? Where did the million bucks over budget for Sinclair Pavilion come from? Who pays for the Planning & Architecture Office? No tuition for architecture? Cooking the facts...

Anonymous said...

Oops, apologies for the double post.

In term said...

Since we have all these information and some people seem to be willing to testify, can we make lawsuit against administration for fraud or something...? It seems like we are not getting our money worth, and I feel like I want some back!

Anonymous said...

Yes it's true great students lead to greater endowments... that is, of course, if the greater students fondly remember the school. Problem is most of the graduates are sooo angry that they never want to see or hear of ACCD again. The other side of that argument is that ACCD grads rarely become the captains of industry with the responsibility of writing big check.

First order of business: no one is to do anything that pisses off a student or grad.

Anonymous said...

How is it that no one has figured out that the Student Aid Office could become the funnel for money coming into the school? If the SAO were proactive about funding, the stream could be endless. The times that I have been in to see them, they've told me there is nothing they can do. Absurd. Mr K, if you feel the urge to fire someone...

What if each student, upon entering, answered a questionnaire or background inventory, and this data set was compared to a data set of available monies nation wide / world wide. Ultimately connecting the dots, students to money. It would seem that this would have the effect of a dynamic or virtual endowment.

Oh would somebody please explain the advantage of NGO status... is so that we can offer international tax credits?

lili melikian said...

hey Nathan just wanted to show my support of this issue and assure you that your not in it alone. You just happened to say what we've all been thinking. The matter here is that the student body is very unsatisfied with the way the school has been run. And something should be done to change his. I have been attending Art Center courses since 2003 and feel that the situation at school has gradually been getting worse. More students and less resources, more talented teachers leaving and weird curriculum changes not to mention a whole new level of bureaucracy surrounding what classes you can take. The reason I came to Art Center was because of the Alumni and Teachers I met through the ArtCenter at Night program not because of the buildings we had classes in, infact most of those meetings took place in the rancid annex building, so it was more about the people not the building. I think Koshalek should take the money he raised for the gehry building and reinvest it in the current students to set things right again and bring some peace to the situation. Because he should have been spending that time raising money for us and not the new addition. sorry if i ranted on but I just had to contribute something as a current student because I am sick of just sitting idly by and watching this school go down the drain.

lee bolton said...

I have to ask, what exactly does ACSG expect to do at this meeting? Are you going to sit there and listen to us and/or present us with explanations for our issues? Or are you going to take the legitimate issues forward and voice the concerns of the people?

- So far it sounds like a fact finding mission. I hope that ACSG plans to show resolve and take a stand one way or another.

Anonymous said...

Lee, thank you for that. Talk is fine, but the administration is counting on students to hear their answers and then go politely away. Change at Art Center will only come from action, from leveraging a collective voice.

8:23 asked about NGO status. "Non-Governmental Organization," sanctioned by the UN. Much has been made by Koshalek et al, who get orgasmic at the mention of anything international, of Art Center being the first design school ever granted NGO designation. Well, I don't guess there's a long line of competitive design schools yearning to achieve such a status. There's a reason we're the only one. Still, Mariana Amatulo can be proud of having made this happen. It's fine to have done it, but the sad truth is it doesn't amount to much.

The PR gushing and inflated hype surrounding being an NGO, like everything else Koshalek does, is much greater than the actual reality.

Anonymous said...

I was at the "Sustainability Summit" also. Has anyone considered what the carbon-footprint of the summit was? They had thousands of watts of lights and equipment running, and people flew gas-guzzling jumbo jets from all around the world to attend. Wake up, silly art students! All of Art Center's "enlightened" and "forward thinking" crap is purely a PR campaign designed to line the pockets of the administrators. Why should administrators get paid six figures while good, talented teachers get fired?

Anonymous said...

Just adding my two cents about the Ellwood building:

When I first experienced the Hillside campus, I was disappointed. I had romantic notions of what the Art Center campus, filled with some of the most creative thinkers in the world, would be like. Instead, it was cold, grey, and I'm fairly certain that some of the drab florescent lighting was flickering impotently as I walked down the halls. There was not a single art work that was not safely enclosed within glass cases, or hung on gallery walls, not a single remanent of spontaneous creativity. I had sensed, as soon as I entered, a certain repression by the establishment. I know that the "concept" of the building is the student are supposed to be the colors or some BS like that, which I don't buy. And now to find that the Ellwood building was a copy.. it makes me laugh. I learned to love Hillside campus (I don't think I'll ever feel the same for South campus) because of my times here.

Something I've discovered is that this institution makes it very difficult for students to really pursue creativity outside of the norm (as we all know, there is creativity that's inside the norm; novelty).

Anonymous said...

A comment about "tuition for architecture." It seems to me that if campus expansion and construction are part of a private educational institution's master plan, there is nothing intrinsically wrong with tuition revenue helping pay for some parts of it.

The reality is that it takes more than faculty and student services to run a college, and tuition helps service the whole enterprise, not just those parts in direct contact with students.

Koshalek's use of tuition in this way is not the problem -- however, his lying about it is. The administration should be honest and say "some tuition for architecture," and defend the necessity of allocating resources in this way.

However, their natural reflex seems to be to lie and curry favor, to inflate the truth to be a rosier shade of pink rather than admit to any truth the may elicit a negative response. Thus their hypersensitivity to criticism of the Serious Play conference by Nathan's original post, and their attempt at retaliation. It's all about controlling the PR image. In psychology, such a pattern of lying is called pathological, not "good marketing."

HOTPANTS said...

the faculty and staff from top to bottom

Hi,
One warning for those who won't read further :
People like Koshalac are Politics. They have practiced all their life how to divert people form they goals. They earn their expensive living on the back of their audience. They will do whatever it takes to protect their position. As a rebel, we shall never trust. WATCH OUT for their maneuvres !

I dont know why it all reminds me of all the 6 episods of Starwars.

Wonderfull talk is going on here, although so many good points, There is so much to add here. Thanks Nat for holding it, although your name shall not be put ahead. Nathan Be Protected.

KEEP FOCUS ON WHERE IS THE PROBLEM.
We pay too much. Issues are never fixed, but useless crusades (new buildings) are launched at unaffordable cost, due to nice speaches. etc...
Sustainability is treated as a joke, our hears bashed with it every minute.

I will not concentrate here on problems and solution, but I will try to analise and segment the market here, to better understand the situation.
BTW this is a very interesting design project.


about me.
I am a regular student here.
I have two different schools behind me, one of them industrial design, and also some work experience. So I can compare.
Why Am I now here in Artcenter ? It has the highest concentration of interesting people I have ever seen. Its potential of action is totally incredible. It just seems to waste it deliberatly because the head has no clue about the business.


COMPETITORS SCHOOL
The other schools don't revere artcenter anymore. They laugh at it.
It is not even on the benchmark thes days. Some of them even despise it (with envy ?).


INDUSTRY
The people in the business don't come to artcenter anymore. Main reason is the lack of talented people.
Second reason is the repetitiveness over the years. What the students will come up with is predictable.


FACULTY
I spoke privately with extensive faculty (10 of them, some up to rank N+2 above the average teacher) They all complain even more about it all than the students. Most of the faculty is ACCD alumni, by the way, that is how they understand the situation and the student point of view so well. But if they stand up they will fall, and fail to do what they love the most : make artcenter an incredible place. So they shut up

BTW A fair amount of the *anonymous* here are faculty, and their kind support is of such solid strength.



ALUMNI
Why so many alumni from the past LOVE artcenter and why so many alumni and students from recent times RESENT it ?


STUDENTS
There is no school who will teach you how to become a designer (quote from Gustave Courbet : I cannot teach you how to become an artist).

Students live in the fear of wasted money and incertain future. It totaly blocks their creativity and self confidence, two absolute required qualities of the designer.

Students here come and expect the school to teach them everything and make of them good designers. they laboriously learn A+B how to do things. That is boring don't you see that ? It is how you become mediocre and repetitive.

I have seen many students with no talent and no clue coming to croud the classes. Why ? Their parents have money, and there is the need to fill the classes. Tuition is so HIGH that talented broke people attend other schools. Industry is looking for talents, not high tuition.

Some say I wish I had an internship. WAKE UP !!! You are not here paying 8 x 15 000 $ to wish you were a trainee !! Someone is stealing your dreams, Someone is taking advantage of your youth and ingenuousness.

I am very sad many of today's students are going to face such disappointment. That is partially them being blind, and partially the school system taking full advantage of them. It is a very serious threat on the long term for the extensive Art Center community

What you come at school for :
1 Practice
2 Exchange with fellow peers (including classmates and faculty) They have the experience, you have the future : both need each other.
3 Learn the tools to express your ideas (but only YOU have the ideas, that is what no school will ever teach)
4 step outside with confidence


I hope my little contribution helped. Please come strong and don't give up until the issues are FIXED

S: another Jedi.

Anonymous said...

If Art Center wants to be competitive, the goal of the board should be to DECREASE the tuition.
That would show efficiency.
My correct tuition for an amazing school like Art Center would be :

10 000 $

What is yours ?

I believe that for that money we would attract the best talents from all over the world, and shine for the bright ideas we bring to the world, and not sound like a bunch of megalomaniacs on acid.

Another Jedi.

Anonymous said...

This notice was sent to residents in the Art Center neighborhood from the Linda Vista~Annandale Association

ART CENTER ALERT!

The deadline for submitting your individual comments and thoughts to the City of Pasadena for the Art Center College of Design Draft Environmental Impact Report [EIR] is Tuesday, May 27, 2008. Emails and documents must reach the City by 5:00PM on the 27th.

Please send your comments to:

Mr. Robert Avila, Planner
Department of Planning
RE: Art Center Master Plan
175 N. Garfield Ave.
Pasadena, CA 91109

Email: ravila@cityofpasadena.net

Fax comments to: 626.396.7797

Only written comments will make it into the permanent record that will eventually go to the City Council.

Opposition Background

Members of the Linda Vista-Annandale Association (LVAA) Board have appeared on behalf of the neighborhood at the Historic Preservation Commission, the Transportation Advisory Commission, the Design Commission and the Planning Commission. In all cases, the Commissions have been very open to our concerns and have concurred that the issues we have raised need to be addressed by the City.

The areas of greatest concern to the LVAA are:

- Traffic, traffic, traffic, and safety: the proposed 400-student increase will produce 1,000 more daily trips;
- The out-of-scale and out-of-context new Library and Research Center: to be 98 feet high (40 feet higher than other buildings), with a 38-foot translucent atrium reflecting daylight and glowing at night;
- The massive, five-story, 529-space parking structure and the excess parking availability it will create on the campus, inviting single-occupant vehicles; and
- The failure of the City to examine the zero carbon footprint requirements of the State of California's Global Warming Solutions Act (AB 32).

Essentially, the City is being asked to give Art Center a development agreement that will reach 25 years into the future. We believe all the issues we have raised should be studied, with proper mitigation offered in the final EIR, to ensure there is no net increase in trips to the campus and that the Art Center must be subject to all the applicable provisions of AB 32, particularly with regard to provisions to require that the project leave a zero or less impact on the carbon footprint of the campus.

If you are looking for key thoughts to convey to the City, please feel free to use these:

- Art Center should be required to structure its proposed project so that (1) there will be no new net parking over that currently provided on campus and (2) no new net traffic trips over the current baseline will result from the project, including, but not limited to, removing in its entirety the proposed parking structure from the proposed project.

If you would like to become familiar with how seriously inadequate we believe the Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR) is, please send Sharon Yonashiro an email and she will send you a copy of the comprehensive report the LVAA prepared for presentation to the Planning Commission. Sharon can be reached at: sharon.y@mac.com or 626.792.4436.

Please make our voice heard at City Hall. Take a few minutes to write a letter or Email to express your concerns. This will really help us carry the message.

Please pass this message along.

Norm Parker, President
LVAA

Anonymous said...

No matter how much we could use another buidling, we need great students, faculty and programs first. These should never be cut back just for a building, or as power play by warring factions.

Education must be the priority.
We need a president and head of education that really care about education and understand it and are committed to it above everything else. We need a Board of Trustees that puts education first as well.

Anonymous said...

Art Center faces daunting issues.

As evidenced above, the need for the college to expand facilities requires thoughtful guidance through a difficult process with the neighbors; more scholarships are essential to atracting good students; current morale among faculty and staff is low; the resignation of Nate Young leaves a vacuum in the educational structure; the resignation of Emily Laskin has left fundraising scattered and disorganized; the resignation of Glenn Baker has left troubling questions about fiscal management.

To any trustees reading -- Koshalek's ability to continue leading Art Center is compromised by a lack of confidence extending far beyond the hillside campus. To meet the challenges of moving forward, the college must have new leadership.

The trustees must act.

Anonymous said...

I’ve gone through the posts and I’ve read them all…but what are we going to do?

I’m tired of talk.

Everybody has been complaining about this stuff for the 3 years I’ve been here. If we just talk and don’t actually take action then this has all been for nothing.

I’m ready to put a face to this post and stand up and protest!

Anonymous said...

OK, another post.

First : We shall make visible actions NEXT WEEK.

I go to school, everybody act normal. I read this post, it is on fire !

MONEY

My wife is Chief Financial Operation for a small fund-raised company. I asked her why would CFOs resign ?
She said mainly if :

accounting CANNOT be cleared
which means people spending money they should not, or without reporting, or no accounting being taken of the expenses, These practices being carried over for years would lead to impossible mess to solve.

Hierarchy trying to hide financial facts. ie mision impossible to accomplish

or fraudulous operation be made that they dont want to cover or be held responsible before the law.

Now what if SEVERAL CFOs resigned in a row ?

Alarm. I have no facts. But some dislikeable secret things about money are going on.

BUILDING

Building :
Bad news : we need an iconic building.
Good news : We have it : the Ellwood Bridge.
It is awsome. It is discreet and haunting.

The current projet is completely irrelevant. Every new project should enhance the current one. Not destroy it.

need space ? extend it to the south, and bury the parking underground. make the top of Art center a garden, you will cut air conditioning. And if we need space, why south campus has been underused for years ?

Oh so many things to talk about ?
Where is democracy ? Not in the school. Not in the corporations. not in bush's governement (elected with less votes than Gore)

Where is democracy ?

Education First !

Another Jedi

matt grayson said...

The two problems of needing more space and needing more parking are eliminated when you solve the third problem of cutting down excessive admissions.

This incidentally solves two other major problems: declining graduate quality and declining reputation.

Not to mention that it will decrease traffic and please the LVAA. Am I the only one that feels bad about driving through their neighborhood 2 or 4 times a day?

matt grayson

Anonymous said...

Excellent points, Matt. A philosophy of contraction rather than expansion also forces the college's marketing and fundraising efforts to return their attention to Art Center's core value: the quality of student work.

For the college to contract, marketing and fundraising must be focused on dramatically increasing scholarship support. To accomplish that, potential donors must become excited about how important design is to the world and how effectively Art Center grads contribute to design innovation. In other words, you sell Art Center by leveraging the sex-appeal of what it DOES, rather than what it BUILDS.

Compare that kind of effort to the Koshalek strategy, which is to attract and excite donors through celebrity architectural projects. Koshalek does not believe design can attract donors -- only grand architecture can. At the Koshalek donor-cultivation parties guests are surrounded by architectural models and name-dropping talk of expansion. Imagine if all that energy and money were redirected to increasing scholarships!

Koshalek has had nine years to demonstrate his strategy of using celebrity-architecture to attract big donors, and he has failed. To move forward, Art Center needs a new leader with a new smart vision for the future. The single-note empire-building drone of Koshalek has become repetitive and boring.

A circus-like strategy of expansion needs to show results early in its implementation in order to ignite positive institution-wide effects and successes. If it goes on too long without results, and is sustained only by stubbornness and intransigence, then its institutional by-products begin to be negative and draining. That's what's happening to Art Center today.

Audrey! said...

ACSG, thanks for hosting the forum on Wednesday. It's EXTREMELY important that as many students as possible attend to get the facts and voice their concerns.

Students, this is your chance to engage in the discussion by listening to the facts that will be presented and forming your own opinion on the topic. Show up and listen and show the administration that you care about the future of your school.

Faculty, let your students know how important this is by spreading the word about the meeting.

Alumni, for those of us who cannot be there, let's post our questions on this blog or email them to Ezekiel.

