Earlier today, the 2015 graduating Masters of Fine Arts class of the Roski School of Art and Design at the University of Southern California published an open letter on their tumblr page calling for the resignation of their dean, Erica Muhl.
In the letter, the students refer to the “systematic downward trajectory” that they believe the dean has spearheaded during her tenure. Here is a meaty excerpt:
The administration’s consistent lack of transparency, evasive communication and persistent belittling of its students resulted in the significant loss of respected faculty members and staff during the 2014-15 school year. We struggled through the noise of a program in crisis that reached breaking point with the withdrawal of the class of 2016, which was unprecedented but not unexpected. During our final Summer 2015 semester, our studio facilities lay nearly empty, bled of a once robust community with ties to a broader cultural discourse and its accompanying support systems.
The letter comes in the wake of similar acts of protest from the school’s alumni. “Our sincere hope through this effort is for a reevaluation of the future of the program to which we enthusiastically dedicated ourselves the past two years,” the letter concludes. The group has also created an online petition.