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Friday, November 14, 2008

Interim President Makes Organization changes

DATE: November 14, 2008

TO: All Faculty and Staff

FROM: Frank L. Ellsworth

RE: Organization changes

As Interim President, part of my charge from the Board of Trustees is to address Art Center’s overall operating budget, with an eye for the next three years, in light of recent enrollment concerns and the general uncertainty in the economy. In approaching this responsibility, I am refocusing our spending priorities as an educational institution. Through careful evaluation of the administrative functions and needs of the College, the following reorganizational changes have been made. Although there will be more, I do want to communicate to you now what has occurred recently.

  1. President’s Office. Four staff members staffed this office prior to my arrival. Upon review, it has been determined that three of these positions are not needed. Sheila Low will continue as Executive Assistant.

  2. Architecture and Planning: As you know the Board of Trustees has placed the Frank Gehry Design Research Complex on indefinite hold. The remaining responsibilities of the Architecture and Planning Office -- classroom modifications and other ongoing facility improvements -- will be outsourced to appropriate vendors with managerial oversight provided by the Facilities department. (Please note that this is standard practice at most colleges and universities.) The build-out of the South Campus “Wind Tunnel” for the Graduate Media Design studios will be completed by January 2009. Other planned projects, such as housing and the Power Plant are still tentative. Our new Ad Hoc Committee on Facilities on campus will review all facilities needs including those already identified to determine costs and priorities. In light of these changes, it has been determined that Art Center no longer needs a dedicated, in-house architectural support staff and we have closed this department. Jennifer Orefice, Administrative Assistant, and Rollin Homer, Designer, will now report to the Facilities Department.

  3. Senior Vice President for IT: Michael Berman is no longer working for us. His position has been eliminated. Our Vice President for IT, Theresa Zix, will report to the CFO. As you know, we have another Director for IT position vacant.

  4. Student Affairs: Previously reporting to the Chief Academic Officer, the Office of Student Affairs under the leadership of the Dean of Students will now report directly to the Interim President. These departments include Enrollment Services, Registrar, Student Affairs, Student Life, and Career Services.

  5. Admissions and Financial Aid. These two functions were reporting to two different offices. The Admissions and Financial Aid offices will now, working closely together, report directly to the Interim President.

  6. Library: Previously reporting to the Chief Technology Officer, the Vice President of the Library will now report directly to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

  7. Gallery and Exhibitions: Previously reporting to the Chief Academic Officer, the Director of the Gallery and Exhibitions will now report directly to the Dean of Academic Affairs.

  8. Alumni Relations: Previously reporting to the Dean of Students, the Office of Alumni Relations will join the Office of Development. Historically, Alumni Relations has always supported Development’s efforts in building effective giving relationships between alumni and the College. A wonderful example is the Legacy Circle, an alumni fund-raising group for student scholarships. Under this new arrangement, Alumni Relations will work closely with members of the Development staff toward our goals of increased scholarship support and other institutional opportunities. The Office of Alumni Relations will continue to work closely with many other departments -- Admissions, Student Life, Career Services and the educational leadership of Art Center -- as part of its commitment to build lifelong relationships between our students and the College. The many resources and benefits currently available to our students and alumni, such as networking through global alumni events and the In Circle web community, will not be affected.

Finally, I want to emphasize that these decisions have been motivated by a concern to realign the operating budget with our core educational commitment to the faculty, programs, environment and community we provide for our students.

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is a great start.
Thank you Frank.

I do feel for those who have lost their job but this was a necessary step. The students in the past 15 years have seen the cost of a Art Center education require them to leverage their financial future for the next 30 years this is unethical as one person stated on the petition.

I would like to know more about the roles that the Chairs and Assistant Chairs especially the ones that are not involved in teaching. Are these necessary expenses?

What changes will be made to attract and retain extraordinary faculty and the occasional influential thought leaders?

I would like to hear more about Financial Aid and Career Services gaining resources to further assist students with the fundamental issues.

Your efforts are a huge relief Frank. Thanks again

Anonymous said...

So far, so good. I wonder how much $$$ have been saved by these cuts?

Future of Art Center said...

