Yesterday, 73 University of Southern California MFA alumni signed a letter of support for the seven first-year MFA students who dropped out of USC’s Roski School of Art and Design a month ago. The letter was published on MFA No MFA, the Tumblr that also published the Class of 2016 MFA students’ collective dropout statement in May.
The letter, which is signed by alumni who graduated between 2005 and 2014, cites many of the same concerns as the first-year MFA students—economic inequalities, a lack of true education, debt, and frustration with the Roski administration.
Among the letter’s signees are some familiar names. Tyler Coburn, Alex Israel, Elad Lassry, and Amanda Ross-Ho appear on the list. They, like many of the other signees, have had work featured in biennials around the world.
“The heart of any educational program does not reside in its administrative management, but rather in the energy, knowledge, passion and wisdom of its faculty, as well as in the transformative ideas and good faith of its students,” the letter reads. “This combined enthusiasm and sense of inspiration have been at the center of what made the USC MFA Program so special over this past decade. This is a history that has now been abruptly foreshortened due to a lack of vision, and a perverse misunderstanding of the community that feeds—and is fed by—such programs across the nation.”
“As alumni, we sincerely hope that our collective voices resonate with those capable of implementing change for the better at The Roski School of Art and Design,” the letter ends.