Re: SFAI - What's happening?

From: Caroline Koebel (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Apr 21 2009 - 08:32:12 PDT

Hey Frameworkers,

Here's the petition text copied and pasted from the website. I was about to
add my name to the signatures when I noticed that it's from "Concerned
Students and Alumni of SFAI." It's true that I sat in on Barbara Hammer's
course, visited friends and attended screenings at SFAI in the late 80s, but
I can't claim student/alumni status. Sign anyways or what?


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

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:
email suppressed

Thank you for your time and support,

Concerned Students and Alumni of SFAI

On 4/15/09 11:08 PM, "Chris Kennedy" <email suppressed> wrote:

> Hey Brett,
> Thanks for raising this.
> My assumption is that the administration is basically hoping it can hold its
> breath as long as they can, or at least until the current cohort of students
> who care deeply about these faculty clear out (the wonders of short term
> memory). There hasn't been quite enough press and I think their assumption
> is that the art world won't notice, or won't respond. The fact that one of
> the deans responsible for the firings is superstar curator Okwui Enwezor
> probably has a significant chilling effect on art publications raising this
> issue (unlike, say, the news item about a similar event at Parsons in the
> NYT that Art Forum recently linked to).
> It's unfortunately another case of administrators using the cover of crisis
> to settle scores or make unpopular changes in an institution. I believe this
> is called the Shock Doctrine in the political sphere... The Dean himself
> told a group of CCA curatorial students a year and a half ago that the
> particular crises of a school like SFAI was fertile ground for significant
> changes. Wish I had the specific quote...
> Hopefully the letters of Steve and others will generate some much needed
> publicity. The petition is currently at about 650 signatures. Be nice to get
> it over a thousand. I know this list has 700 members...
> Think about it. I might even throw in an Obama button...
> At the very least, the petition serves as a series of strong testimonials as
> to the strengths of the fired faculty. I'm a recent grad and I can attest
> that two of the professors (Janis Lipzin and John Rapko) had a significant
> impact to my own practice and I have seen secondhand the impact that at
> least two of the others had on many others....
> for those interested.
> Best,
> Chris
> On 4/15/09 10:22 PM, "FRAMEWORKS automatic digest system"
> <email suppressed> wrote:
>> Date: Wed, 15 Apr 2009 15:31:26 -0700
>> From: Brett Kashmere <email suppressed>
>> Subject: SFAI - What's happening?
>> Apologies in advance if this subject has already been broached on Frameworks
>> and slipped past me, but I've recently learned of the San Francisco Art
>> Institute's decision to fire nine tenured faculty members, including Janis
>> Crystal Lipzin, who has been at the Institute for over 30 years. I'm
>> wondering what we can do collectively and as individuals to address the
>> situation. Steve Anker has written a very eloquent and impassioned letter
>> that is now circulating, and which can be read here (along with some
>> additional letters):
>> Steve's letter is dated April 3rd. I'm curious what the administration's
>> response has been since then, and if there are any other updates?
>> Thanks,
>> Brett Kashmere
>> Oberlin College
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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.