I'd guess the cuts so far work out to around $700 - $800K saved with salaries and benefits factored in. Plus there is the money being saved by not having a full CAO (since Hafermaas does double duty as CAO and Chair). And then there are the expenses for travel and discretionary monies no longer spent. So maybe it's a little more than a million a year.

But keep in mind there are severance packages (or contract buyouts) that go with these layoffs, so it will take a while for the cost reduction to show on the balance sheet. In addition, there are probably many buyout packages still being paid out to people like Koshalek, and several of the former VPs who where hired, then quickly ushered out by Koshalek (CFO, head of development, etc.) in the last couple years.

It'll probably take a year for all of this to take full effect.

Anonymous said...

"I would like to know more about the roles that the Chairs and Assistant Chairs especially the ones that are not involved in teaching."

Go to almost any university and you will see that most department chairs are just "slightly elevated" FT professors and they often get a modest uptick in their pay for doing so. They often rotate the chairmanship amongst themselves. Being that they have a tenure system, they know they are all in it together. Art Center has historically preferred the fear-based model of "powerful leader" that directs the efforts of the subordinates. They end up with highly paid department chairs who serve at the sole pleasure of the president. The resulting faculty never feels really "involved", because their opinions never really mean much to those in charge. The faculty members, through denial of tenure, are never given "membership to the club". It ends up being merely a paycheck for many.

Anonymous said...

At current tuition levels, this adds-up to about 8 1/3 Art Center educations.

"I'd guess the cuts so far work out to around $700 - $800K saved with salaries and benefits factored in. Plus there is the money being saved by not having a full CAO (since Hafermaas does double duty as CAO and Chair). And then there are the expenses for travel and discretionary monies no longer spent. So maybe it's a little more than a million a year."

Anonymous said...

Was the contract of design firm Matsumoto also terminated? I thought I read that in another post. That's potentially up to $1 million per year in savings.

These are all steps in the right direction.

Anonymous said...

I still want to hear from the board on this. I want them to accept responsibility for their poor oversight. I want them to communicate and show us that these cuts are part of more than just "housekeeping" by an interim president. I want to see communication from the board that they are fully committed to fiscal responsibility that goes beyond balancing the budget through tuition hikes.

And more importantly, I want to see a commitment from them that ridiculous spending will be curtailed in the future.

What about the current CFO? This guy has been an accounting leader at the school for at least 15 years now, and now he is one of the most highly paid people AT the school. I just can't see how people like this can be kept on (and on and on).

Future of Art Center said...

Yes, the NYC design firm Matsumoto Inc. is no longer doing work for the school

Anonymous said...

I hereby offer my services for a mere $750,000.00 That's 25% off.

Anonymous said...

"What about the current CFO? This guy has been an accounting leader at the school for at least 15 years now, and now he is one of the most highly paid people AT the school. I just can't see how people like this can be kept on (and on and on)."

It's possible that the CFO and other members of the senior staff were in tough positions under Koshalek. Perhaps the CFO did protest that some expenses and projects weren't justified but Koshalek overrode his concerns. Or the CFO figured out it was useless to challenge Koshalek if he wanted to keep the CFO job. Perhaps....some of the senior staff can be brought to their senses under new leadership. Others, maybe not.

Anonymous said...

"It's possible that the CFO and other members of the senior staff were in tough positions under Koshalek."

The CFO has been employed at Art Center for at least 17 years. He occupied the #2 financial position for most of those years. In my opinion, accepting a promotion to the CFO position (after what he had previously seen and participated in) is, in itself, an endorsement of the old system.

Art Center is not in need of "rubber stamp" CFOs. If the board (and past presidents) had surrounded themselves with a staff of enablers, then it's time to rid the school of those enablers.

Remember, the heart of the school is in its student body and faculty, not in the accounting office.

Remember the word "accounting". It has a very close relationship with "accountability".

Anonymous said...

I agree that Art Center does not need rubber stamp CFOs or a bunch of enablers on the bridge. I'm bringing up the possibility that some of these senior staff types can be reformed and might even look forward to being freed from Koshalek's heavy-handed reign. Some may have felt like they had to make a deal with the devil to keep their positions. Some may be relieved that Koshalek is gone so that they can truly draw on their talents and do the job they thought they were hired to do.

