As a SCAD student who has pursued several degrees at the school's main (Savannah) campus, these are my thoughts: Firstly, the school's standards of education in most fields are top-notch, though the grading standards are not quite up to par with the level of instruction. That is to say, because the school wants seemingly more and more students, they don't want things to be too hard on them and in contrast to many art schools (I also studied at RISD), the rigor is not what you'd expect. Some professors bring about very demanding standards, but in general you can get an "A for effort" in too many cases. As far as problems at SCAD actually affect students, that would be my focus. Dr. Wallace and her family did found the school, she has since becoming president lead it far and beyond what anyone expected an art school to accomplish and she is by any standard a highly-innovative business-woman.Two million per year is a lot for a college prez but not for a CEO at a corporation, and I think she sees herself as the latter as much as the former. She started a successful business and has made it what it is today and she wants to get paid. We'd not complain if she did that with GE or Lockheed, now would we? As to academic freedom, the lack of tenure for profs always seemed odd but honestly, the emphasis at SCAD is on teaching and profs are not expected to publish as at most schools. For someone in a field like art history who wants to teach over do research, that can be a blessing. They do how tend to censor student and facult complaints and even art . . . try getting an explict or highly political work of art into a SCAD group show and it won't probably make the cut. They want to come off to the Garden and Gun type of Southern, upper-class folks as friendly and down-home but hip and that's pretty much where they are today.
Creative Loafing Atlanta
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