All, is there anyone who can tape the forum and post it somewhere online? Also, can ACSG post whatever facts are presented at the forum on Wednesday for those of us who cannot be there?

Again, thanks for getting the ball rolling on this.

Ophelia Chong said...

This is from the Los Angeles Times written by Christopher Hawthorne.
"Huntington' Grand Plan" May 27th/08

It strikes a cord with the issues that ACCD is now addressing, about education and architecture.

Here are a few quotes from the article:
"The fact that the Huntington Gallery's renovation was overseen by two firms you've never heard of also makes it an anomaly in our era of hyper-marketed partnerships between museums and architects. (By giving top-line credit on the renovation to Earl Corp., a design-build firm, rather than a noted architect, the Huntington saved a good deal of money.) It also says something about how the institution's priorities and view of its place in the larger culture have changed over time."

"Those priorities should hardly come as a surprise. The Huntington, which three years ago opened the sleekly modern but largely unobtrusive Erburu Gallery, by Frederick Fisher and Partners, is not an institution keen to use architecture as a means of defining itself (at least not since Henry and Arabella were in charge). For that reason alone, it is probably missing the point to dwell on what many will feel walking through the renovated gallery, namely that a few careful insertions of a smart and contemporary aesthetic, not unlike the changes architect Annabelle Selldorf made to the Neue Galerie on the Upper East Side of Manhattan earlier this decade, would have been hugely refreshing in this visually saturated context.

The more significant news is that by standing deliberately apart from recent trends in museum architecture, the Huntington has asserted its value as a cultural resource more unmistakably than ever."

Can Art Center learn from this?

Anonymous said...

HI I am a little confused, please dont take these questions as hostile attack on those having the discussion, I am seriously wondering these things and am not looking to start something bad. I really think that everyone no matter what side your on has to answer these questions for themselves and it seems that no one is... I have three questions

As current students you entered this school within the past lets say 5 years. Now I know that the vision richard has for the school has been in motion longer then that. I have seen students tours around the building over the past few years and have listened into probably 60 of them. Now on all of those tours they say that the school had intentions to build new buildings. So I am going to assume that when all of you chose to come to ACCD that you heard of expansion plans. So why does this seem like it is news to most of you? I remember going to school and learning of the disfuctions of the institution i went to and I chose to stay and graduate because there is no perfect institution. So my two questions for you are: if you dont like where the school is planning on going why are you still here and if you want your voice to be heard and taken seriously then why are you talking about things that only damage that school internally and exernally?

For the faculty that are posting here. No matter how long you have been here you were at one point told that the school is expanding. For those that have been here longer then richard that means you were here for the change of command and was here for the discussion of where the board was wanting to go with the schools future. so that means that you stayed on because you believed that the school needed to expand in some form another. So my question is if it has become such a bad place to work or if you dont like the way the school is going why are you still here?

it seems like we all have an idea on what ACCD is and where it should go. My personal feelings are that I believe the school is a great place and is going in a direction that will make it better. I also believe that there should be student/faculty voices within the system, to bad that there are not people to take on that voice more often. I also beleive that you dont have to agree with the schools vision and that you shouldnt buy into anything blindly but should infact ask questions and educate yourself on how things work and whats being done. and when you find answers to your questions or concerns you need to ask yourself if you can live with them or if its not the right fit for you.

Like i said im not trying to challange any of you and dont want to start something I am just wandering why you are all here....

Anonymous said...

people keep talking about action and how the physical school does not reflect the attitudes of this post.

Today, I spent my own time & money to produce several hundred flyers to distribute on campus, promoting this blog and the student meeting on wednesday. during the 4 hours i spent coating the school in flyers i didnt once bump in to anyone named anonyomous. The people are real, the problems are real and anyone who is complaining about inaction needs to initiate it themselves.

Teachers who are using the anonymous feature of the blog are a gift to us. without the option of anonimity, richard nixon might still be considered a great american president. Instead, anonymous sources generated a conversation, the same thing that is taking place here. While I was passing out info, i had several instructors inquire about what they could do and if there would be an oppurtunity for them to get involved as well. Thank you to all of you who are supporting the students.

On another note, everyone on campus seems open to being informed and ready for action, the people who cynically have already decided that any action is futile need to get out from behind the keyboard and work.

I am involved because i love the idea of art center, the potential is endless, and I want a degree from the school i know that art center can be.


one final note...

as i left campus, i observed mr. koshalek himself removing my flyers from the halls. The flyers I made clearly state that what is presented on this blog is "Fact, opinion and general info"...not the only side of the story, the intent of the flyer was to draw the students in and ask questions. I am dissapointed that Mr. Koshalek would dissaprove of students distributing information (perhaps he was taking a sample, not just clearing the halls.) but I am glad that he took notice.

Anonymous said...

ACSG SCHOOL-WIDE MEETING
WEDNESDAY MAY 28th
12NOON - 2 PM
ACCD Hillside Cafeteria


PLEASE ATTEND and PLEASE PASS THIS ON

Q & A - AGENDA
Below are many of the important questions that have been raised here on Nathan's blog. A discussion of them with Art Center's administration would be appreciated.

As well, we respectfully request that the administration provide a written response signed by Richard Koshalek along with an action plan addressing each of these concerns - "for the record".

TUITION
1) In the present environment of continuously rising prices, what priority has been given to reducing tuition - either through endowment funds or other means? If this is a high priority, why hasn't tuition leveled-off? What's being done to contain or roll-back costs?

2) Are Art Center's tuition fees competitive with other art and design schools? How do the proportions of scholarship dollars and awards to tuition compare among these schools?

USE OF FUNDS
1) What is the ratio of educational budget to administration budget today,
a. Compared to the year 1999?
b. Compared to other art and design schools?
c. Compared to similarly-sized academic colleges?

2) What is the non-teaching staff headcount today,
a. Compared to 1999?
b. Compared to 1989?

3) What is the ratio of development budget to dollars raised today,
a. Compared to the year 1999?
b. Compared to other art and design schools?
c. Compared to similarly-sized academic colleges?

4) How is the $75 million that Art Center's campaign has raised going to be spent?
a. operations
b. scholarships
c. buildings

5) Is the Architectural Planning Office paid for out of tuition fees or from the $75 million campaign? How much does this office and its staff cost per year?

ARCHITECTURAL - ELLWOOD BUILDING
1) Why will money be wasted in splitting the Ellwood building in two, which will also cut the industrial design studios off from the workshops?

2) Why aren't the recommendations for upgrades and renovations to the Ellwood building, as determined by the $75,000 Getty Grant, being instigated?

3) Please provide a copy of the Getty study's results.

MASTER DEVELOPMENT PLAN
1) There has been opposition to the proposed parking garage and Gehry Library in particular among the Linda Vista neighborhood. Why has Art Center apparently pursued a large-scale development plan without seeking consensus?

2) Why is the South Campus still such a poor building in which to take classes?

3) What is the status of student housing to be constructed we've been hearing about for years?

SUSTAINABILITY
1) Why is the greening and renovation of the Ellwood building not a higher priorty than constructing new buildings?

2) How much energy is wasted in the Ellwood building because the climate control system is so antiquated?

3) Why is the cafeteria still not taking measures to recycle? Are we prepared to pay more for the cafeteria going green?

4) Can there be a budget to help the workshop facilities go green? The shop staff are willing.

ACCOUNTABILITY
1) Will these issues be brought before the Board of Trustees at the June 19th meeting?

2) Will the Board's recommendations be followed?

Anonymous said...

To "anonymous" at 5:31 pm:

It's not the expansion. It's how Koshalek is funding it, by using education money when he said he wouldn't. How he hasn't raised the money from outside sources, when he said he could. How he's wasting our money on expensive junkets and over-blown architects.

I thought the article about the Huntington's expansion was very good. You don't have to bankrupt a place to expand.

Education first.

Reinstate Nate!

But above all -- trustees --

call for an independent outside audit of the books.

Anonymous said...

___________________________________

If anyone agrees that this would be helpful, please bring video recording devices to the ACSG Meeting on Wed so that it can be posted on YouTube and viewed by alumni, students, and interested parties who cannot attend.

Thanks!
___________________________________

Anonymous said...

In answer to May 27, 2008 5:31 PM
Your question #1: Why are we still here?

- Because we love where the school has been and the reputation and traditions it has built.
- Because we selfishly love what that tradition of excellence can do for us.
- Because we have dreamed about being here.
- Because we love the potential that Art Center has to become even better.
- Because we were sold on a different plan that included expansion but not at great sacrifice to education.
- Because there were people here that we believed in. Some of them are now gone.

Why are you telling us to leave if we don’t like that?

Your question #2: Why are we talking about things that damage the school?

- Because talking about those things is a way to STOP them from damaging the school.
- Because being silent and letting the current plans run their course may ruin the school.
- We DON’T agree with the vision, thank you for letting us know we don’t HAVE to.
- We ARE asking questions and getting educated about the truth of what’s being done.
- Some of us now believe the direction the school is being taken is not the direction we were sold.
- Some of us believe the vision and potential for Art Center has been Hijacked

Anonymous said...

I liked the series of questions above, for tomorrow's lunch meeting. However, watch out -- the administration will answer the questions they like and ignore the ones they don't, hoping students will go away with the impression that a lot of information was forthcoming. It's the questions they avoid, that we need answers for.

A couple more for tomorrow:

1) Art Center has a fully-staffed highly professional design office that produces the Art Center catalogue and other publications. Why is Koshalek paying a graphic designer in New York hundreds of thousands a year, to look (long distance) over their shoulder? Please show the college letterhead that designer created, next to the letterhead it replaced, and tell us how much tuition money that identity re-design cost.

2) Please tell us how much debt service our tuition pays yearly on the money BORROWED to build South Campus.

Anonymous said...

-For the last year the film processors have been is terrible condition. All the film comes out with chemical stains.
-Most of the lighting equipment is broken or not working right.

Why isn’t there more budget transparency? This is a non profit right? Where is all the money going? And how is going to Barcelona helping my department and the education of the undergrad students of this school?

I think we deserver some explanations

-A

robby said...

unfortunately I'm not able to make the meeting today, i have spoken with students who will be there and will try and get informed as to what i missed.
i still look forward to being a positive part of potential solutions to some of these issues.

nobody benefits from repetitive rants and finger pointing, focus on relevant issues and let the theme for todays meeting be PROGRESS.

good luck.

Anonymous said...

As a new student here I'm just trying to get my work done and I dont undestand how all this time your all spending questioning head counts and administration things is going to help me today. I find it hard to believe that the people running this place are not working in our best interests. I'm not attending the student meeting today because I have an assignment to finish. Something's not right here.

Anonymous said...

My fellow Jedi,
The time has come to act, Koshalek must be removed. This must end. You are all urged to leave the building in protest for the next couple of days act with unity. The message must be clear to be felt by the board--no confidence in Koshalek.

This was sent out today incase anyone missed it:

Dear Faculty, Staff, Students,

As we undertake the search for a new academic leader, we have been taking steps to move forward in the most productive ways possible.

During this important transition time, we will establish an interim leadership structure designed to bring the College community together in a collaborative way and achieve results that will benefit our students, faculty and educational agenda.

To that end, we have created task forces in four key areas, as described below. Please note that each task force will be comprised of a leader and 3-5 members of the Art Center community.

Enrollment Task Force / Leader: Mark Breitenberg
This task force will work to increase enrollment and enhance the quality and diversity of Art Center’s student body.

Educational Directions and Infrastructure Task Force / Leader: Nik Hafermaas
This task force will ensure that the educational agenda continues to move forward, providing Art Center students with the highest quality experiences and opportunities.

Technology Task Force / Leader: Rich Haluschak
This task force will deal with the technology needs – including staff and resources – that are appropriate and relevant for Art Center now and in the next five years.

Educational, Administrative, Trustee Leadership Task Force / Leader: Jean Ford
Working closely with the other three groups, this task force will address leadership throughout the College.

We are confident that these task forces will make great progress toward resolving the current challenges facing Art Center. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly or any of the task force leaders. Thank you for your ongoing support of Art Center’s goals and our agenda for the future.

Sincerely,

Richard Koshalek
President

Anonymous said...

Why should we walk out?
What are you reading into this announcement that is a big problem?

Anonymous said...

I find it both interesting & distressing that the recent statement by Richard Koshalek seems to be divorced from the concerns of the Art Center community at large. There could have been an attempt to diffuse the situation by working with students and faculty to create a commitee to temporarily fill the void by Nate Young rather than filling the position with staff members that already have less than positive standing with the community at large. The president as his current staff are walking the razor's edge of popular sentiment and this statement does nothing to inform or address the current "crisis."

Walking out does seem a tad extreme, but it has worked in the past to halk planned tuition increases as has sit-ins in the president's office. Perhap you can aim to hurt the school in it's pocketbooks, by delaying tuition payments(as some of you may know, there is not a penalty for paying later in the term).

Remember that your tuition dollars that employ all those work at the school. The faculty and staff should be working in your best interest and I think that some in high places may have forgotten that.

Laurie Schiada said...

Has ArtCenter changed over the past two decades or is it the students?

I graduated with honors in 1988 and have held high-level creative positions in prestigious organizations. ArtCenter was always my first choice to find great talent. Lately, I find far less talent with much more attitude. The graduates are unprepared to deal the the realities of the creative industry and seem to have an extremely short attention span. Many contributions to this dialogue only emphasize this impression.

Perhaps it is fair to say this is a result of Koshalek's leadership and if that is ture, he should be challenged. All I know is that my beloved alma mater, over that past decade in particular, appears to have lost its focus.

ArtCenter has always been tough. It has always been expensive. It is naive to whine about those two issues. 20 years ago it was simple: ArtCenter had a prestigious reputation based upon a few basic attributes:

1. Exclusive — Hard to get in. Even more difficult to graduate.

2. Relevant — Current industry standards being taught by practicing professionals. (NO teachers more concerned with reaching tenure than turning out the next generation of professionals.)

3. Professional Network — Teachers provided practical career insight and employers sought graduates. You knew if you made the investment (emotionally and financially) that placement was nearly guaranteed.

These 3 simple factors earned ArtCenter its leadership position. Perhaps this formula needs to be revisited.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry a one or two day walk out is not the answer. That my friends would be as effective as not buying gas on Tuesdays to bring down gas prices.

Art Center's operating costs are over 90% tuition funded. The only way to make the board sit up and take notice is to take the fall term off.

The School is already hurting with low enrollment numbers for new students in the fall. If current students do not return in the fall as well it will hurt the school that much more.

Pass around a public petition to students stating if Koshalek gets his contract renewed you will not return in the fall. If just 25% of students did this the effects would be huge.

Anonymous said...

I hear that the ACSG Rally is being recorded. Can someone post a link to the footage once it is uploaded to the web?

Anonymous said...

The problems with using the fall term as a demonstration are; 1. Koshalek's contract will have been revewed; 2. Young will be long gone; 3. we will have likely forgotten. If we act now, a little at a time, momentum will build. If the board doesn't understand it now they will when fall rolls around.

No confidence in Koshalek.

Anonymous said...

Hold on. If the entire US, in solidarity, stopped buying gas on Tuesdays. That would save 1.1 billion barrels of oil, and cost the US oil companies 240 billion in revenue--at $4 / gallon. I think they might notice that.

If the board suspects that there is solidarity amongst the students... where else might there solidarity? Aren't we, to some extent, reflections of our teachers?

Anonymous said...

I understand the dilemma, you can do the walk out, I'm not sure it will have much impact though. The real power is with a very public petition that several hundred students sign stating they will in fact not return in the fall. This petition signing can also be done before Koshaleks contract is renewed.

I promise you Koshalek is shitting bricks right now and is pissed about this blog. I know people that sit in on his meetings and he is scared. You students have the power if you are willing to follow through on threats like not returning in the fall.

I know for a fact dept. chairs have been instructed to accept every one who applies. This means even lower standards than the ones right now.

Anonymous said...

Isn't part of the goal to get Nate Young back?

Anonymous said...

Gas that you dont buy on Tuesday, you end up buying on Monday or Wednesday. It all evens out. No my friend - the Oil companies will not notice or care. That is why gas boycotts have not and do not work. However this is another topic for another time...

Anonymous said...