For example, Koshalek forced Matsumoto onto Art Center. Nothing would change Koshalek's mind. Some on the bridge may be very happy that Matsomoto, talented as the firm is, is gone.

Then again, others on the bridge may be hopeless and need to go. I hope that Frank can sort through all the posturing, etc to get to the senior staff that Art Center really needs.

Anonymous said...

The most senior staff members are more than mere employees who report to a boss. Many of them have straddled the respective presidencies and have added to the dysfunctional culture that persists.

Reform is possible in perhaps single-case situations, but these people run in packs.

We're also forgetting to place attention squarely upon the board itself. It's easy to chuck stones at Koshalek and Oliver, but what about those polarizing figures within the board who enabled such diabolically bad decision-making?

Before we accept the current path, we need to sterilize the infection that comes from the board itself. Personally, I'd like to issue a call for most of the old guard to step down and just leave.

Anonymous said...

Another point about the CFO and his responsibilities. Things may have been ok from an accounting perspective, but not from a strategic perspective. I don't think it's the CFO's responsibility to enforce a strategy of investing in education, for example, in the face of Koshalek's wishes.

As for the board, I think they were blinded by Koshalek's vision and blah, blah, blah. It was a case of the emperor has no clothes until the jig was up (to mix two bad metaphors).

I'm not in a rush to throw out all of the senior staff and all of the board members, but I completely understand others who feel that way. I hope that Ellsworth can sort through all this nonsense. Art Center deserves better.

Anonymous said...

When talking about a CFO, you can not separate the tactical from the strategic, or the bean counting from the planning. A CFO not only needs to know (intimately) the business he/she is in, but sound financial practices. When a public company reports earnings, the CEO and CFO do it together.

If the CFO of Art Center was not joined to the hip of Koshalek, he should have been. A college president will look to the CFO to help pay for "the vision" and a good CFO knows when to tell the president when you can't afford something.

My belief is that at Art Center, most everything was always affordable. Everything "worthy" was always a must-have. And they almost tripled the cost of tuition in about 12 years. And what did you get out of it? An unheated, uncooled, unused concrete box and a huge useless echo chamber. What did they get out of it? A passport full of stamps.

Anonymous said...

I believe that the CFO risked being fired by Koshalek if he had tried to fight Koshalek on paying for his "vision." I suspect that a lot of senior staff members were in the same position: oppose Koshalek at the risk of losing your job.

Ophelia Chong said...

I believe that is how the previous CFO Jernigan left, with a buy out of five years salary.

According to the 2006 990 IRS form, Mr. Jernigan was paid $256,709 in compensation with $59,043 in contributions to employee benefit plans.

This deal was made between Mr. Koshalek and Mr.Jernigan.

Ophelia Chong said...

And Mr. Jernigan was paid the same amount in 2005.

Ophelia Chong said...

2007 Yale CFO

"For instance, John E. Pepper retired as chairman of Procter & Gamble in 2002 and in 2004 went to Yale to serve as the college's chief financial officer for two years. In the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2002 — Mr. Pepper's last year at Procter & Gamble — he earned a base salary and bonus that totaled $2.7-million, plus restricted stock. In 2004 Mr. Pepper's pay and benefits from Yale, his alma mater, were $282,104."

"A survey of 103 private universities classified as doctoral institutions found that compensation of chief financial officers rose faster from the 2002-3 to the 2004-5 fiscal years than did the pay and benefits of presidents and provosts."


http://chronicle.com/free/v53/i39/39a00101.htm

Anonymous said...

"I believe that is how the previous CFO Jernigan left, with a buy out of five years salary. "

This is the kind of crap I'm talking about. The kind of reckless financial behavior that allows a CEO or a board to think that it is OK to pay over a million dollars just so an employee will leave.

This leaves you with only two real possibilities:

1) That the school truly is "reckless" with the money (and this needs to be corrected)

2) That something "bad" happened, and we need to find out what. WHy would they pay a CFO a million dollars to walk away?

I knew Jernigan. He was nobody's puppet. He used to be a voting board member and he also helped facilitate the financial vision that made it OK to jack tuition to sky-high levels to help pay for world travel and fancy parties.

