Friday, November 06, 2009


Well, it's no secret that when I first attended San Francisco Art Institute I wasn't really impressed with the way the school was being run, which lead to me leaving after only the first year...I returned again though after a Leave of Absence because I couldn't stop thinking about how the teachers individually effected me, and how much I missed the studios. I wanted to see a change in SFAI that would bring in more intellectually stimulating discussions and challenges rather that only visual, I didn't expect this kind of change. This might seem like a hypocritical move to some of you, but really, I don't give a shit. Some of these teachers helped me through a really hard part of my life and they are being treated like criminals for NO reason. SFAI has a fucked administration that needs to be told off and the students are now receiving threats from the needs to stop.

I know this is old news for some of you, but it's still going on and I've been talking to one of the teachers on the list below, hopefully I'll be able to get in touch with more, and I'm beyond out-raged by the treatment these amazing people are receiving. It's explained more clearly below, but even if you aren't an alumni or current student at SFAI, sign the petition. It's really important to me, and you would be helping some really well-deserving people.


SFAI Executives are pushing through a dramatic and costly scheme that directly impacts SFAI students, the SFAI classroom, its teaching environment, and SFAI's reputation. Part of this scheme includes the purging of tenured faculty from the campus. The affected faculty -- artists and scholars -- have served from 10 to over 30 years at SFAI. In addition to the concern that many students and alumni have for the affected faculty members as individuals, concerns have been raised about the specific ways in which SFAI Executives implemented their purge-by-layoff of nearly 25% of tenured faculty, and the impact the layoffs will have on curriculum, class size and class offerings. Specifically, concerns have been raised that the layoffs disproportionately affect those who have been vocal critics of SFAI's current administration, that the layoffs were carried out without discussion or transparency, and that the manner in which the layoffs are being carried out violates several provisions of the faculty contract. Concerns also have been raised that the layoffs may likely result in increased class size and cut courses. SFAI Executives claimed "financial exigency" as a pretext for the purge-by-layoff but a recent report from an expert accountant concludes that SFAI is not in such exigency.

SFAI is reporting budget surplus, continues to enjoy steady revenue from enrollment, and expects budget surplus in the future. SFAI Executives also plan to launch an extravagant School of Design. Despite mandatory contractual obligations to put a hiring freeze on any new faculty and to provide priority re-hiring and re-assignment to the laid-off tenured faculty, SFAI Executives have arranged to hire numerous visiting faculty (who receive no benefits). SFAI Executives failed to consult SFAI students and alumni about their questionable scheme, which is so costly as to negate the claim of financial exigency. Unfortunately, based on these acts and decisions, it appears SFAI Executives are engaged in harsh tactics that contravene the spirit of community, fair play, labor & social justice that its students and alumni expect and demand.

SFAI students and alumni have been actively engaged in raising awareness to these issues, and will continue to do so, despite acts by the SFAI Administration to restrain speech on campus.

It is time for direct action. It is right to demand justice and quality education at SFAI.

SFAI Student & Alumni Action Group/Concerned Students & Alumni of the San Francisco Art Institute

We, the undersigned, respectfully request that the Board of Trustees and Administration of the San Francisco Art Institute rescind the layoff notices for the following nine tenured faculty (in order of number of years at SFAI):

Janis Crystal Lipzin- 31 years service
Robert Johnson- 29 years service
Pat Klein- 25 years service
Suzanne Olmsted- 17 years of service
Jon Lang- 16 years of service
Charles Boone- 13 years of service
John Rapko- 12 years of service
Stephanie Ellis- 11 years of service
Stacy Garfinkel- 10 years of service

We believe these layoffs represent a serious negative impact on the students' academic experience, the reputation, and the overall sense of community at SFAI and will result in an immediate and unresolvable distortion of the incredible curriculum cultivated, in part, by these nine long-serving professors. This action is essential for the preservation of the continuity, stability, and integrity of the Institute.

For more information please visit: http://sfaistudentaction.pbwik...

If you have any questions or concerns please contact:

Thank you for your time and support,

Concerned Students and Alumni of SFAI

***PLEASE NOTE: Comments containing apostrophes and quotes may turn grey - please do not use these symbols when you sign. If your box has turned grey email us immediately and we will let you resign the petition. Sorry for the inconvenience and THANK YOU for signing!***


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