I recommend we strike now, while the iron is hot. Koshalek is waiting us out. Time is on his side as the deeper in the term it gets, the less likely we students will be willing to sacrifice what little time we have in order to solve the sorry state of affairs. The ACSG is meeting with him on friday. I say that we come along in order to sway things their way. Perhap a little bird will be so kind as to let us know the time and the place so that perhap a hundred of us could join them.

Anonymous said...

I was not able to attend the meeting. Did the administration provide answers to the questions on the agenda?

Anonymous said...

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/a/a7/Eug%C3%A8ne_Delacroix_-_La_libert%C3%A9_guidant_le_peuple.jpg/300px-Eug%C3%A8ne_Delacroix_-_La_libert%C3%A9_guidant_le_peuple.jpg

Anonymous said...

"When you try to change the system from within it is not you who changes the system but the system that eventually changes you."
-Immortal Technique (not sure who he stole it from but thats where I heard it)

Strength in numbers is a physical property. Together we can take up lots of space, move large objects and clog hallways.

My point is you can't go to the bargaining table with complaints and no leverage. I guarantee that Koshalek will put up with all the bitching in the world because his ego is on the line. Change will only come with action. If its worth changing its worth acting. And if were gonna bitch we should go straight to the board of trustees. If you try to sit at the table with the grown ups; they will treat you like little kids, give you a piece of candy and send you on your way.

IF we have legitimate gripes we should; figure out exactly what we want, choose a non-violent form of protest and do it. Only then will they be unable to ignore us. I'm just saying thats the only thing that will work. Sit-ins happened at colleges a lot in the 60's (they had more legit gripes though). I'm pretty sure most people just want a new president that is interested in education and not expanding. 200 of us outside the board of trustees meeting with picket signs might help them get the idea that were serious. 8 student reps talking to the person that is the problem won't do shit.

Anonymous said...

"When you try to change the system from within it is not you who changes the system but the system that eventually changes you."
-Immortal Technique (not sure who he stole it from but thats where I heard it)

Strength in numbers is a physical property. Together we can take up lots of space, move large objects and clog hallways.

My point is you can't go to the bargaining table with complaints and no leverage. I guarantee that Koshalek will put up with all the bitching in the world because his ego is on the line. Change will only come with action. If its worth changing its worth acting. And if were gonna bitch we should go straight to the board of trustees. If you try to sit at the table with the grown ups; they will treat you like little kids, give you a piece of candy and send you on your way.

IF we have legitimate gripes we should; figure out exactly what we want, choose a non-violent form of protest and do it. Only then will they be unable to ignore us. I'm just saying thats the only thing that will work. Sit-ins happened at colleges a lot in the 60's (they had more legit gripes though). I'm pretty sure most people just want a new president that is interested in education and not expanding. 200 of us outside the board of trustees meeting with picket signs might help them get the idea that were serious. 8 student reps talking to the person that is the problem won't do shit.

Anonymous said...

I will be glad to miss work a few times to do a "sit in" or help carry a picket sign...

Anonymous said...

Cashflow vs. quality.

Notice the first words of the first task force team on the letter from Koshalek. "Increase enrollment..." Note that the announcement is from him. This indicates that he supports increasing enrollment. It is the first priority. This is supported by saying that new students need to be good and diverse. But it is secondary. This means that he for whatever reasons wants higher enrollment.

The comments from a post above by Laurie Schiada are valid relative to Koshaleks announcement and directive. I hear you Laurie, however I do believe that things are still very much the same as when you graduated. The top 2 to 4 grads of 10 get jobs in strong places. The rest do not. The top students achieve by self starting and really soaking up what they can from the professionals teaching there. We used to joke back in the Kubly days "Art Center - where education is merely a coincidence". But the reality is if a student had talent and had their radar on, and worked hard they would get a job. And usually, the complainers were the ones that did crappy work, if any, and had no talent.
I would submit that the difference today is that students can get in without talent, and then they can snake through classes vis a vis electives, etc... and get a piece of paper. And no job. And at a high cost.
This makes the hard working students nuts, as well as the instructors and professional alumni. And the big difference is that the students making noise this time are the good ones!

Back to Koshaleks announcement. He is not aware or he does not seem concerned about the problem that having even more talentless, unprepared, incompetent grads does to the prestige of the school and thus the grads and finally the donors. That means he either does not really understand who and why people donate to the school or attend the school, or the place really really needs the cashflow. I don't mean to be harsh about the talent thing. It's just a reality. I don't have the talent to be at the USC Medical or Mathematics school. Side note: why do people think it's OK, no required, that every body's kid that thinks they have visual skills should be welcomed and trained at a place like Art Center? Would they force the above USC to take them as doctors?

If I were a student there, I would push for other students and myself to just take a term off and reflect on things... reflect on the economy, when to graduate, where to finish my education... say Fall term.

If I were Mr. Koshalek, I would think deeply about if the main companies that need Art Center grads will continue to donate if they fully understand the priorities he is setting in ACCD's business. Cashflow vs quality.

I know one company that is pausing at this moment with it's plan to make a seven figure donation given all of this hubbub. They need good ACCD grads. They don't need symposiums, fine art, cocktails and dedicated architecture for their money.

Ben Lazarus said...

This is tough choice. I'm in my first term at ACCD. If I take the fall term off in protest, I will lose my health insurance.

I believe that education should come first, that improving our existing facilities and curricula is more important than a putting up a new building.

I am grateful for this blog and I gladly add my voice to this movement.

Anonymous said...

Ben, there has always been an option to continue your health insurance coverage while you are on a leave of absence. The information is at inside.artcenter or you can always visit the Office of Student Life.

Anonymous said...

Is there anyway to join the protest without loosing my scholarship? I'm currently off this term for an internship, if I take 2 consecutive terms off I'll loose what little money Art Center gives me...

~P

Anonymous said...

I'm the person that responded to Ben.

Okay, I'm sorry, but it's a little pathetic that you guys don't know this information! I found all this stuff out at inside.artcenter ages ago, and you can always ask somebody. If you take three or more consecutive terms off, you lose your ACCD scholarship. You won't lose your scholarship if you take a second consecutive term off.

Anonymous said...

I didn't mean to praise the inside.artcenter site by the way. The way the information is presented on that site is a bit of a hassle, but it's there, and gives you basic info.. info that you should always verify with someone in person.

Anonymous said...

Here is a list of present trustees (and some past trustrees) and email addresses -- some are missing. Anyone able to fill in?

Let them know your thoughts. Remember, these are people who have probably been kept in the dark, but who are dedicated to Art Center. Be polite, be respectful. But let them know your demands!

Don't nickel-and-dime them with every gripe, stick to the big issues: increased enrollment, Nate Young's "resignation," Koshalek's excesses and most importantly -- the pending June decision on an extension of Koshalek's contract.

Chairman - John Puerner johnpuerner@yahoo.com

Maria Contreras-Sweet fortius@fortiusholdings.com

Robert Davidson
rdavidson@zolatone.com

Robert Egelston
egelstonr@aol.com

William Gross
bill@idealab.com

Harry Hathaway
hhathaway@fulbright.com

Raymond Hemann
rhemann@earthlink.net

Kit Hinrichs
hinrichs@sf.pentagram.com

William Horsfall
wdh@lhmp.com

Jon Faiz Kayyem
faiz@kayyem.com

Bud Knapp
talboys@aol.com

Tim Kobe
kobe@eightinc.com

Samuel Mann
semann350@hotmail.com

Frederick Nicholas fmnicholas@hapsmithco.com

Dallas Price-Van Breda (no e-mail)

Michael Reese
mike@reeseint.com

Dean Scarborough
???? @ Avery Dennison?

Paul Volich
pviolich@pavinc.com

Judy Webb
judywebb@lothropinc.com

Alyce Williamson (no e-mail)

Anonymous said...

I looked at inside art center's health insurance page and it says this:

"Students on Leave of Absence may purchase the insurance plan for one term per academic year, but only after completing two consecutive terms."

Those of us who started this summer will not be able to purchase health insurance this fall if we choose to take a leave of absence in the fall.

Anonymous said...

I no nothing about school politics. 30 year association with Art Center and I know nothing more than what I teach and the people I teach.

It was once about excellence. Now it seems more like arrogance. When we moved out off Third Street to come up to this site away from affordable housing and public transportation we were promised a "student habit" (see initial Ellwood plans) It is now built out as more administration. No habitat.

Teachers pay is cut by clever restructure schemes. We accept to be paid for "contact" hours instead of a full days pay. Now they cut a class to 4 hours. Teacher still drives the same distance and loose a days booking, Teacher still has to plan the same lessons to bring students to the same level in 14 weeks, but now getting two thirds of the pay for that same day. Yes you get off two hours sooner, but effort is the same. It isn't fair. Nothing has ever been fair. Not to the teachers or the students.

It is ironic that they hold sway that you want to be here because it is the "best in the nation" so they don't owe you anything, but it is that attitude that will bring it down.

Anybody notice that this school is greatly populated with Asian students? Why? because Asian families are especially willing to sacrifice what ever it takes to give the best (most prestigious) education they can for their children. Suppose the word gets out that because admissions has cast such a huge recruiting net to feed the financial beast that the underpaid teachers can't work miracles with these under qualified novices in a abbreviated class schedule.

We need to value teachers, compensate them well and allow only qualified candidates into the program. This sounds simple even obvious and unfortunately naive.

Little will ever change, until it really changes and when we hit that tipping point it will be too late.

Ashley said...

TO THE TEACHERS:

All of us students appreciate your efforts on our behalf, inside and outside of the classroom. YOU are the reason we are here and we all know that without you, this school would be nothing. The fact that you cannot exercise your freedom of speech without endangering your jobs is ludicrous, so thank you, thank you for the information and support in what we are fighting for.

TO THE STUDENTS:

WE CAN DO THIS! Anybody who was at the meeting this afternoon can see that we can make our voices heard. WE are the school. We provide the funds, the reputation, and the reason for all of this commotion in the first place, and we need to exercise that power if we're not happy with the way things are going down.

I propose a petition that will be sent to the Board of Trustees meeting stating that we as a student body do not want Richard Koshalek reinstated.

This is a simple, bold statement that will be easy for the Board to understand and act upon. All the rest of the issues under discussion can only be addressed with time and school-wide policy changes. Koshalek's contract is something that we can address now!

My idea is simple: an email that will be circulated throughout the student body between now and the Trustees' meeting. It will contain the statement above and the list of names. You receive the email, you add your name and send it on. Two days before the Board meeting we send a copy to every Board member (thank you to the poster who provided their emails). Find some way to get a hard copy into that meeting (ACSG? Can you help?). This is straightforward and simple, and it will get the job done.

If anyone has a suggestion to make this run more smoothly, or get it out to more people, please make your idea heard. If anyone has experience in this sort of thing (petition writing, organizing people, financial experts etc) please step up! This is our education people, and we cannot be passive about it.

Since this blog seems to be the catalyst/sounding board of this movement, I will post a rough draft of the petition here tomorrow night. PLEASE come forward if anyone has suggestions or ideas. We need to act together as a community to make our voice heard.

~Ashley

Robert Quintero said...

http://kintaroworld.blogspot.com/

get the link to the posted video of the ASCG schoolwide meeting here.


Thanks,
Robert Quintero

Ophelia Chong said...

I believe it is time now for the alumni to come back to ACCD to stand with the students on the issues that need to be addressed. We already have moved on with our lives, but these students are in the midst of a major shakeup and we need to be there to help guide and to add our voices.

So what how do we need to get the word out? Email. We only have two weeks before the contract is renewed. Time is of the essence. We must start now.

If there was ever a reason for alumni to come back to ACCD it is now. In truth where you graduated from is at best a way in the door, what gets you that job is talent. And the only way to nurture that talent is through the best instructors.If this atmosphere of fear, suspicion, division and uncertainty continues, we will loose the best faculty and people from the administration that really cares about the school and the students.

Lets begin. Email me at opheliac@mac.com (because I understand the use of Anon on this blog) and we will begin to bring back the alumni.

(To let you know that I have the resources to bring alumni together, I have produced events for alumnae and alumni in the last 4 years.On my own time)

Ophelia Chong

Ophelia Chong said...

I will be at ACCD tonight for an event I am producing along with the OutNetwork called No Straight Lines:Finding Your Voice
(a filmmakers' panel) at 6:30pm if anyone wants to speak to me. The panel is free to students and alumni.

Ophelia Chong

Anonymous said...

I recieved this in my artcenter email last night... it is vauge and seems unplanned. I hope this isnt the only response the students recieve.

*********************



Dear Faculty, Staff, Students,



As we undertake the search for a new academic leader, we have been taking steps to move forward in the most productive ways possible.



During this important transition time, we will establish an interim leadership structure designed to bring the College community together in a collaborative way and achieve results that will benefit our students, faculty and educational agenda.



To that end, we have created task forces in four key areas, as described below. Please note that each task force will be comprised of a leader and 3-5 members of the Art Center community.



1. Enrollment Task Force / Leader: Mark Breitenberg

This task force will work to increase enrollment and enhance the quality and diversity of Art Center’s student body.



2. Educational Directions and Infrastructure Task Force / Leader: Nik Hafermaas

This task force will ensure that the educational agenda continues to move forward, providing Art Center students with the highest quality experiences and opportunities.



3. Technology Task Force / Leader: Rich Haluschak

This task force will deal with the technology needs – including staff and resources – that are appropriate and relevant for Art Center now and in the next five years.



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

Working closely with the other three groups, this task force will address leadership throughout the College.



We are confident that these task forces will make great progress toward resolving the current challenges facing Art Center. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me directly or any of the task force leaders. Thank you for your ongoing support of Art Center’s goals and our agenda for the future.



Sincerely,



Richard Koshalek

President

Anonymous said...

What does this even mean?!?!?!

3. Technology Task Force / Leader: Rich Haluschak

"This task force will deal with the technology needs – including staff and resources – that are appropriate and relevant for Art Center now and in the next five years."

The same group responsible for insuring that the printers may actually work in the next 5 years are also the ones in charge of faculty???? Shouldnt the faculty be given their own "taskforce" that is not also concerned with making the ever failing technology work??? They are both completely unrelated and independent problems!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ashley's idea is good. e mail petition to the board requesting Koshalek's contract not be extended. E mail is efficient and fast, however, I would suggest also having a physical petition gathering stand at the school if possible to make it well known that this is happening. The petition may briefly state the reason for requesting the vote of no confidence - Koshalek's plan of enrollment over quality / construction and expansion over quality. It's not about Koshalek personally; it's about the plan, and he mailed the plan to everyone yesterday - can't say he isn't moving that way.

Students need to do this. The school won't fire them.

Ophelia is also correct. Alumni are watching this. Students please understand this. We want the best ACCD for you. But in the end, you better do good work! Why, when we were at Art Center back in the '70's we used to have to walk uphill to school in the snow... Seriously, we will support. I'll contact you directly, Ophelia. I have to look at about 30 ACCD guys every day who are all talking about this. I know a couple are on this string talking.

I just had a thought... how about setting up some kind of pledge drive or parallel endowment?... Imagine a couple of hundred alumni pledging a grand each?

Audrey! said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Audrey! said...

Hi Everyone,

A couple of points...

1) Robert! Great videos! I'm really proud of everyone who spoke at the meeting with such passion and intelligence. It served as a reminder for me why I am so proud to be a part of the Art Center community regardless of the admin.

2) Ashley, great point on the petition. I am currently working on one with several other people and would love to get your feedback on it. We are aiming to send it out this weekend. I can give you more details if you want to email me audrey.liu@gmail.com.

Anonymous said...

how can we decide what we're gonna do before we even hear back from the student gov after their meeting with koshalek? i mean, do we actually want answers to the questions? or do we just want to be mad?

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous 10:08,
Yes, you should be taking action. While the meeting with Koshalek is the proper thing for the student government to do, Koshalek is not going to, for example, agree to have an independent analysis/audit of the budget. He is not going to allow for any student or faculty presence on the board (he eliminated that.) He will be sure to eliminate any administration who publicly dissent from his architectural aims (forget academic freedom.)

ACSG should be acting appropriately and responsibly but this does not remove the need for civil and visible protest. In fact ACSG was born of student protest at the end of AC's last administration.

Keep your focus:
EDUCATION
TRANSPARENCY
ACCOUNTABILITY

The administration has a huge problem with communication--show them how to communicate!

Ophelia Chong said...