Again, the only thing that truly straddles these presidencies is the board. The board is the financial problem here. They recruit the president that has the expensive taste because THEY have the expensive taste. It's really that simple.

Keep the same board with the same attitude towards spending and you'll get the same situation repeated again.

Puerner: It's time for you to clean up your act on the board. Clean it up or leave. Now.

Anonymous said...

" I believe that the CFO risked being fired by Koshalek if he had tried to fight Koshalek on paying for his "vision." "

I think you are underestimating the influence and power that the board has on such decisions. If Koahslek wanted to get rid of (purely hypothetically), let's say...the shop supervisor. That termination would never have discussion at the board level. But if Koshalek wanted to get rid of his CFO, trust me, if he did it without at least consulting the board, he'd be gone too. And, fact is, he might be gone now simply because of his inability to get along with Nate Young. That rift probably pissed off the majority of the board. The higher the level of the employee, the more complicated it is to get rid of them.

"I suspect that a lot of senior staff members were in the same position: oppose Koshalek at the risk of losing your job."

Well, that's sort of the role of a senior staff member, but financial strategy is different than PR. The head of PR just whores-out the message du-jour, no matter what the message. That's the job. But does that person need to earn over $200,000 per year to issue press releases on behalf of a small design school? Hell no. That person might be too addicted to whoring out messages about architecture projects and conferences in Spain. Will that person be able to adapt to just being the communications director of a mere "school"? Let's hope so, because..."That's the job".

I don't think there is "tons" of senior house cleaning to do. I'm very happy to see Ellsworth seeing through the insanity of having an architecture & planning office (and SVP to go with it). Again, let's wait and see. Clearly this guy is not afraid to use the red pen. Bravo that. In this regard, the board scores a few big points with me. They had the guts to hire a budget guy (finally). Now, will they have the guts to hire one to take us into the future? That remains to be seen.

Anonymous said...

Opehlia, what was Koshalek paid?

Any idea where that ranked him in terms of "highest paid"? I;d like to know where he fit-in overall, not just under private schools.

Anonymous said...

Is it possible that Jernigan had an employee contract and that Art Center was obligated to pay him out for the remainder of his contract?

I disagree with you that the head of PR was just issuing press releases. That being said, let's see how Ellsworth views what her job should entail.

I still think the board was blinded by Koshalek and his vision. They wanted to believe him.

Anonymous said...

"Is it possible that Jernigan had an employee contract and that Art Center was obligated to pay him out for the remainder of his contract?"

If it was possible that he had such a long-term contract, shame on us for entering into any such agreement. And shame on the person(s) who were suckered into subjecting us to such liability. I'm pretty sure we DID have such an agreement. Shame on the board for allowing it.

Sure, a CFO is an important role at an organization, but it's not like we're trying to lure A-Rod to the Yankees. It's a job. An important job, but nothing that requires us to subsidize their living for years after they depart.

And let's call some attention to the role of PR at Art Center. Let's compare the PR chief's salary to that of the PR head at a large university with 20-30 times the student population and visibility. Since Art Center loves comparing numbers so much. You'll be hard pressed to find a PR chief at ANY large university making over $200,000 per year.

Anonymous said...

We should all be so lucky to have contracts that guarantee us a sustained premium income. How many designers do you know who get paid at a job, even if they perform no work? I can't think of any.

Anonymous said...

Some industries and jobs offer employment contracts and others don't -- sorry, designers. I think it's not uncommon to offer long-term contracts to senior management types. Five years is rather long, though. I'm more familiar with employment contracts that offer options at two-year intervals or so. That way, the company is not on the hook for such long chunks of time.

Also, to be fair, Art Center's PR head is in charge of events, the design office, photo, and PR whoring (as you so delicately put it). This may be an area that Ellsworth will examine more closely (not just the whoring, the whole dept).

And yet another thing, senior mgmt types who disagreed with Koshalek risked getting fired (likely only with board approval as was pointed out). Or they can choose to resign. Or they can go along to get along as many may have chosen to do. You've got to acknowledge that there may be some who had hope that they could help Art Center if they stuck it out (while taking their nice salary, by the way).

