Welcome to the Future

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Saturday, December 5, 2009

Winter 2009 Update

The new president, Lorne Buchman, is here and is about to begin a 6th month long process of defining what the future of Art Center is. Below is his letter announcing this. Two events are planned in the week before school starts. If you are interested in participating, please attend. I think the process will be a very positive one, though I expect lots of discomfort and angst from many directions.

The bottom line for me is that if Art Center does not define an innovative new path into the future, the school will fade. But if we can move forward in a bold way, we'll be a great college and dramatically influence the fields we teach.

Kick-off event: January 13th, 7:30-9:30, Ahmanson Theater
First Brainstorming event: January 14th, 11:30-5:30, student dining room

I'm opening up comments for this post (other posts are set to be moderated, and I'll delete any comments to them).

Dear Students, Faculty, Staff, Trustees and Alumni:

As many of you know, I am initiating a comprehensive planning process
at Art Center designed to produce both a creative vision for the
future and, in the long run, the strategy that will get us there. The
sequence is crucial. We must first come together as a community to
envision our opportunities, to imagine new possibilities, and to enter
into a bold, habit-breaking, conversation about our educational
future. Strategic planning — the mechanism to get us there — will
follow next summer.

I am writing to ask you to join in this first phase of educational
planning and to attend a kick-off event on the evening of Wednesday
January 13th in the Ahmanson Auditorium from 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Given the imperative of building a pertinent, responsive, and
future-oriented plan, we will invite a few key individuals (thought
leaders) from outside ACCD to serve on a panel to address the question
of what they believe are the challenges of a great art and design
college of the future. Please plan to be there to witness this
important conversation which will generate thought-provoking ideas,
provide perspective from the outside, and ultimately facilitate a
discussion amongst ourselves.

I would also like to invite (and strongly encourage) any and all of
you to join us the following day for an internal brainstorming session
on Thursday, January 14 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Student
Dining Room to begin the planning process which will focus on the
following five major issues derived from our Mission Statement:

Students & Student Life
Curriculum & Pedagogy
Outside Partnerships
Governance & Community
Future Trends and Global Context

We will form five groups that will work together on that day and
throughout the term to develop final recommendations that I will
present to the Board of Trustees during their annual retreat in late

Art Center needs an educational vision and an educational plan. It
needs at once to preserve what we know works today and to create
opportunities for the future. New programs, new learning models, new
online offerings, curricular reform, student life and service,
diversity, inclusion, access, affordability, research,
professionalism, ethics, partnerships, community, shared governance,
etc. — all will come together in the plan we create. Art Center also
needs a collective process to articulate its vision, one that gives
voice to all members of the community who wish to be involved and who
have something to say.

I ask for your involvement, your time, your ideas, and your good will
toward this crucial endeavor. We need you there.

Please RSVP to Jered Gold at jered.gold@artcenter.edu by December 17,
2009 with your interest in attending the evening session and/or the
following day’s retreat.

Best regards,

Lorne M. Buchman

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