I would like to suggest one united voice that approaches the Board. We need to gather our thoughts and present a cohesive letter. Regardless of asking anyone to resign etc, we need to look at the problems ACCD is now facing, and present that to the board.

Deep breath first and proceed next.

People are already gathering in satellite groups. We now need to combine together.

Ophelia

Ophelia

Anonymous said...

my point still remains that how can you know that that's the right way to deal with the problem if you can't even really understand the situation? what is the point of this if you aren't actually willing to listen to what they have to say? you've already made decisions without bothering to get any information.

btw, i'm pretty sure we do get audited. again, my point - we need to get actual facts from people that actually have them.

Anonymous said...

....would like to make a few comments about the 'Plan' put forth by President Koshalek to govern the school while a replacement for Nate Young is found.......

I've read the Plan several times, trying to figure out what is actually being said, and it is weak cheese.

The Plan states "...we will establish an interim leadership structure.....we have created task forces in four key areas...Please note that each task force will be comprised of a leader and 3-5 members of the Art Center community."

As I read it, the 'Plan' basically replaces Nate Young with four people who are under the President's control. Otherwise known as a stacked deck.

It says that "members of the Art Center Community" will be on the Task Forces, but does not specifically state that students and faculty will be on these 'Task Forces.' Nor does it say that Alums will be on these 'Task Forces.'

Weak cheese.

......and of the 'Task Force' leaders named, I was shocked to see the name of Rich Haluschak. He is the school's VP of Finance...the money and accounting flows through his office. I don't see how that qualifies him as 'Technology Task Force' leader, in charge of ".....staff and resources – that are appropriate and relevant for Art Center now and in the next five years."

As I see it, a finance person keeps the books, and doesn't make the decisions about 'appropriate and relevant staff and resources.'

And Jean Ford is going to lead the
"Educational, Administrative, Trustee Leadership Task Force" to
"... address leadership throughout the College."

Does that mean that she will find replacements for the faculty and staff that 'leave' if Koshalek's contract is renewed?

I, for one, am not "...confident that these task forces will make great progress toward resolving the current challenges facing Art Center."

shoji said...

in reply to: "my point still remains that how can you know that that's the right way to deal with the problem if you can't even really understand the situation? what is the point of this if you aren't actually willing to listen to what they have to say? you've already made decisions without bothering to get any information.

btw, i'm pretty sure we do get audited. again, my point - we need to get actual facts from people that actually have them.


The point of this is to discuss, find answers and take appropriate action.

I don't think Koshalek has all the answers we're looking for. If he did he wouldn't have a problem standing in front of the student body and taking their questions. Also, a lot of the questions concern his actions and decisions with regard to the direction he is pushing the school in.

Do you think he would give a direct answer as to why his administration is resigning? Or could he explain why there is so much dissent on campus?

I think there is more insight from this blog and the anonymous faculty/administration/alum. I'm not discounting what Koshalek has to say, but I'm wary of what will come out of a meeting with a few ACSG members and him, behind closed doors. I hope that they truly have the students best interest in mind.

I think you need to spread the net over a broader area to reel in information and get something concrete.

With regard to the financial situation, I suppose if the board wanted to dig deep they could request an independent forensic audit of the records, but I'd imagine they'd need more than just a 'hunch' to go that far. I don't think the students or the faculty are the appropriate people to be suggesting that. Leave it up to the board.

It would be ideal to get some 'hard facts' about what's going on underneath it all, but since a lot of the students/alum aren't in positions to get all the answers we do with what we've got. Asking faculty, reading spurts of information here, digging up what we can, or even from small gems like when Nate's former assistant spoke out at the ACSG meeting in answer to why Nate resigned:

"[Nate] had been here for five years and in that time he had given his heart and soul to this place. And he didn't come back because he needed a job, he came back because he loved the school. ... And he left his nice corporate life to come, make this education better for you. And I can tell you that in the last 4 years I've worked for him, he has done that. ... He truly made a difference.

And the reason why he left is because he didn't agree with the direction that the college was going. And he could not stay here any longer and put up that fight, and as I've said to you he has fought a good fight"


If Nate is in an administrative position to put the students Education First and is having to fight the president to do so, then I'd like to know when students stopped paying for a first class education (prioritized for the students) and started funding, what seems more like a dictatorship that's only prioritizing the expansion of the empire.

This direction, combined with the other administrative 'resignations,' and the overall discontent by students/faculty/alum, seems enough to get the board of trustees to seriously investigate the issues before they renew Koshalek's current contract.

Anonymous said...

I've been talking to some classmates about these issues. Students are more willing to participate if there is a school-wide activity. I'm currently sitting on a good amount of scholarship (and I'm sure many other students are as well), so that's why I'm a little hesitant about "making my voice heard". I'm concerned not only for the quality of my own education, but also of my peer's too - we represent Art Center.

H

Anonymous said...

I’m so impressed and moved by the students’ passion and eloquence on this blog. I hope it is the beginning of a new day at Art Center.

As for being afraid to lose one’s scholarships over peaceful protests, this should not be a factor in stepping forward to add your name to a public list. You would not only have a legal grievance with the college should it impact your scholarship, it would be a violation of your civil liberties, generally speaking—as long as the protest does not disrupt the educational process (ie is non-peaceful).

Hope this is helpful and fight on!

Anonymous said...

I’m so impressed and moved by the students’ passion and eloquence on this blog. I hope it is the beginning of a new day at Art Center.

As for being afraid to lose one’s scholarships over peaceful protests, this should not be a factor in stepping forward to add your name to a public list. You would not only have a legal grievance with the college should it impact your scholarship, it would be a violation of your civil liberties, generally speaking—as long as the protest does not disrupt the educational process (ie is non-peaceful).

Hope this is helpful and fight on!

Anonymous said...

Given that the administration is likely to start responding to the student/faculty/staff/alumni dissatisfaction, I (a faculty member) thought it would be useful come up with counter arguments to the standard lines we can expect to be presented us and the Board of Trustees. Please add your own!

I'm calling these arguments "Majority View" because I think the administration has very little support within the ACCD community. We've already heard from students with hundreds of them attending the meeting yesterday. It would be great if the Faculty Council would step up to provide a unified voice for faculty.

Administration View: The School needs to expand in order to maintain educational leadership.

Majority View: No, the school needs to restore and enhance its fading educational leadership in order to expand.
---
Administration View: The Frank Gehry building will be paid for with donations and not student tuition

Majority View: The building is too expensive for its function, and fund raising efforts should concentrate on the endowment, scholarships, and practical buildings with clear educational functions.
---
Administration View: Art Center needs an iconic building to attract donations and enhance its reputation.

Majority View: Art Center already has an iconic building in the Ellwood structure. Plus, the Ellwood building is in desperate need of maintenance and modernization (structural/earthquake reinforcement, completely new HVAC, more efficient lighting/energy systems, replacement furniture, new technology/equipment for classrooms & faclilities, better handicap access, and upgrades to many, many systems and facilities).
---
Administration View: Art Center has visionary plans for its future with a new library, dorms, parking, and a graduate complex.

Majority View: No, Art Center has a developer’s view of the future. What it needs are visionary plans for the future of art and design education: new approaches to learning, integration of bold conceptual thinking and future oriented work, greater awareness and response to new trends, and a rethinking of the educational structure that includes faculty/student/staff/alunni voices in planning.
---
Administration View: Art Center is the best.

Majority View: Art Center has been falling behind for several years due to a lack of funding and attention to education, lower quality admissions, lack of adequate scholarships, and a failure to adapt to a changing art and design landscape.
---
Administration View: Art Center is not hiding anything.

Majority View: Art Center does a very poor and seemingly arrogant job of communicating its agenda and plans with students/faculty/staff. Almost no effort has been made to engage the educational community in the overall planning process to get buy-in, let alone input.

lee bolton said...

I'm not sure how to interpret this latest email from the administration here. In all seriousness, I think it should be the concern of our leadership to reduce the amount of chiefs, instead of diversifying their responsibility. Take some blame and accept that we need change to fix things and hold people accountable instead of striking bolts of lightning down from the heavens randomly onto the unsuspecting faculty and students and work conciliatory towards a goal with us hand in hand. - Not just hand out edicts and decrees.

To see that our leadership has taken this and sent out this email is perplexing indeed. I find it difficult to not see this as an attempt to diffuse blame, for the president to turn the other cheek to our issues, or (the worst case scenario) to see it as a way to insulate himself from blame.

It's ironic really as I just saw our president for the first time today, in the lunchroom, at the exact time of the meeting yesterday eating with his administrative staff. I honestly was too intimidated to ask him where my money is going?

But more importantly, why didn't they step foward and speak to us yesterday? Why weren't they there to assuage us or alleviate our troubles?

I thought the concerns of the students should be the concerns of the administration.

Anonymous said...

Lee, regarding Koshalek's email, I doubt it seeks to address this blog, yesterday's event, and other expressions of discontent regarding what we see as the problem. It is more simply a response to the leadership vacuum created by Nate Young's departure, and the perceived crisis that enrollment is going to be lower than normal in the fall. I don't think he gets it yet.

Anonymous said...

Excellent posts and what a refreshing change...everyone is coming together. The unity of students, faculty and staff cannot be ignored. Together we can effect change.

Shoji's response was right on the mark. ACSG will meet with Koshalek and report back to us. However, no one should believe that Koshalek is going to tell the trustees: "Gee, I need to change course and concentrate on education instead of architecture because the community is unhappy." The board only hears what Koshalek and his senior admins tell them. They need to hear from the rest of ACCD before they vote to extend his stay.

A question was raised earlier about Art Center being a dictatorship. Unfortunately it is and has been for 9 years. That's why there have been so many senior people "resigning." Don't forget that Iris Gelt and Erica Clarke tried to intimidate and retaliate against Nathan when this dialog began. The only reason he was spared is that Tracie Tambascia, Dean of Students, refused their demands. Yesterday, Rachael Tiede, Nate Young's assistant, explained in front of all of us why Nate left. It was astounding and exhilarating to finally hear the truth. Let's hope there is no retaliation against Rachael. We need good honest administrators to support our faculty and students.

Education First!

Robert Quintero said...

The rest of the videos are posted now on youtube.

http://youtube.com/user/robatokintaro

http://kintaroworld.blogspot.com/

thanks,
robert q

Anonymous said...

there is more than one side to every story.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't want to go there now since the criteria for admissions seems to have degenerated to if you can afford it and anyone that can is in.... the parking lot, basket ball court and drive way overflowing with audis, not my kind of place any more

I would still go back once in a while if they made public when they are serving the jalapeno mac and cheese they used to serve up

Anonymous said...

The truth at last! Rachael Tiede (Nate Youngs assistant) should be commended for standing up and telling the truth about why Nate Young left Art Center in yesterdays meeting.

Her words again...

"[Nate] had been here for five years and in that time he had given his heart and soul to this place. And he didn't come back because he needed a job, he came back because he loved the school. ... And he left his nice corporate life to come, make this education better for you. And I can tell you that in the last 4 years I've worked for him, he has done that. ... He truly made a difference.

And the reason why he left is because he didn't agree with the direction that the college was going. And he could not stay here any longer and put up that fight, and as I've said to you he has fought a good fight"

Is Rachael Tiede the only staff member with enough integrity and a back bone to publicly stand up to Koshalek and his thugs? Are any of you board members reading this? It is time for a true change in the direction of this institution.

REINSTATE NATE! REINSTATE NATE! REINSTATE NATE!

Make Rachael the president of the school, at least we would finally have some honesty!

I'll bet anything they show her the door after 10 years of service and devotion, just for telling the truth...

Anonymous said...

fyi, art center has an independent auditor, pricewaterhousecoopers. I think they're the same accountants who track the votes for the Oscars.

Anonymous said...

Are Admissions standards that low, really? Does that mean that current students shouldn't be here? Who is writing this, faculty or other students? Or is it you alumni who hire Art Center grads? Hasn't anyone noticed, we have less students this term, which is great for parking and labs and lines! I don't notice over-enrollment. May be it's why Admin. wants to work on increasing enrollment -- Art Center is already loosing students. May be it's the economny, may be it's the tuition. Could it be high standards, even possibly? How do you assess the level of education? Just wondering.

Anonymous said...

I hope I’m not in the minority but I kinda like the direction Art Center is going in. Art Center was a small trade school with practicaly no endowment and even fewer scholarships before Koshalik got here. I don’t understand why people want to go back to being a unknown trade school. What is the value in a degree from a school that most people haven’t heard of? In terms of value for my money, I want to know that the school has international connections. I like the fact that we have a tie to the United Nations. How freakin amazing is it to know that something I created in class as part of an assignment is now being used and seen by people around the world. That means alot to me now and when i graduate.

Anonymous said...

If Koshalek fires Rachael Tiede (or forces her to quit) for telling the truth yesterday it will show an obvious lack of commitment to any kind of "transparency".

Anonymous said...

ok but after saying that do you really think rachel wants to stay?

Anonymous said...

Rachael is a very loyal to Nate Young, no doubt, and she definitely cares a lot about Art Center. But that's just one side of the story. There's so much misinformation floating around, and the real issue is a difference in philosophy. Education first! I think everyone you talk to at Art Center agrees about this. But how to move the college foward is the question. BTW, it hasn't been totally transparent on either end of the buildng. It's all pointing fingers. We need a team who actually works together, not separate silos.

Mark Castanon said...

When Koshalek first became president at Art Center in September 1999, he was firmly welcomed and made the board really happy because they were excited about his ambitions to expand Art Center. He was brought in for this reason mainly, expansion. Almost 10 years later, what do we have? Nothing but proposals, and the Sinclair Pavilion (great for people who do Yoga!). I believe Richard is an ambitious man and takes on tough challenges, but he has to go aside his ego and ask himself if he has failed so far or not? Maybe he’s not as good as he thinks? He is getting desperate now and will take action such as cutting off communications with his administration and students, raise tuition, cause inflation in the art design world (with increasing enrollment), and scare off our teachers! our students!, and future students!, and already we lost Nate Young!!! He has a reputation for being a top-notch fund raiser but he’s damaging our school by continuing his aspirations, which are not possible at this time. The Frank Gehry building would be nice, but that’s like a car dealer asking anyone of us students if we would like to buy a Ferrari, or continue our education? Yeah a Ferrari would be nice, but not affordable at this time for what matters most, and that’s education and reputation.

If Art Center is a non-profit organization, then Richard Koshalek’s responsibilities here are responsible spending with our budget. Our tuition dollars have to benefit education: Scholarships, instructor’s wages, fixing up our workspace, etc. etc. This Frank Gehry building would solve some of these problems but by the time we get there our school will have suffered damages primarily to our reputation, and that means more than you think. I’m not going to say that Richard Koshalek does not like Art Center, I’ve never talked to the guy, but his actions so far have made me question his ability as a fund raiser, his enthusiasm toward education, and his concern for us students, who in the end have made this school what it is today hands down. AS STUDENTS WE HAVE TO UNDERSTAND THE EFFECTS THIS SITUATION IS HAVING ON US!!! Those of you who just sit back and do your homework all day, that is fine, but you have to consider your futures! Someone who graduates 5 years from now can be a potential hire for your business that can be such an asset to you that your company grows significantly. Alumni are our future, we are our future, and future students are our future. If we don’t take care of this situation now, it will be too late. The student government meeting was an astronomical success, but the job is not done. I’m not doing my homework right now as I should because I’m writing this letter. We have to continue to stay persistent with our demands. As mentioned before, increasing enrollment is NOT AN OPTION for Koshalek is he cares about us students. It will cause inflation in the art world. There are already only so many jobs out there for aspiring artists, more people going to Art Center would mean that Art Center under Richard Koshalek now has to use less money to find jobs for more students. How are you going to do that Richard? You are trying to buy that Ferrari but starving your children in the process. If this building is so important, you will sell it to us, prove to us why it is so essential, and explain what responsible actions toward solidifying us as a non-profit organization you are going to take while you build this thing.