Anonymous said...

"And yet another thing, senior mgmt types who disagreed with Koshalek risked getting fired (likely only with board approval as was pointed out). Or they can choose to resign. Or they can go along to get along as many may have chosen to do."

When you disagree with the boss, and let him know it, aren't you always at "risk" of being fired?

I'm talking about the people that actually have employment contracts (like the CFO does). Part of the reason you even HAVE employment contracts is to give the senior staff the flexibility to disagree with the president from time to time. But at Art Center, the snowball always seems to keep growing. I've never gotten a sense that it is a management culture of a President who exclusively prods the staff to spend more money. I believe that when Koshalek arrived, he was greeted by a staff that already had a healthy appetite for spending. With 4%+ tuition rate increases every semester, there was not a culture of frugality. Budget was always available, so long as you did not ask for too much.

Why do I feel like I'm debating directly with a senior staff member here?

Anonymous said...

You're debating with someone who resigned from Art Center because they disagreed with the direction coming from senior management and Koshalek. In spite of this, I seem to have a more measured view of senior management than you do.

I disagree with you that someone on staff is always at risk of getting fired if they disagree with their manager or senior management. Depends on the issue at hand and the work environment.

Anonymous said...

SO, are you saying that the mere act of disagreeing with Koshalek was fodder for getting one fired? If so, how many people got fired along the way (for that)?

Anonymous said...

Do not get me wrong, I think the President sets the tone for a team that goes so far off track. When a situation gets as bad as it got at Art Center, absolutely, the president should go. And he is gone.

Art Center has also had a long-standing cultural practice of having an all-powerful president. That practice is the responsibility of the board, as the president serves at THEIR convenience. The Art Center management culture, perhaps for the sake of ease, has long utilized a centralized, powerful management structure. Sr mgmt people here go along with it for, as you say, fear for their jobs. But they seemed to have little problem collecting the paychecks as they enjoyed trips to Europe, Japan and Korea, sometimes with great regularity.

Art Center has a culture of an administrative "good life" and an attitude that the kids will always cover the bills for what the management team spends. Because they always have. There are many administrators who have been at Art Center for 20 year or longer. Some of them straddling 3 presidencies. They only know this way of operating. None other.

So yeah, I am saying that not only does Ellsworth need to come in with a red pen, he also needs to come in with a scalpel and perhaps a couple of bone saws. If the board is serious, and Ellsworth is prepared to do what he needs to do, it's not going to be very pretty. It's going to be very tough to get Art Center on a lean budget.

Future of Art Center said...

From what I've heard, there have been several cases where people were let go because of their disagreements with Koshalek (or his underlings). Often it was the case these people were standing up for appropriate spending in education, and the administrative dictum was to put money elsewhere. I'm not talk about Nate here, by the way.

In other cases, people resigned. For example, after Jernigan left, a new CFO was brought in. The story goes that he made a presentation to the Board that revealed more clearly the actual budget situation than Koskalek wanted. Afterwards, Koshalek called the CFO into his office and told him to never do that again, and that if he did, Koshalek would fire him. The CFO calmly said in response that he wouldn't give Koshalek the opportunity and he resigned on the spot (only six or so months after he was hired).

Similarly, the high powered fundraiser that was brought in from the Philharmonic was reportedly so upset by the opulent spending on travel and other things that she resigned upon return from a trip overseas with Koshalek and others. Again, she had only been on the job for 6 months or so.

Future of Art Center said...

This was recently sent out to all faculty from Ellsworth. Good news for the students that their tuition will not go up next term.
========================

Dear Faculty Member,

These are difficult times for everyone. On many fronts we face challenges reflective of a worsening economy and the resulting financial stress is affecting individuals, families, businesses, and cultural and educational institutions large and small. Colleges and universities across the country are taking drastic measures to not only reduce their operating costs but help contain rising costs for their students while still recognizing and supporting faculty needs.

I am sure that you, as a faculty member, share the belief that our top priority is to facilitate the education of our students, and to do everything possible to ensure that students can embark on or continue with their studies. To that end, I am very pleased to advise you that after a very thoughtful review, the Board of Trustees has decided to reconsider some of our budget priorities in order to defer the tuition increase for Spring Term 2009.