With all of this said we still have to take smart steps to dissect this situation. We have to go around Koshalek and prove to his board that he has failed as a president at fulfilling his expansive obligations with responsible spending as a non-profit organization. We have to demand an independent degree audit, so we can prove he hasn’t acted responsibly, because he can’t just keep raising tuition and cutting costs on education and go around saying he is a good fund raiser. He doesn’t understand us students, he may think he does, but he has no idea what we need in terms of networking education and what it means to us, and even if he does he hasn’t showed responsibility is nurturing that cause. We pay money and invest in Art Center to give us skills, connections, the school for what it is as a resource, and a leader who supports all of that. If a degree audit is not granted, then we have to gather up every one of you who went to the meeting and more and start protesting. There are some really influential and rich people who invest in this school and if they see how unhappy we are, it is only because our student body in large numbers has such a psychological impact. We have to be smart but aggressive at the same time.

This letter is a collaboration of my thoughts and talk with my teachers (I don’t want any of them to get in trouble, as they shouldn’t, if Richard is a responsible president) AND WHAT PEOPLE HAVE EXPRESSED ON THIS BLOG ALREADY. I am excited to see people who care about their school and future more importantly as I do.

Nate Young was a student here, he knows what’s good for this school. Only accepting the best (meaning the most talented and hard working students that show a lot of potential in their respective fields, and getting them ready to be leaders of their design fields. Higher acceptance rates will only give students false hope and guarantee to leave some students in debt when they graduate. We are all affected by this situation.

Why is there only a recycle bin in like every other studio room, and they all have miscellaneous trash in them and bottles in the normal trash cans?

Anonymous said...

If Rachael were president, we'd have daycare and health insurance taht doesn't bankrupt you. And pay staff for jury duty. And install guaranteed e-mail return. Shit, maybe I should be president!

I'd bring also back ice cream socials (anybody remember those?), the carnival, and bbq's every term.

AND WE WOULD PERMANENTLY BANISH STYROFOAM from the cafeteria. And install compact flourescent light bulbs everywhere.

Don't forget quality of life, people!

Anonymous said...

of course we all want that. and in a perfect world, we could have everything. unfortunately real life is not so easy. and i don't think it helps to simplify thigns so much. there are real issues and tehy require real solutions. but you have to ask the right questions and actually CARE to get real answers. and then we can all work on everything together as one unified community.

Anonymous said...

Oh thats right, no one is asking real questions here or trying to get real answers. Are we simplifying things too much by saying Koshalek is bad for the school and Nate was good? Its really not much more complex than that.

All our problems will surely go away if we are a "unified community". We should all just get along, hold hands and sing Kumbaya! Good Grief!

Anonymous said...

in response to 4:29:

i apologize. i should have specified that my post was in response to this:
If Rachael were president, we'd have daycare and health insurance taht doesn't bankrupt you. And pay staff for jury duty. And install guaranteed e-mail return. Shit, maybe I should be president!

I'd bring also back ice cream socials (anybody remember those?), the carnival, and bbq's every term.

AND WE WOULD PERMANENTLY BANISH STYROFOAM from the cafeteria. And install compact flourescent light bulbs everywhere.

Don't forget quality of life, people!

Anonymous said...

dear post at 4:29 pm,

i do actually think that the issues are more complicated that koshalek vs. nate. and i think a lot of other people here agree with that.

Anonymous said...

Some thought regarding anonymous 3:02 and 3:12.

I work for a company that hires graduates. The top students in the classes over the past four years have gotten better. We hired them. Even the mid level grads are doing pretty good work. They won't get jobs for a couple of reasons. Firstly, there are too many of them graduating. Secondly, the school does a completely unacceptable job of marketing them and identifying jobs for them. The school should be doing this and they don't. So, letting more student in as 3:02 is discussing is wrong. All you get is more middle quality grads that won't find work, and the resources for them to find jobs is watered down.

I respectfully disagree with 3:12. The school has a deep, strong reputation with the people that matter in the industries that hire them. If the United Nations doesn't know about ACCD then the admin isn't doing it's job of marketing. Building a library won't help that. Larger enrollment won't help that. And when was the last time the UN made a donation to the school or hired someone. The school had no endowment when Koshalek was hired because the last guy blew it on a bankrupt European campus and scouting trips to start an Asian campus. Koshalek, was supposed to rebuild the endowment. He has not. He was supposed to bring his rolodex full of doners met when he worked at MOCA and tap them for cash. He had the resume of the best design school in the world to use as bait, yet he hasn't marketed it well. And in the meantime, some very good working designers such as Nate came to the school and have improved the quality of the top students graduating. All the while Koshalek and crew were flying to Europe for alumni reunions with the grads of the failed Vevey campus. What did that cost? How many attended? How much did they give? BTW, the school has always done feel good projects with groups like the UN. Hate to tell ya, if you want to do something good for the world I recommend working hard at school, getting a job with some big company that can afford to make good products for real people that actually move society forward, and then design them. And then cash your paycheck with pride and pay your student loans.

Anonymous said...

I'm infinitely amused that it took a styrofoam cup to finally get things to a head. Many of us have had a problem with the school's spending starting from our 2nd and 3rd terms (back in 2004 for me) but never had hard evidence like this to back it up.

Nate was pretty much the last thing keeping Koshalek in check, so it's no small thing that the barrier's now gone.

Best of luck, if people like the type that frequent 4chan can organize something like project chanology, then I'm pretty sure you can pull together something pretty dramatic once you get enough pissed off alums and current students in one place.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I heard that Nate was overbudget by over $1 million this year. Part of that was he had created a new layer of education managers over department chairs called "deans." Two layers of bureaocracy! Nate was not keeping himself in check, so how could he keep anyone else in check? He was a student here and a designer but not an educator ever. No one is off the hook. Why did he resign? Could he actually say no to anyone?

Anonymous said...

Oh, right -- this sounds like one of Koshalek's drones posing as a student! Sorry for the cynicism, but if you'd been reading this blog you might have figured that the outrage would be even several decibles louder right now if another $1 million less had been spent on education last year.

For Nate, education was the priority. Being on budget to kiss Koshalek's ass while he and his entourage toured Europe is not the kind of educational leadership Art Center needs. I've heard Nate say "no," but he also had the guts to say "yes" to what it means to maintain the quality of an Art Center education.

Anonymous said...

ATTENTION -- EVERYONE WHO WAS AT THE STUDENT MEETING:

We all heard the emotion and sincerity in Rachael Tiede's voice yesterday as she described Nate Young's commitment to Art Center and the reason for his resignation.

Today, Thursday, Rachael was let go by the administration. As of tomorrow, Friday, she no longer works at Art Center.

Rachael worked at Art Center for ten years, in various capacities and acquired broad experience. She and her husband, an Art Center alum, have a 4 month-old baby.

Ashley said...

PETITION

Here is a rough draft of a petition that I am putting together. If anyone has comments/critiques/suggestions please make yourself heard! This is a community effort and will represent everyone's voice! Again, the point of this petition is simply to ask the Board to not renew Koshalek's contract. it is meant to be simple and straight to the point.

We, the undersigned members of the Art Center community, are asking the Board of Trustees to not renew Mr. Richard Koshalek’s contract. We are concerned with the direction the school is taking and believe a change of leadership is necessary. The current administration’s policies of increased enrollment, unnecessary expansion, and lack of transparency and communication have negatively impacted the quality of education. We believe that the school needs to make excellence in education and quality of students its top priority once again.


any suggestions or helpful ideas please contact me at astods@gmail.com.

on another, sadder note, I stopped by Rachel Tiede's office to thank her for speaking out yesterday to find that she is indeed leaving her job. I don't know what the circumstances are, but it is just another example of all the fine people this institution is losing.

So let's do something about it!

~Ashley

shoji said...

in reply to: ATTENTION -- EVERYONE WHO WAS AT THE STUDENT MEETING:

We all heard the emotion and sincerity in Rachael Tiede's voice yesterday as she described Nate Young's commitment to Art Center and the reason for his resignation.

Today, Thursday, Rachael was let go by the administration. As of tomorrow, Friday, she no longer works at Art Center.

Rachael worked at Art Center for ten years, in various capacities and acquired broad experience. She and her husband, an Art Center alum, have a 4 month-old baby.


She is being 'let go' or she is resigning? If she is being fired then was it because she broke some sort of non-disclosure breach of contract with the school? I can't imagine them legally being able to let her go if that wasn't the case since she didn't actually do anything to warrant her firing (then again I suppose that depends on who you ask).

If she's resigning as an act of defiance towards the administration then that's one thing, but if she's being let go then that's ridiculous.

Frustrating...

Anonymous said...

There was no breach of contract. And, she did not resign.

Anonymous said...

Art Center Students,
As one of the "administration" I ask you all please do not put all the staff into the same category as Richard Koshalek, Erica Clark, etc. There are those of us who have spent many years here at Art Center working in a non-profit educational environment because we believe in the power and importance of education. Many of these staff members could easily work in the corporate world for far greater salaries, but choose to remain at ARt Center because they too believe in it as you and our alumni do. Most of us have been working here for relatively small salaries and have had no merit raises in more than a decade - only "cost of living raises" that were a meager 2 1/2% last year. That's not exactly keeping up with cost of living inflation in the US today.

A huge majority of us are completely opposed to Mr. Koshalek's "vision" and direction for the school. We have been faced with budget freezes and now budget cuts in all our educational departments. We don't travel, don't dine on Art Center's budget and do our best to give our students our best efforts. We are so proud of you. We regularly promote our best students, faculty and programs to Art Center's Marketing and Communications Department and see nothing come of it. We work hard to hire and keep our wonderful faculty and being tarred with the same brush as Koshalek is disheartening to say the least. Please know that so many of us support this effort, mourn Nate's resignation, and yet stay because we believe in Art Center and what we know it can be once again.
You are right to assume that these postings are all anonymous due to fear - being afraid for my job and my ability to support my family is an understatement. Case in point, yesterday at the student meeting Rachael Tiede took it upon herself to try to give students the facts behind Nate's decision to resign. Who would know better than her, his assistant, what he struggled with? In response to her statement at the meeting, before she even made it back across the bridge to her office, HR had left a message telling her to meet in their office this morning and she was "let go"- told her job had been eliminated. The fact that she gave ten years to Art Center and had an exemplary performance record counted for nothing - she was dismissed today - don't come back - clean out your desk and turn in your keys. No attempt to place her in another department - nothing.

Richard will not tolerate anyone not supporting him unconditionaly so please don't belittle staff for not being more visible in this process. We are working quietly for you and for this cause and support your efforts 100%. Thank you for the opportunity to speak out.

Anonymous said...

Re 10:04

My guess is that she got threatened/squeezed, however you want to put it, and therefore "resigned."

A lot of "resigning" goes on around here.

Anonymous said...

RE 10:11

Thank you so much for sharing this information--I'm the one who guessed she was "squeezed." I did not imagine it could get this bad.

I saw what she had to say at the student meeting. It was not inflammatory in the least regardless of your position on Nate. I had questions about Nate's lack of background in education and some of his decisions but I still believe he had the best interests of the school and the students at heart. To punish Rachel for saying so is awful--and I would think potentially illegal.

This is really sickening.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone
Long time lurker, first time poster.
First of all, thank you to the anonymous administrator who shared your thoughts with us. It's very VERY heartening to know that not everyone in the administration shares Koshalek's "vision."

I would ask the anonymous administrator and anyone else who is "in the know" on this thread to weigh on the students' best course of action. Is the petition to the trustees (good job Ashley, by the way) the best way to get our voice heard and make sure Koshalek's contract is not extended? Is there something else we can do? Is there anything we absolutely should NOT do in order to make sure the trustees respect and listen to us?
Any information you feel you can safely share (without violating some sort of confidentiality agreement or anything) would be immensely helpful.

My other question for those of you who know more than me: if Koshalek's contract does get extended, how long will it last? I heard the number "2013" kicking around--is that accurate?

To all my fellow students: it is times like this that we learn what we are made of. It sounds really melodramatic to say, but I think it's true. I love Art Center despite its flaws, and I hope we can pull together to help protect our school and (on a more earthly note) our significant investments of time and money.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 10:10, thank you for your words. It is scary to know that the constitutional right of free speech is not tolerated by Richard Koshalek.

Anonymous said...

To 11:09:
Koshalek's present contract extends to September, 2009. I have heard his extension request is for three years with an optional fourth, which would take us to 2013.

To make sure your voice is heard, it must echo beyond the cafeteria and beyond the school itself. Refuse to work only within official channels. Don't be appeased by false solutions such as a "student rep on the Board" -- that's a worthwhile idea but meaningless to the kind of change you are seeking.

The trustees seek the path of least resistance -- and right now the physics of the situation, even with this blog and all that has happened, still favor Koshalek.

Balanced dialogue with the administration is important and must continue -- but more important is that you aggressively take this message to the larger community and to the media. Contact the media, newspapers, TV, attract them to campus with banners demanding Koshalek's dismissal; stage a protest; write a student press release and email it exposing the blog and youtube video to public scrutiny. Be creative about getting the word out and fight the battle through unofficial channels, even as you equally pursue official (ACSG) ones. The board does not want to be emberrassed by public recognition of Koshalek's poor performance and how badly things are going within the college.

You have to change the physics. Make Koshalek's dismissal their only path of least resistance.

Hoven said...

Eric, (below) I agree with you completely, and I am still a student. I came to Art Center for the name. Yeah, it's true. I never fully believed in education but I believed in Art Center. Why? for the talent and eloquent faculty. For the open conversation and personal dialogue that we come to sometimes experience but not rarely. I just wish Richard would talk to us. It's not that hard. I want to rid myself of useless negativity in terms of expression and dialogue, I just want to talk to him. I don't believe Richard is such a bad, despite the fact that I've never met him like most of you. However, I feel that we all have the same intention when in comes to Art Center. To be successful. I came to Art Center knowing that my diploma would carry it's name and hopefully guarantee me a great place in the design industry. Maybe even the best. I don't feel that any more. Richard, your intentions are humanistic yet selfish maybe, with all due respect. You're a business man as am I or at least hope to be. The most important thing however is to start and maintain conversation. Students and yourself. Be a friend man. We tend to bite, yet we bite with a precise approach for the right taste. We're smarter than you might think friend. The reputation of this school is in our hands. Don't forget this. I also thin despite the fact that each class breaks down to 200 dollars, I and many other are willing to sacrifice to make a change and stand up for what we simply deserve. Information and transparency. Be our friend sir. Show me and everyone your well known yet forgotten capabilities of being a carrying person about what is important and not beneficial.

Best,
Enrique Barrios

Anonymous said...

TO ACSG:

When you meet with Koshalek today, he will be charming, clever, and at ease. He will appear to have all the answers. He'll set you straight on everything, and you'll be convinced.

Ask him one question: given the lack of confidence expressed by the Art Center community, will he be willing to step down when his contract ends next year?

That is the ONLY question that really matters, and the ONLY answer the students should consider to be fully reliable. That one answer alone should determine the students' next step. Everything elso he will say is disputable and as this process unfolds, information will continue to leak out that shows such to be the case.

Anonymous said...

Did the rest of you get the letter from Koshalek "assuring us the Art Center community is strong and focused etc..." I know of another president who still believes the economy is strong. Keep up the spin!

NOBODY BUYS YOUR CRAP KOSHALEK OR YOUR PHONY STUDENT / ALUMNI POSTS ON THIS BLOG.

We have 3 reports of Koshalek himself tearing down posters off the wall that announced Wednesdays meeting. He is losing it and running scared.

As Far as Rachael Tiede being forced out (and yes she was told to leave) for standing up and telling the truth -this is a true tragedy in the making. No freedom of speech in a dictatorship I guess. We should all hang our heads in shame that this has been allowed to happen.

Ashley's post (May 29, 2008 9:36 PM) concerning a petition is a good start. Please contribute and give her feed back.

The other recent noteworthy post is the one that calls to get the media involved.(May 30, 2008 2:19 AM) Outside public pressure is vital to make this change a reality.

IT IS TIME FOR ACTION!

Anonymous said...

What letter? Could you post it?

Anonymous said...

I fowarded this blog and the videos of the student meeting to the Alumni that work with me, I've told them to forward it to every alumni they know.

Anonymous said...

In response to the heartfelt post by the staff person in the administration, I want to apologize for using "Administration" in my earlier post that contrasted the Koshalek positions with what I called the Majority View. I absolutely agree that we should not confuse the vast majority of staff with Koshalek and his positions.

In fact, in my encounters with administrators, not one person supports him if they speak confidentially.

Regarding Rachel's dismissal, what a sad and shameful example of how things are going these days under Koshalek's leadership. Rachel is a highly capable employee and to summarily get rid of her is inappropriate and unethical. We do not work for a for-profit institution that must ruthlessly purge anyone who does not tow the company line, and what Rachel said can hardly be construed as harmful or even controversial to the institution. She simply stated that her boss resigned because he disagreed with the direction being pursued.

Art Center is an educational, non-profit institution that should support a wide range of opinions and dialog, because that is what will make it a better and more effective place. If Koshalek does not understand this, then he is truly wrong for the job.

Eduction First!

Anonymous said...

It is really sad that it has come to this.
BUT- 2:15 AM has got it right. Go PUBLIC.

Rachael Tiede's dismissal is a WARNING. Speak out, dissent, and be eliminated. (By the way, this is grounds for a lawsuit.) Who is next?

Here is a model for action:
The Writers Strike in Hollywood. It had far-reaching effects, and the world was watching. They got their contract.
Students UNITE. Bring in the Media. The Faculty and Staff won't cross your picket line.

Ophelia Chong said...

Take a deep breath.

Rumors, assumptions, "I heard...", is not going to help right now. Unless you have the absolute truth from both sides, its just conjecture.

What is that you want from ACCD? And what is the best way to achieve your goal of a first rate education?

Having anyone's head on a plate does no one any good. And if you did, how would you proceed? Too many revolts have taken place where the aftermath is confusion. Or a dictatorship and lock down where nothing happens.

What's best for you? Start listing what you want, not what has already transpired.

In reality you are a client of ACCD. Let them know what you want to pay for.

Anonymous said...

dear ophelia,

thanks so much for your comment. your calm, reasoning post is a breath of fresh air among some of these posts. i think you've got the right idea.

Anonymous said...

Yes Ophelia you are right- the goal is first class education. And "heads on a plate" is not a solution. The problem being posed here is this. How do you get the "head-chopping" side with all the power to stop and LISTEN to the issues being raised, to sit down at the table and negotiate. There has to be a willingness to compromise on BOTH sides. Animosity, ego, power, pride, must be put aside in order to find creative solutions, so that we can all go forward with the primary goal. FIRST CLASS EDUCATION FIRST! At the core is the argument of what that means. Opposing views about how that is to be accomplished. Which of course comes back to how the money is spent. Coming to a well-reasoned, agreement is hard enough, made even harder if a public debate is not tolerated. The guillotine will serve neither side. And it matters little who is President until the philosophical question of what is the best way to educate our students for the challenges of the 21st century is resolved. And everyone needs to be part of that discussion.

Anonymous said...

amen to that!

Future of Art Center said...

In line with the idea of building a constructive dialog, there is a new blog that we hope can facilitate this.

http://futureofartcenter.blogspot.com/

It is not meant to compete with this blog, but supplement it with focused discussions. There are several discussion topics (and we're open to additional topics) and everyone is encouraged to comment, anonymously or by name. Let us know what you think.

-- Future of Art Center

Anonymous said...

Ophelia, if what you say is true, than wouldn't Mr, Koshalek take an initiative to inform his students of his righteous cause?

Anonymous said...

in response to 12:48:

i think everyone can agree that there has been a HUGE lack of communication between the administration and the students. but i honestly don't believe that that was done maliciously. i think it's terrible that it's gotten so bad and it definitely needs to get fixed. but i really, really, really don't think that the administration is trying to hide their plans from the students.

i think we should seee if they realize this problem and do anything to fix it. that will be interesting.

Anonymous said...

In terms of employment at ACCD (as well as hundreds of other businesses), employment is "at will" which means an employee can leave at any time if they wish and the employer can let one go anytime if they wish. Some managers have contracts, but most employees are "at will."

With Nate gone and Rachael working directly for him, what "work" is there for her to do? Not to be cold, but that's an obvious business decision whether she voiced an opinion or not. Everything is not a conspiracy.

Ophelia Chong said...

Yes, it would've been great if the administration was more transparent, but it's not. As for Richard Koshalek showing you what is on the table, hopefully that will come soon.

In this continuing firestorm everyone is either running from the flames or jumping right in.

If you speak to alumni, you will get the same answer. Loved the education, hated the experience. But if you push further, they will tell you that it was that experience that taught them to be great designers.

You are at a school that quote from the founder Edward A. "Tink" Adams, to have " a faculty of professionals rather than a professional faculty", had that as it's motto. Where are we now?

How can we help the faculty to give you that top rated education?

If moving the funds from building an edifice that serves the few, to attract and retain the best faculty in the world, then that is what has to be done to serve the many.

Brian said...

Speaking of irrelevant, this seems to be a silly concern. Are you kidding me? You're preoccupied with issues of styrofoam vs ceramics? Tuition is too high? Your worried how much the president is getting paid?

Petty (and I do mean petty) arguments, rehashed annually by students of any college. This is no different.

The school still delivers on a preeminent design education second to none!

Nobody forces you to attend this institution. You have a variety to choose from my friend.

-Brian Jackson (GrPk '87)

Anonymous said...

Back when Koshalek first proposed plans for expansion, he was denied by a community of pasadena residents the opportunity to build such projects as the frank Gehry building. So he wrote an article in the newspapers mentioning that he intended to relocate Art Center to Los Angeles. The residents near by freaked out because Art Center raises the value of their homes. So they went to the Mayor of Pasadena and told him to let Koshalek build what he wants to keep Art Center in Pasadena. That was a smart move on his part. Now it can be our chance. If we were to write a petition or something, and send it out to all residents on this hill, convincing them that Koshaleks plans might in turn not benefit the value of their homes, they would convince the board not to renew Koshaleks contract.

Anonymous said...

in response to idea post May 30, 2008 1:46 PM

ya and after we "convence" them we then "convence" all the people that work on and in their houses that their employers are going to be losing money on thier homes and that their jobs are in danger.....then we can go to their kids and tell them that they are not going to go to college because their parents are going to lose money from thier work in the hills below art center then after that we should probably go to those kids schools because the teachers of those kids should be aware that theirs students might have drop out to help support their families by working instead of going to school which means that the teachers will then be scared about losing their jobs cause student enrollment will be down and it goes on and on.....

or maybe we can participate, like intelligent people, in the conversations that have been started with the administration and see where that goes before we turn to "convincing" the world that ACCD is going to bring down the world....

Anonymous said...

long time lurker, first time poster here.

just to start off, wow... it seems like people here are eating up everything they read wholesale. i agree, there's been a lack of communication, but how about asking questions through a proper channel rather than just spread rumors and insinuations through blog post comments (probably the most devolved form of discourse there is).

i for one welcome the drc. do you guys really think we have adequate library and shop space, not to mention classroom space (where the education happens)? it's a building for us to utilize to its full potential. it's going to alleviate some of the space issues in the ellwood building (faculty offices anybody?). what people are forgetting is that these new buildings are for the service of us, the students. but no, we shouldn’t build anything. let’s just all cram into the ellwood building. and here, i thought this was a progressive school.

and also, does this blog represent the majority of art center students? i doubt it. sure, there are over 300 comments here, but many are from the same people (and what suspiciously feels like an administrator or faculty member trying to push their own personal agenda through steering the discussion here). yeah, i was at the meeting on wednesday, and yeah, it was a packed house, but i really doubt that the sentiments here are indicative of the student body as a whole.

as for the bitching about tuition dollars, give me an effing break. we pay, what, 15k/term? yeah, it ain’t peanuts, but that’s pretty competitive when you compare it to other schools like otis, parsons, risd, etc. also, the reality is, that yes, our tuition dollars fund other things beside education. i’d love to see an example of a school that uses 100% of its tuition dollars on education.

Anonymous said...

ya and i would like and axample of a school that doesnt fund raise for new buildings, program expansion, building maintenance, etc...you get the idea.

but more important i would like to see a school that had a 100% of all faculity, staff, alumni, and students that all agree with their schools future and how to obtain it....

Anonymous said...

Thanks for Ophelia for bringing back a level of decency to the blog.

As a supporter of design, art, and architecture, I am really pained by the attack on architecture posted in this blog. The Ellwood building, for example, is not a "copy" of Crown Hall. It was inspired by that building and its architecture, but is very much its own separate design. As designers, I hope you appreciate the difference between a copy, an imitation, and what is "school of" and inspired by. It's not a perfect building, but it's being worked on all the time. The efforts to do a conservation plan and begin to study ways to make it much more green and energy efficient are all a part of that.

Another part of the story that needs to get out about this new DRC building is that it is not an empty shell, just an ego-infested edifice. The DRC will provide new, larger space for studios, workspace for students, and yes, a library too. It is half studios and half library, with a gathering place in between. The present library on the bridge will then be used for more education functions. You are welcome to view the building's plans in the Architecture and Planning Office anytime. The door is open. The staff there will do their best to answer any questions.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but the intention of the so-called DRC is to give the students, faculty, staff, and alums a world-class experience, with excellent facilities and better equipment. You all deserve that. It's part of the plan to keep Art Center up-to-date and competitive with school far into the future.

Frank Gehry is one of the most celebrated architects in the world. Bilbao and Disney Hall have been recognized as two of the best buildings in the world. Why was he chosen for Art Center? The intention, I think was to have a world-class building for a world-class school. Of course, he's highly controversial too. But the intention was to create the best experience, the best space here.

FYI, the fundraising plans have always included raising funds for scholarship, the building, and endowment. ALL THREE! Before Richard, the endowment was virtually non-existent. Scholarships too have increased although there's still not enough. FYI, many donors like to give to a specific category. Some like to contribute specifically to a building campaign. That doesn't take away from the funds for scholarships and endowment. It's not a zero-sum game.

And I know that I will be attacked, but so be it. This is my truth, and if don't want to hear it, that's up to you. An academic community IS entitled to expressing differing views. That's the point.

Anonymous said...

12:11 says -- And "heads on a plate" is not a solution.

I agree -- maybe you could mention that to Rachael Tiede, to Nate Young, and to all the others who have been fired or forced to resign for standing up to Koshalek. He is the only one with the lopsided power to terminate Art Center careers, and he seems to do so whenever threatened by any criticism.

Nobody is calling for Koshalek to be fired. We just want the trustees to let him lap-dissolve into his next career somewhere else, at the end of his current contract.

By the way, Future Of Art Center blog? Sounds like an admin plant to me, folks. I could be wrong, but it seems smartly timed with a few kiss-and-dialogue posts, and meant to coincide with the meeting of Koshalek/ACSG. I'm skeptical.

For the moment, this blog right here is the true Voice of Art Center. Nobody messes with THE VOICE!

Anonymous said...

"Rachael Tiede, to Nate Young, and to all the others who have been fired or forced to resign for standing up to Koshalek"

does anybody know for a FACT that this is what happened?

Anonymous said...

"confused"

I dont understand why people people are attacking richard koshalek so much.....i have seen him around and i have never seen a black cloud over him or a bunch of lenchmen revolving around him...

so why does everyone write like he is a bad guy...

also since this blog started I have been in planning office and was shown the models and projects and i tell you that i dont see where alot of this blog is coming from ...they explained where everything was and the process the school has to go thru to get things done....

i just dont understand why people are only discussing things here and not looking for answers for themselves.....

maybe its just easier to critize then seeking answers.......

Anonymous said...

"confused"

really a website plant....seriously...my understanding it was setup by students....

can someone clear this up cause i have looked at the site and it seems to better organized then this blog has gotten....

Its hard to respond or read everything on this blog only cause of its setup....

Future of Art Center said...

To the poster who made the comment about the future of art center blog. Ouch! A plant of the administration? Wow, if you only knew how wrong you are - and knew how careful we were to stay anonymous so we wouldn't get fired. But hey, if people aren't interested, so be it.

Our hope was simply to create a space that Koshalek has not yet created - where conversations could go on towards a vision of where the school can go. Make no mistake, change is the agenda on the future of art center.

This is really about next steps. Nathan did a fantastic thing by opening up this dialog. But one long thread isn't going to generate concrete proposals about how to move forward. For example, say we win and the Board of Trustees decides to not renew Koshalek's contract. Then what? We, the Art Center students, faculty, staff and alumni will need to set an agenda for who they hire to replace him. Or do you want another President who isn't effective in making Art Center a better institution?

http://futureofartcenter.blogspot.com/

Future of Art Center said...

also, regarding the question about who is behind futureofartcenter, it was faculty who started it. but if there are students (or anyone else) who would like to participate, please let us know. either post your comments, or if you want to help with and influence the content, contact the below email.

futureofartcenter@gmail.com
http://futureofartcenter.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

"confused"

thank you for clearing that up the new website for this discussion cause i hope it works better then this. and for my next response i will do it on there.

Anonymous said...

Anon (@ 2:35 PM May 30, 2008), your knowledge of the planning office and the models inside make me wonder who you might be. Patrica Oliver, perhaps?

Even so, I have seen the models contained inside the Planning office and they show not of promise for students but out of control spending and rewarding failure. If I may ask, why should we trust the planning office and Patricia Oliver who brought us such great projects such as the prototype classroom, the student pavilion and south campus?

Future of Art Center said...

has anyone heard what happened with the ACSG meeting with Koshalek?

Anonymous said...

i thought it was students that asked for the sinclaire pavilion. that's what i heard. is that not true?

course... it's kinda hard to tell what's true on here anymore...

Anonymous said...

the meeting is still happening

Anonymous said...

But what facts are in dispute, please? List them, so that someone might respond. I am someone who must post anonymously as I fear for my job, but most of what I have read here is factual. I can confirm one error regarding the finances and debtload of South Campus, which are are not as high as described. But I'll let someone address this non-anonymously. Back to my first point--what do you question? If it is the forced resignation and firings of many senior leadership over the past two years, with college having to pay hefty severance, then I am sure someone can confirm this for you. Maybe address this question to Jean Ford, your new institutional leadership task chairperson.

Anonymous said...

The Sinclaire Pavilion resulted from student input. There was a two-day design charrette, and students (Env. Design and others) came up program, concepts, the site, etc. (an open air space away from the building, views of the outdoors (not the building), places to hang out, wall space to present work, a place to heat up food, an area for music and events, a site to take advantage of the ADA ramp). Two students continued to work with the architects to realize the design.

You may not agree with the results, but the intention was to give the students what they wanted. For a time, Waldo the coffee cart was moved out to the pavilion, but people didn't want to walk out of their way to get coffee. So it was moved back.

Anonymous said...

"confused"

in response to the comment at 4:05

i dont think that Patricia oliver posted that comment and even if she did why at any point a person not siding with your views a bad person. is isnt the idea here to let everyone express thier opinions and get real facts and figures into the conversation.

It seems like you comment is very loaded. i would assume that you are a faculity and I begin to wander if your involvement here is more personal then productive.

I dont understand how we can move forward when everytime something is posted all we do is send up the flag of evil and try to destroy any since of intellegence or reason the comment might offer.

As far as the buildings and projects that you mentioned those were asked for by the art center community which we are all apart of.

Anonymous said...

hey anon 4:05

you have alot to say about people in the school and about the direction the school is heading but the comments around you tell another story, specifically that you are not in the student meeting. so are you here to spread fear or stir up trouble.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:05 said:

I have seen the models contained inside the Planning office and they show not of promise for students but out of control spending and rewarding failure.

4:05 is exactly right.

Koshalek's modus operandi has been to focus on architectural projects, international travel, conferences, and book publishing as devices for generating publicity and marketing the college. He thinks the exposure from these enterprises will trickle down effectively into fundraising successes, and are thus justified expenditures of his time. He considers himself entrepreneurial in this respect.

He has, however, been consistently wrong in his assessment of the return on investment from these activities. Entrepreneurship is a admirable quality, but lackluster results speak for themselves. Koshalek's results always lack the luster of the (quite frankly) bombast that precedes them. While there is no question that international travel and exposure, collaboration and partnerships, and media coverage of Art Center events have their place -- they always have -- the college's educational mission has in fact suffered under a president who is exclusively devoted to being an impressario rather than an educational leader.

What's going on in the ACSG meeting is spin, spin, spin. I hope we ARE stirring up trouble for the administration here -- it's long overdue.

Anonymous said...

um... are you actually in the meeting or do you just assume that that is the case?

Anonymous said...

To the poster who made the comment about the future of art center blog. Ouch! A plant of the administration?

My apologies. I'll take another look, and thanks for the explanation.

Anonymous said...