You may already know that Art Center has consistently held its annual tuition increase to within the 4.5%-6.5% range that is similar to increases at other colleges in the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design (AICAD). With this tuition increase deferral, the current tuition fees of $14,672 for the Undergraduate program and $15,508 for the Graduate program will remain effective through the end of Spring Term 2009. As the term progresses, we will continue to review the ongoing economic situation and market conditions in consideration of tuition increases for the remainder of 2009.

I would also like to reiterate the Board’s and my commitment to reinvigorating our focus on fundraising, not only for scholarships and endowment but for continued faculty excellence and compensation. Our three-year, $20 million campaign is gaining momentum, and we are very happy to report that already, just one month away from the conclusion of its first year, the campaign has already reached over 40% of its overall goal.

Going forward, please know that our priorities are clear and we will continue our efforts toward directly benefiting both students and faculty. I invite you to contact me – either via email, blog, or personal appointment – if you have any questions or would like to discuss in further detail.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, the administration, and myself, thank you sincerely for your hard work and dedication to our students. Best wishes for a productive and positive experience for the remainder of the Fall Term.

Sincerely,

Frank L. Ellsworth

Anonymous said...

Why did Jernigan leave? I have heard about a costly contract payout. Jernigan was the guy who crafted all of the brilliant financial strategy for the last 20 years or so. Haluschak is his protegé.

Anonymous said...

>the current tuition fees of $14,672 for the Undergraduate program and $15,508 for the Graduate program

tuition when I enrolled was $9,400 or so. I thought that was expensive as fuck. I have long since graduated and every now and then thought about getting a graduate degree in either photography or film from art center but you know what? I can't afford it. I just paid off my student loans and am only now beginning to build my own financial future.

student loans are loans, not gifts. it's easy to forget that when you sign up.

Anonymous said...

The story of poor management is told through the percentages. Example: From 1999-2007 the tuition increased from 10k to 14k+ (This is 12K per student per year today)

You might be interested to know that the spending per student is only 250 dollars more per student than they had in 1999. This is based on the annual 2005 educational budget numbers.

OUR EXPENSES SHOULD BE SCALABLE TO THE # OF STUDENTS.... PERIOD

FYI: A simple google search can get you the tax returns going back 8 years. search Form 990 Art center college of design.


That is minor though...

The big picture is how before Koshalek was here our business model was on a course to drive parents and students further into debt bondage. (Milton Friedman refers to this as modern day slavery which is a huge statement coming out of the Chicago School of Economics)

For instance in the US over the past 20 years savings rates per person has moved from 11% of income into negative% territory. That is logical because our average spending has increased 30 %. Salary increases in the past twenty years are too sad to even mention even before you factor in inflation.

We managed to do that in seven years hear at Art Center.

My recommendations:
The Academia: Something like the old dean structure a (not necessarily the same people) get rid of the huge chair staff who do not teach and have the chair's admin duties rotate through senior faculty. (Note: give them snappy new titles let them teach ...that should be why they are there in the first place)

Power structure: The president CEO, Provost or CAO and CFO report to the board and give the President a voting rights.

That will free up at least another million and open up communication better....

Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Still way too expensive. We all know it is the portfolio and not the education that matters in the field.

I have met talented people who never set foot in a classroom to people who have a six figure education and can't design a damn thing.

I am still not convinced this school is worth the money by any means.

-Dylan

Ophelia Chong said...

On Thanksgiving Day we have to be thankful for those closest to us, for what we have, for what we can share. In these economic times it is not the monetary value of the gift but the value of friendship and family that matters most.

I want to express my thanks to the people of ACCD, for giving the best education and for graduating students that stand out from the rest. And thank you all for weathering the last six months, it's been hard on everyone,thank you all for being there for one another.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. ;o) ophelia

Anonymous said...

Seems unlikely that there will be anymore staff cuts until after the holidays. It's considered bad form to release someone just before xmas. But in January, it's somewhat more ok.

Anonymous said...

"We should all be so lucky to have contracts that guarantee us a sustained premium income. How many designers do you know who get paid at a job, even if they perform no work? I can't think of any."