6:05, it scares me that you are hell bent on your agenda to bring down Koshalek. You are not the voice of reason, you are not judge and jury. You are spreading rumor and trying to create fear and panic and doing a lot of spinning yourself. You've basically taken a page out of George W. Bush's playbook and that is not acceptable!

Anonymous said...

"confused"

In response to post at 6:05

you say that the current meeting is nothing but spin spin spin and you loath on causing trouble.

So basically you want to believe that there can be an educated discussion on any of the subjects in this blog with the administration. You know it really sounds like you dont believe anything good can come out of the students activily participating in the process or that you have any faith in them to ask relevent questions and make informed decisions for themselves.

What i really think is that you are the blogger from 4:05pm and your just perpituating hate and fear for your own personal agenda.

if you dont think anything can come out of these or any other discussion then it sounds like you have no faith in anyone in the school other then yourself and maybe you should think about why you are still here. if you have given up all hope maybe you need to find another cause or movement that you can destroy.

Anonymous said...

4:31 said:
The Sinclaire Pavilion resulted from student input.

When Koshalek first came to Art Center, he wanted to make a symbolic statement about what he was going to do as president. So he and Patricia Oliver inflated a gripe by a handful of students over the lack of a student lounge, into a $1 million-plus boondoggle. They asked only questions they knew would elicit answers they wanted to hear. Their reseach into the real need for such a space within the Art Center culture was paper-thin.

The proof of their failed process is in the finished product. The building opened and the students who were supposedly demanding it couldn't have cared less. They couldn't pay students to go out there. They did pay the cafeteria to move the coffee-cart there, but even that couldn't lure students to the new lounge. They moved it back inside because the cost of subsidizing the cafeteria for all the money they were losing became too great. Meanwhile, students continued to hang out at the south entrance like they always had...

They failed to understand the Art Center culture -- the first of many such failures. It is worth saying the many within the community knew at the time that the Sinclaire Pavilion was wrongheaded, but in a pattern of intimidation familiar to us all now, the administration made it clear that dissent was unwelcome.

Students just here for a few terms may still be dazzled by the Koshalek hype machine. Those of us who have been around for awhile know better.

Anonymous said...

No matter what you say, students participated in a charrette and gave their input. Many of those who contributed their ideas and desires had graduated by the time the pavilion was built. It turned out the idea of an open-air pavilion was problematic. And of course, somehow, people don't want walk out of their way. It wasn't $1M, by the way -- patently untrue.

Anonymous said...

News flash!

Rachael was not fired. She was offered other jobs at Art Center and chose to leave to pursue further education. Ask her! Maybe she'll add a post.

Best wishes, Rachael!

Anonymous said...

OK 7:02 let’s agree the students gave their input.

But clearly the Sinclair Pavillion is a failure (observable fact) and the South Campus is barely usable despite its awards. Who is accountable for that ? The students who participated in a charette?
The intention may have been to do something great. But the result is wasted precious resources and upside down priorities. It’s not evil. Just incompetence.

So now we should allow the same team to build a DRC? We’ll make it right this time by hiring a famous architect to drive up the per sq foot price and use unproven “beta” materials to increase the reliability.

Anonymous said...

No matter what you say, students participated in a charrette and gave their input.

So what? Students do that all the time, in classroom assignments. It doesn't justify spending $1 million-plus. The job of the administration is to know the difference between a student conceptual exercise, and a real-world commitment of resources. They blew it, clear and simple.

It wasn't $1M, by the way -- patently untrue.

It was more than $1M.

shoji said...

re: News flash!

Rachael was not fired. She was offered other jobs at Art Center and chose to leave to pursue further education. Ask her! Maybe she'll add a post.

Best wishes, Rachael!

May 30, 2008 7:11 PM


That's what I've heard too.

Anonymous said...

Rachael was not fired. She was offered other jobs at Art Center and chose to leave to pursue further education. Ask her! Maybe she'll add a post.

Rachael did not "choose to leave," she was pressured out, given no choice. I wish she would post, but I doubt she wants any more of all this.

Best wishes, Rachael!

What kind of condescending crap is this? The woman just lost her job and faces uncertainty. You should be ashamed.

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that the PR team has finally decided to flood the blog with positive messages. Why are you posting anonymously if you are supportive of RK and the master plan? You aren’t at risk.

This blog has been up for two weeks attracting viewers from around the world and there has been no participation or rebuttal from anyone identifiable in RK’s administration. Nice leadership.

Anonymous said...

7:49 – That’s because anyone with children knows it’s sometimes best to just let them wear themselves out. The communications team won’t be drawn into a dialog they can’t win. This team’s idea of “dialog” is highly staged and choreographed and about $2K a ticket.

Anonymous said...

"confused"

reply to post at 7:49

really you think people are afraid of "RK" and thats why they dont identify themselves even though they support the plans. look at how you all bash every name you can find and in the previous scrap fight that was deleted, you all even insinuated a alot of bad things about people who just work in the school. people who's role is the same as Rachele's. People who have jobs so they can pay their bills, raise thier families, and lead a life that they deserve. Think about it most of the staff here does care what happens to the school but at the end of the day its self preservation most of them dont give crud about this petty arguement over who's idea of the future of ACCD is the best.

so why would anyone want to invite the wrath of a mobs hatred.


and reading most of this it is clearly apparent that this is not about the students this is a fight between a few faculity and the administration. I havent met a student at art center that one knows anything about the pavilion charettes, the prototype studio or any other historical event that happened at the school before 2002.

Anonymous said...

I agree, we should bring this back to the central issues.

Art Center is broken right now, I think most people on both sides would agree. It is still a good place for students to learn, but the buried internal divisions are erupting and threaten to do further damage.

The central question is -- can the individual who presided over the breaking of Art Center also be the one to fix it? There comes a time, even for those who support the person in charge, to admit that the situation has deteriorated beyond that person's ability to restore.

It is time to cut our losses, and move on to a new era of Art Center's history. It is a time for new leadership.

Prior to the trustees meeting on the 19th, our focus should be on how to influence their decision regarding RK's contract extension. Nothing else, for the moment, matters.

Francois E. said...

Breaking News

If you have not heard the news or received the email here it is.


Breaking News ACCD - Subject

Tonight there has been a breakthrough. We have formed a Student Network of International Proportions. We have brought in alumni from across the globe to further our issues. They are on our side. We will be giving out more information as it unfolds. This network will be created like a worker union Now that we have Alumni support, we will seek to receive local government support. Stay tuned throughout the evening as events develop.

Francois E.

Public Relations Associate Director

Network For Student Initiatives

Anonymous said...

A message to Rachel -

If you are still out there, please post the circumstances of your departure from the school.

Anonymous said...

is it true that the la times reporter is coming tomorrow?

Anonymous said...

what happened in the meeting today with rk?

Anonymous said...

Regarding Ahelsy's petition on the Future of Art Center blog (futureofartcenter.blogspot.com):

Most of the criticism of Koshalek on Nathan's blog has been accurate. It is difficult for faculty and staff to defend that claim, because we cannot produce proof without revealing our identities. Very frustrating, believe me. Frustrating for you students, too, because you don't know who to believe.

If you are unsure, I would suggest approaching the petition by considering what you DO know for sure:

1. The main campus building has been neglected. Needed educational materials are in short supply.

2. Tuition continues to increase, but does not seem to be applied to the issues in #1.

3. There is great pressure on increasing enrollment. This may or may not be a good idea in general, but in a time of financial difficulty it threatens to place quotas at a higher priority than quality. This erodes the investment you have in an Art Center degree. Art Center is in financial difficulty presently, due in large part to a bloated administration, money-losing conferences, architect's fees, and extensive travel.

4. The president's emphasis is clearly on buildings and PR events, not education, and his track-record on making them relevant and useful to YOUR education is not good.

5. The president has failed to communicate well, and he has demonstrated a paranoia regarding criticism of his regime that has resulted in firings and forced resignations of top-notch people. He has created an atmosphere of fear, rather than an academic environment of open and constructie dialogue.

6. Scholarships, which should be the top priority of fundraising, have suffered by the distraction of trying to raise money for buildings. Buildings are important, but they do not need to have the price-tag of celebrity architects in order to be strong and proud design statements.

6. The faculty are underpaid, frustrated, and have been consistently denied a real voice in influencing management of the college.

Throwing all the other arguments and petty differences expressed on Nathan's blog aside, these central issues are a compelling reason to vote for new leadership. Koshalek is a charming intelligent person, but his nine-year agenda has brought us to this point, to the six points above. After nine years, his pattern is well known. It is too late for him to promise to change. It is too little too late for him to claim a sudden interest in real and effective dialogue.

By signing the petition you are not voting to fire Koshalek. You are stating that when his contract expires in 2009, after ten years at the helm, it will be time for him to move on. Ten years is a long time for any college president. Colleges are complex environments and they benefit from renewed leaderhship that looks at festering issues with a fresh vision. That is what Art Center needs.

New leadership at Art Center is called for. It is a reasonable and timely expectation. The difficult job of addressing issues and needs articulated on this blog will take time, and will not be solved overnight. A change in leaderhsip creates the opportunity to address those issues and needs in a serious way. Demanding new leadership is the vehicle by which you students can have a real influence and affect real change at Art Center.

Anonymous said...

Where is this petition to sign?

Future of Art Center said...

We've put up a poll for the petition to the Board of Trustees. If you agree with the statement that Ashley posted, go to the future of art center website and vote!

Any word on what happened in the ACSG meeting? If you have any info, post it, or email directly to futureofartcenter@gmail.com and we'll post it (confidentiality absolutely honored). ACSG folks - if you need a place to post information, we can create an area for you on the future of art center website.

futureofartcenter.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

As a student, I can guarantee you everyone I know at this school will sign that petition, and way more than everyone at the Wednesday ACSG Meeting.

Anonymous said...

I would like to first start off with thanking the faculty and admins who are posting… I understand your tricky position in this.

I also like to say that it’s not that I necessarily want Richard’s head on a platter; I hardly know what the President of the school is supposed to do. From what I read he is in charge of raising money for our endowment. I don’t know if he has successfully raised money, perhaps he has, but then has spent it on something else… like his conferences, trips, and buildings.

At least I know it’s not going towards education, I’m constantly hearing how departments can’t afford this and that, I’ve seen classes cut because they cant afford it, I’ve seen good teachers leave because the school can’t afford to pay them benefits of even put them on full time staff. I see my tuition rising every year… 6%... along with more students of lower quality being admitted, so many students, that we can’t even find parking in the sculpture garden.

We’re all charged a 200 dollar access fee... yet I don’t see any of the equipment being updated… (not to mention I’m an illustration student and used the model shop constantly only during 3rd term). So I wonder perhaps its going to the computer labs… but even there I see no improvement, instead I’ve seen it become even worse… There’s never an open computer when u need one, there’s not enough scanners, and don’t get me started on the printers… their quality is crap, they’re always out of ink or paper, or they’re not working. Even our wireless internet has had problems connecting with my laptop now and days…. (not to mention my laptop and my home printer are more reliable then the schools!)
I don’t want to rant about how much things cost… I’m a little bitter myself… especially when I hear alumni who’s tuition was only 1,200 or even 7,000 and had 4 terms of foundation with teachers like HOGARTH, god rest his soul. Ever wonder what Hogarth would say if he saw what the illustration department has become of now? Let alone Art Center?

Anyways I want to wrap up this post with why I came to Art Center, what I want from art center, and just a little life experience I’ve had at my previous school having to do with protesting and how to get things moving…

Why I Came to Art Center:
I’ve been at Art Center rat since the year 2000, I have seen my share of grad shows, and I’m sorry to say back then they were better in some areas then are now. Back then Art Center stood for Quality not Quantity (in the terms of students and their ability to draw). I would constantly hear “Its so hard you don’t sleep at night.” And the work on the walls, display cases, and in the student gallery, would make my mouth hang open. Everyone told me Art Center wasn’t for people straight out of high school… you had to be really good to get in… But once you were in you where considered to be one of the best of the best nation wide… if not world wide. I came to Art Center to get my butt kicked and make me a better designer. Art Center is not an Art school… it’s a DESIGN school…
Now if I have to make the same decision today I would think twice because of the cost… it seems every ones getting in… everyone willing to pay the tuition that is… It’s true every school is pricy now and days that’s a major problem that should be solved by our government , or the inner administrations… but most of those really expensive schools will make you lawyers, scientists (Caltech is cheaper then Art Center) think about it a 120,000 dollar school for a job that pays an average of 50,000. (Unless you’re a director or a senior artist, a lead, or just really damn good…) The math to me doesn’t add up… But you know I made a sacrifice to come because of what art center stood for. Now I feel that everything that was once true is false…

What I want from Art Center in order of importance for me: yes you may disagree with me on the order
- Reinstate Nate and Rachael. (I’ve gone to them once they actually listen to us unlike others that just brush us off, or let it be obviously known that were wasting their time and that everything were saying is going in one ear and out the other.) And they cared about what Art Centers image should be.
- Lower tuition if possible… (I hate to say it but if the school gets back on track about being elite… I’d painfully accept to pay as long as the education is the best). How can we do this… perhaps look into Hollywood… we have a strong entertainment track.. perhaps we can get some of the major game companies and movie companies to donate? Look to organizations such as the Rowe and Giesen Trust Fund? They were for the arts. Put our tuition in some kind of bank that has a good intrest rate? (As you can tell I know nothing about how we finance things.. but perhaps someone can suggest things
- A smaller but talented incoming class (I’m not trying to say some people aren’t good). But I agree with a poster that stated this alone would solve a lot of problems…(no need to build a parking structure, art center will maintain its integrity, there will be enough computers and class rooms to work I, for the students that attend, more scholarships would be available.
- Don’t tear down the Annex , we already built it… don’t waste our money, instead use that money to hire security guards and leave it open for students to use after hours. (Yes the annex has no restrooms, but it lets us at least set the room temperatures, it has a nice carpet and tables we can sleep on.)
- A more “green” campus. Reading the posts above, I do believe art center can make its carbon foot print smaller, solar panels are a great idea on our flat roof. In fact there are so many ways people have figured out to save energy that they can actually return energy to the city (wont our neighbors be happy if their electric bills lower).
- The foundations to be reinstated in the illustration major Years ago there was at least 3 terms of foundations, perspective, head drawing, hands drawing (they were two separate classes), analytical figure drawing was a Required class, there was head painting, and painting classes… etc… I’m not trying to blame this on Ann but I feel she is not doing Art Center justice by getting rid of foundation classes… If we need money to have good classes, perhaps we should cut down on the speakers and the Tea Parties… I’ll be happy to meet with my chair without the tea.
- Better school food. Eh its eatable… but its too pricey for what we get

For the students that have issues with this blog and think Art Center is fine the way it is:
If you don’t agree with us… at least be respectful to let the rest of us to get our issues out. In fact why are you wasting your time reading all our posts… you have homework to do!

Ophelia I agree with you… we all need to stay calm and organize. Breaking up into small groups and arguing with each other is exactly what Richard’s group wants to see.

However we can’t wait forever. If there are petitions to be written they should be done by the weekend so we students have enough time to sign them…

Anonymous said...

I’m the same A.N form above that spoke about why they came to art center, what they want from it… I made a new post because I don’t expect people to read through all that…. and this is more important

Speaking from Experience… How to go about to getting something started:
I’d like to say I have a little experience protesting, and perhaps this story will reveal who I am and I should fear for loosing the tiny scholarship I’m awarded… In HS, I along with my classmates in the Visual Art and Design Academy protested against the removal of Art, Music, and Theater classes in the Pasadena Unified School District due to budget cuts.
Notice of a disclaimer… perhaps this isn’t the same steps we need to take… but this is how we organized things back then (some of my memory escapes me so I write only what I do recall).
When my class heard about the announcement on how the unified school district believed they can cut costs on eliminating art, theater and music. We all began like this blog moaning, and complaining, getting angry and frustrated. But with out wise teachers, we calmed down and began to organize.
Step 1: We started of by writing a letter to the Governor… (This probably won’t apply to art center since its not funded by the government) Telling him what is going on, why art is important, and ending it with a request to please save our program.
Step 2: We wrote a petition for the board (Step 2 and step 3 kind of go hand in hand) In the petition we wrote about why we need the programs, the benefits.
Step 3: We assembled VADA alumni, our other academy at our school, and other friends that supported us and our beliefs
Step 4: We Made Signs and picket posts: Save the Academies, was one of the posters I still keep as memory of the day
Step 5: Write Speeches: it’s good to prepare speeches before meeting with the board. That way if you don’t get a chance to speak someone can read it for you or it can be turned in.
Step 5: Overwhelm the board witha large turnout at their meeting: The unified School District allowed for the public to come to their meetings and speak, so upon find out the day we all crowded into the tiny room. Some of us were forced to wait outside, to comply with fire safety laws.
Step 6: Wait it out: The board had lots of topics that day to discuss before our topic came up, and this was also another way to get us to disassemble and leave… but we stuck through it… 10pm for a meeting that started around 7.
At the end of the meeting we were finally let in, the board was tired… after hearing so many speeches that day (it seemed to me that every art, music, and theater program was sitting and waiting).
Step 7: Remember their time as yours is important - sum up your speech or accept even skipping some speeches..
My academy was the last on the list so most of us had to cut most of our speeches short... or not go at all. Once they hear 4 good heart-felt speeches on what the programs meant to us… they didn’t need to hear all of us say the same thing.