I just recently learned in the news that UAW members got 95% of their pay while unemployed. Alas, this is going to change now.

Once again, designers, you're SOL. Then again, I doubt you'd want to change jobs with a UAW member, even when times were good for the auto industry.

Anonymous said...

I'd take a UAW job in a second. So would millions of other people. They are almost impossible to get. The problem is that you pretty much must be related to someone already in the union, as they condone all new hires.

UAW members get full health insurance during all scheduled plant shut-down periods (production is always shut-down while they re-tool for next year's run). They also get more than half of their pay during these periods.

Bailing-out GM/Ford/Chrysler will only perpetuate the sick "shakedown" labor contracts that fail to allow the big three even break even (let alone make decent profits). America should let all three of them go bankrupt so that they can reorganize and break their current labor contracts with the UAW and be on even-footing with Toyota and Honda.

Likewise, when Art Center is terminating employment with an individual, the school should not be put in financial jeopardy because of the termination. Jernigan's 7-figure payout was good for how many full scholarship educations? At least 8.

Future of Art Center said...

No faculty salary increase or cost of living adjustment this January.
============================
Date: 4 December 2008

To: All Faculty

From: Frank L. Ellsworth

Re: 2009 Compensation


The economic realities of our everyday lives present difficult times for us as individuals and Art Center as an institution. Predicting the future on many fronts is challenging whether we are talking about student loans, enrollment, or philanthropy, as we continue to place a priority on our students and faculty in terms of sustaining the many fine things we do to facilitate the education of our students. I know that I speak for the Board of Trustees in expressing their on-going commitment toward taking positive actions to contain rising costs and increased fund-raising.

Our audit of the operating budget and our planning requires that we look closely at our revenues and expenditures, including salaries and total compensation. In the past few years, most full- and part-time faculty have received pay increases in January as determined by your chair, based in part on your performance during the prior year. For 2009, those annual increases are not budgeted, and their reinstatement is unclear at this time. We will revisit this question on July 1, 2009 to see if we are in a financial position to provide increases. The performance reviews most of you have already completed with your chairs will be retained regardless.

I believe that all of you know that Rich Haluschak and I are working together with an Ad Hoc Committee of staff, chairs, faculty, and students to develop a 2009 operating budget for final approval at the January 29th trustee meeting that achieves the following goals: (1) a $3 million reduction in over all operating costs; (2) the redirection of those funds to scholarship support and individual faculty grid position adjustments and (3) the development of a realistic revenue-projection model.

Let me also take advantage of this communication to report that our three-year $20 million fundraising campaign is gaining momentum and I am pleased that already, one month away from the conclusion of its first year, we have reached over 45% of our overall goal. This is a solid achievement at a time when philanthropy is diminishing for many individuals; many of the large foundations have suspended grants because of significant decline in assets, and most corporations have cut their giving sharply to reflect their market realities.

Please be assured that I value and respect the contributions each of you make to Art Center and our students. I invite you to contact me – either via email, “Frank’s blog,” or personal appointment – if you have questions or would like to discuss this communication in further detail.

Anonymous said...

where can we find "Frank's blog"?

Anonymous said...

"I'd take a UAW job in a second. So would millions of other people. They are almost impossible to get. The problem is that you pretty much must be related to someone already in the union, as they condone all new hires."

I agree that lots of other people would take a UAW job in a second. I doubt that someone who's an Art Center educated designer, much less any designer, would find being a member of UAW local 1313 very fulfilling on almost any level. Have you ever been in an auto manufacturing or stamping plant or iron foundry? I'm not a designer but I think I would last maybe a shift or two.

Anonymous said...

frank's blog is on inside artcenter, you have to log in to read it. there is just one posting and it's a 'welcome to my blog' thing.

Anonymous said...

"I doubt that someone who's an Art Center educated designer, much less any designer, would find being a member of UAW local 1313 very fulfilling on almost any level"

You mean the way they find being unable to pay their student loan bill fulfilling? If it meant getting the same pay and benefits (if not better) and only working 8 months a year, yeah, sign me up. I'll draw during the down-time and complain about the man some more.

Anonymous said...

I've not checked this posting since September. It looks and sounds like progress at Art Center. Thank you.

I have a suggestion for additional cuts — International Initiative.

Anonymous said...

A very well known ACCD alumni gave me some great advice just before starting my first term:

"Just do great work. Concentrate on making great work. Do great work and you will not need to chase a reputation. A reputation will follow you."

If Art Center would just turn inward and concentrate on the students enrolled, they could actually assist the students in making great artwork. None of us ever wanted sites like this, and petitions like that. We just wanted to make great art and meet a few friends along the way.

Activists we're not.

Ophelia Chong said...

It's those activists that have paved the way to making art. :O) If you keep your head down in college, will you do the same once you are out? It is not enough to be just great at art, you have to be your own publicist, agent, business manager and cheerleader. Being aware of what is around you and what is happening outside your door is crucial.

That is my advice to students.

Miki M. said...

I haven't followed this blog for a while now. Congrats, it looks like things are slowly starting to improve at my beloved Alma Mater..

You know, I keep getting these requests from the ACCD to donate money.. Many of the previous letters were signed by His Royal 'Magesty' King Richard 'The Big Spender' von Koschalek. Guess what, those went directly to my industrial strength super quiet shredder. I mean, knowing how the money gets spent, it was a joke to ask us, the alumni that are still paying off massive student loans (based on a 'modest' $7500 tuition per semester, in 1998), to donate monies that were going to be used for grandiose executive travel, parties to which I was never invited (wink) and 'glorious' super expensive Frank Gehry campuses..

Now that things are improving, maybe sometime next year the climate for donations will finally be right. Who knows. I want some kind of guarantee that my donation will go to the students, not to the administration and board of trustees...

Good luck to the interim president reformist.

Miki M. said...

PS. By the way, I see a lot of anonymous postings here. I don't believe in it... But I guess people are scared to sign their postings. This means the situation at the ACCD is really not good. So many politics going on.

So... Should I be afraid of getting ostracized from the ACCD community for putting my name below my posting?

Anonymous said...

"So... Should I be afraid of getting ostracized from the ACCD community for putting my name below my posting?"

We won't ostracize you, but plenty of people have learned over the years that they can expect retaliation and intimidation from the administration (depending on what they said). It depends on how involved and noisy you want to be. Is the person who signs their name, (but speaks just once) more effectgive than the one who does not, but speaks often? History has shown that visible and noisy often gains unwanted attention from Art Center's leadership system. And that attention is often intimidating.

Look at Nathan Cooke. All he did was create ONE BLOG POST that was a slam-dunk in pointing out the hypocrisy of Art Center's administration. They seriously leaned on him and bullied him into silence (at least publicly). Little did they know that they messed with the wrong guy (again), as Nathan had more than a few friends who felt just as he did.

Anonymous said...

Why does George "Silverback" Falardeau (chief of facilities) need to walk around in designer suits and drive a 7 series BMW? Why does he need a luxury office? Why do I see him regularly at L.A. county's second best restaurant 'The Raymond' ?

Sounds like a huge waste of money for a job like 'chief of facilities' who spends his time looking good.

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that George Falardeau has his own resources—like Jerrnigan did—exceptional skill, experience, and works for less than he could get on the outside. It would seem that ACCD would benefit from more people like him.

Besides what's not to like about his sense of style. What a classy place ACCD if we followed suit.

Anonymous said...

So basically you don’t want to see "the help" George Falardeau while your are out at your fancy dinner at the "Raymond"

You know I really thought you people we were talking about the best thing for the school but it really sounds like we have little elitism going on. So how do you really feel about your fellow students and alumni that financially cant afford to eat at "the Raymond", are they also below you even though they have the same degree as you.

Interesting how one can come back to the same blog after almost 9 months and still read the same bigotries and hatred.

So go ahead a delete this comment before anyone can read it or comment on it. The reality is you read it and you know who you are. Deep down you know your not a very nice person and that the game you play has real life consequences for everyone, its just hard to see that when the only thing in the mirror is yourself.

Anonymous said...

Your post is very odd. Not wanting to see the help? I have no idea what bigotries and hatred you're talking about.

FOAC, please do delete that Anonmyous post.