I cant say this will apply to us, and that it was all this easy, the faculty back then defiantly helped... but we can do it if we really want it...

I think another thing that could help a lot is to propose some solutions, that way it shows we have thought about the issues and we have thought about a way to solve them. We may not know how things work... but perhaps we can meet somewhere in the middle.

I've seen many posts that read if we get rid of Richard who will we put in charge... and I think to myself... why not Nate... he cared for us and the school. And let him pick a Vice President.

Anonymous said...

I missed one important thing on my list of what i want form art center

Bring back the good teachers... and pay them more... I'm not sure if this is rumor or fact, but teachers at art center are paid the same amount as teachers at PCC.

like i said before I've seen good teachers leave because they cant be put on full time to receive benefits.

Famous artists who once taught at art center have left because "they asked for too much"

Anonymous said...

__________________________________________

There might be a logical and forward-thinking reason Mr. Koshalek's contract should not be renewed.
__________________________________________

Note all the complaints on this blog about our crappy computers, failing equipment, old facilities. With technology playing an ever-increasing role in design endeavors, Art Center must aspire to be not just "up-to-date", it must be bleeding-edge in all aspects of the learning experience students receive here. This means its leadership must have a rare combination of savvy, stamina, and technological sophistication.

Demonstrably the most successful luxury automaker in the world, and arguably the 'hippest' one - BMW - has a controversial mandatory retirement age of 60. That's SIXTY years of age.

Despite accusations of age discrimination, BMW's shareholders understand, that in a wired world - where technology changes at the speed of light - the company NEEDS youth represented at the helm. See http://www.nytimes.com/2006/07/25/business/25bmw.html

Art Center's Board of Trustees might well consider a similar standpoint in making its upcoming decision regarding the school's contract with its president.

Richard Koshalek is 66.

Anonymous said...

so how can we get in touch with the board and petition them not to renew the current Presidents contract? How can I call them or email or visit in person with these people. Can we reinstate Nate Young as president once Mr.Kashalek is retired?

shoji said...

Nathan was able (with consent) to video document the meeting with ACSG and Koshalek et al. I'm working on posting it online (2-3hours of low res footage).

One of the 15 min video clips early in the meeting (mov file from a Nikon camera) was 'unreadable' so there will be a small portion missing unless anyone has the means to repair it.

I'll keep you posted.

Anonymous said...

Trustees email addresses are posted here, at May 28, 8:30pm.

Anonymous said...

CORRECTION:
Make that trustees emails on this blog page at

May 28, 8:37pm

Ophelia Chong said...

Stay tuned....

Anonymous said...

To 10:39 AM:

Be careful what you ask for. Burne Hogarth was in his 70's when he taught here. Some of our best loved teachers have been (are) over 60.

Your "mandatory retirement age" would mean that they would have to go.

Charity said...

Solution to Annex building tear down:

They could build a parking structure instead of tearing the annex building down and/or arrange to have public transporatation come up to the school. Maybe have a remote site to park cars (use the Rose Bowl parking and get a car company to donate a shuttle).

Future of Art Center said...

The issue with the tearing the Annex down is with the city more than with parking. Apparently the building was permitted as a "temporary" structure, and after some extensions to allow it to stay up longer, the city wants it removed.

futureofartcenter.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

To 12:51 PM:

Check out the 10:39 AM link to the NYTimes article, please... BMW's age-60 mandatory retirement rule applies only to non-manufacturing positions, at the senior executive level. If similar guidelines were to be adopted by the Art Center trustees, all faculty would be exempt as would lower level admin staff.

Not only should the board not renew Koshalek's contract, it should ensure ALL the qualifications of an eventual successor are appropriate to the position. In 2006, BMW retired its 60-yr-old chief executive and appointed a new CEO at age 50 - giving him ten years at the helm [assuming the company remains profitable, which it has]. Prior to his appointment, the new CEO had been BMW's head of production as well as on the company's board for six years.

Hmmmm...anyone starting to see some parallels to Nate Young in this discussion? Perhaps with an energetic and highly qualified successor now out of the picture, Mr. Koshalek believes the way is clear for his own tenure to go on?

matt grayson said...

This whole conversation about people retiring at 60 should stop.

First of all, it's blatant ageism. Second, it's the opposite of what society needs now that so many people are living into their 80s. Third, there's no reason to think that this sort of purging is beneficial to a company.

Good employees should remain on board as long as they prove valuable. It's a sad commentary on our society that many think people over 60 are worthless.

Chris Bangle is almost 53, do you think he'll retire from BMW in seven years?
Patrick Le Quement is 62. should he step down from Renault?

Rem Koolhaas, Frank Lloyd Wright, Thom Mayne, ... the list of people in and past their 60s that remain brilliant and influential by reinventing themselves is long.

All that aside, I don't think it's wise to look to the corporate world when designing a school's administration. (Even though AC started this way, with VP's instead of Provosts, that doesn't mean that was the right way. Tink also started off not believing we needed an endowment and look where that's put us.)

Corporations places profits first, clients second, everything else (including employees) third.

Schools (should) place students (clients) first, employees (fac and staff) second and everything else third (including profits).

Can we stop the comments about the President's age and get the focus back on his attributes?

matt grayson

Audrey! said...

Hi Everyone,

IT'S TIME FOR ACTION!

Below is a link for the petition. Please view it and sign it if you agree with its message. It will be presented to The Board members prior to their meeting this month so please circulate is as much as you can within the next week.

When you reach the site, make sure you click on the "letter" link under the image to view the actual petition that will be sent to The Board.

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/educationfirst

Ok, let's get moving.

Anonymous said...

To all of you anonymous bloggers, your level of credibility is rpidly declining as you continue to post nonsense fed to you by disgruntled people. The more you trash people and post wrong information, especially bout finances, the less serious you become. When you call the administration petty criminals you are going to far and run the risk of slander. You should take down the posting of 5/31 at 9:45 am.

Ashley said...

SIGN THE PETITION!!
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/educationfirst

those of you who want to make a difference, email me:
astods@gmail.com

lee bolton said...

There are many impassioned opinions here about the current situation at the school. I strongly encourage you before you post, to think wisely about your statements and thoughts and compose them with maturity -anonymous or not.

I feel your frustrations 100%, do not roll my eyes at you as you speak, and view your pleas and suggestions for improvement with the same amount of fervor and interest; However, please consider all sides of the argument before you speak, regardless of your taste for the other side or whether you are suggesting or replying.

If you are a student and you fear retaliation for your statement, think about it twice before posting anonymously. Maybe it is not appropriate at all because you are so wound up or angry you have lost a bit of perspective, -but more importantly I think this goes for everyone, students, faculty, and administration alike.

To all parties, the anony function should be used as a 'whistle blower', not because you choose to write inflamatory remarks of others. Please do not discredit the anony function further. -Keep in mind faculty choose not to speak about facts by name, and this alone makes it easy for other parties to discredit their opinions.

Please stick to the facts, and the problems at hand, not trash the reputation of the school or enact 'scorched earth policies' of doom.

Students please go to facebook and look for the group "Education First". Ask an administrator to join. -I know that sounds cliched but this has allowed us for quick organization in regards to the issues at hand, and provides a sounding board for our and your ideas alike.

In addition, please take the time to read the petition online or as it circulates the campus and make your decision from there.

Thank you.

(Sorry about playing 'board police'.)

Anonymous said...

I agree with everything on the petition except for the fact that it does not specifically state that the board must not renew Koshaleks contract. Am I missing something?

Anonymous said...

Okay, as the 9:45 anony poster, I agree it was catty and maybe not even true. Who knows? Not me. I just heard talk. But since we're talking about fiscal responsibility, the quality of the administration, the priority of education, and the direction of the school, it's talk that seems to fit the thread.

Audrey! said...

Hi Anon 8:22...

If you choose to sign the petition, there is space for you to leave personal statements. If you would like to express specific sentiments, such as asking The Board not to renew Koshalek's contract, then that would be the perfect place to do it. It will all be included.

Anonymous said...

Ashley,
Thank you for putting the petition together, well done. Essential. I noticed that on the petition site there are some 'anonymous' signers. Can you clarify this?

The same reasons keeping faculty and other educational staff from using their names on the blog could keep them from signing the petition....
If there is a way to sign that is truly anonymous but still protects the integrity of the petition, it would be great to know in advance about that.

Thank you so very much for devoting your efforts to these incredibly important issues.

Anonymous said...

My Beloved Art Center is broken and Koshalek is to blame.

That said, Now we have to call for the head of the beast, and rebuild the school to its former glory.

Koshalek didn't go Art Center, so i don't expect him to know what it means, nor be able to envision what it should be.

Before anyone says what it should be, they must know what it was and what it is.

Here's 10 things I learned at Art Center:

1. Question everything.

2. Hard work, discipline, thinking on your feet, and the value of a job well done.

3. Life long friendship, collabrative creativity, and a sense of community in the face of adversity.

4. Accountability for my thoughts and actions. How to justify both the means and the ends.

5. How to see beyond common misconsception and look towards a brighter future.

6. S.N.A.F.U. equates to: call for a designer.

7. Talent and creativity is an invaluable commodity.

8. The art center bond is formed in sketching and sanding, not in sipping champange and $100 a plate dinners. If you haven't done the work no amount of champagne buys my loyalty.

9. How to sketch my ass off and lay visual waste to anyone who came from some other college. (i.e. "don't make me go Art Center on you!")

10. When you graduate from Art Center, you leave with a few invaluable things: A world class portfolio, a network of the worlds most talented and hardest working alumni, "Art Center College of Design" on your diploma, and finaly refer back to # 9.

shoji said...

in reply to: Ashley,
Thank you for putting the petition together, well done. Essential. I noticed that on the petition site there are some 'anonymous' signers. Can you clarify this?

The same reasons keeping faculty and other educational staff from using their names on the blog could keep them from signing the petition....
If there is a way to sign that is truly anonymous but still protects the integrity of the petition, it would be great to know in advance about that.


You have the option of 'hiding your name' when you sign the petition. This will keep your identity anonymous to anyone publicly viewing the petition before it's sent to the target (except the author and ultimately the target).

-

Here is some information from the FAQ on www.thepetitionsite.com:

Public Petition Signature pages. Certain fields will be displayed on the publicly displayed signature page for all to see. Your email address, street address and telephone number are never displayed on this page. You are always given the option to check a box to hide your name, and replace it with the word "anonymous." You are also required to preview your signature before you submit it, to prevent mistakes.

Petition Author / Target. At the close of the petition, we provide all of the signature information to the petition author with the exception of your email address, street address and telephone number. These fields of information will only be shared with the petition author and target on a case by case basis to verify the validity of your signature.

Your Privacy is Important: ThePetitionSite.com and Care2.com believe in protecting personal privacy on line. To this end, we are a member of the independent watchdog group, Truste.org. Please see our full privacy statement on Care2.com.

Anonymous said...

Shoji, I'm afraid that's not good enough privacy for me. To have my name _anywhere_ associated with signing the petition, even if its accessable only to people I trust, like the good students and alumni of Art Center, is, in my mind, dangerous. I looked at the setup on the petition site and did not trust that someone in a position to fire me would not be able to eventually get their hands on that information. I'm very sorry, but for that reason I am not only going to not sign the petition, I'm afraid to visit the site and read the comments even. I cannot stress how much some of us here are afraid for our jobs.

I hope that all students and alumni who agree with the petition will sign it, however.

shoji said...

in reply: Shoji, I'm afraid that's not good enough privacy for me. To have my name _anywhere_ associated with signing the petition, even if its accessable only to people I trust, like the good students and alumni of Art Center, is, in my mind, dangerous. I looked at the setup on the petition site and did not trust that someone in a position to fire me would not be able to eventually get their hands on that information. I'm very sorry, but for that reason I am not only going to not sign the petition, I'm afraid to visit the site and read the comments even. I cannot stress how much some of us here are afraid for our jobs.

I hope that all students and alumni who agree with the petition will sign it, however.


Signing a petition as anonymous where the target can't see your name is pointless. If you aren't willing to put your name behind the words in the petition then there is no purpose to signing it. It carries no weight.

Is there something about the petition that you disagree with that you feel would jeopardize your job? Is it worded incorrectly? From what I'm reading it's simply a request to put a hold on the current expansion project and redirect time and resources to prioritizing the education of the current students. Fix what's here now. If nothing else, I can only hope that it makes apparent the dissent amongst the ACCD community so those issues can be properly addressed resolved.

If that's something you don't agree with or don't believe in then by all means don't sign it.

But if you do agree, then what are you afraid of? Your job? Being critical of Koshalek's agenda isn't warrant for firing you. I can only assume you're working at an educational NPO because you care about the students. If that's the case then help them! Being a voice with no name at a time when representation, facts and a united voice are so critically important is not helping.

I know that this hasn't been posted yet, but it seems closer to the truth than the rumors that Koshalek will fire anyone that speaks up:

Koshalek (and Patricia) state in the round table discussion with ACSG (in response to a question about faculty members that have been let go for speaking up about how the institution should change):

"If I fired people that were critical of me and what I'm doing, they'd [Iris Gelt, David Mocarsky, Patricia Oliver, et al] be gone. Please I want you to know that, I'm not that kind of person."

Patricia Oliver adds: "I've been here 16 years, and to my knowledge, in Richard's tenure, there has never been a person fired for saying what they want to say. Ever. I mean that's just Beyond..

There are times when someone does something that's destructive to the college; there are times when people, you know, do things that.. you probably don't have knowledge of it. But no one was ever, ever, ever let go for saying what they think, or offering opinions, or criticizing something or any of that! I mean it's just, it's just, just not the case."


If you can prove those statements wrong, and if the school really IS being run like a dictatorship, then why don't you resign like the others?

Anonymous said...

Shoji,

I completely understand that the petition is useless without names, and just needed that clarified for all. On the "Future of Art-Center" site there is a place to vote anonymously, which is perhaps the only way for those who have concerns about job safety to participate.

The questions about anonymity were from two different people--just so you know.

It saddens me deeply that many staff and faculty will not sign the petition, because they care deeply about the students education. Fear is palpable in this institution, and it is the most damning thing about the current senior administration: there is no feeling of academic freedom. Thank you for quoting from the ACSG meeting, but those statements are just that, statements. They do not clarify all of the high level "resignations" nor any of the many lower level ones.

The question of resignation of faculty and chairs on a broader scale goes to the heart of our daily ethical dilemna. We love education, we love teaching, we love seeing the process of creativity develop, gain sophistication, see the mistakes, the risks taken, the stumbles that create new knowledge, the triumphs as new ideas gain palpable form. The whole wonderful thing. For most of us it reinvigorates our own love of creativity (although it also can exhaust us too.) We struggle with knowing that this costs you more than it should. We struggle with being treated as "at will" employees rather than valued members of an educational community. Right now we struggle with whether it is better to struggle silently and continue to educate, or speak and lose the community we care the most about--the community of the AC classroom, decrepit though it may be.

Ophelia Chong said...

"What's on the table?"

Come join ACCD alumni for a potluck dinner on Tuesday June 3 @ 6pm in the student cafeteria. We will be there to feed, to listen, and support you the students and the faculty in your cause for an environment that fosters great education, mutual respect, and a workplace free of fear from retaliation.

All you need to bring is a fork, we will provide the real plates and real food and real support.

For further info email: opheliac@mac.com

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