The following petition was posted on 1 December 2011 and had over 800 signatures by the 4th. To sign, click here.
The current suspension on the Queen’s Fine Arts program is causing irreversible damage to their vulnerable program. The Queen’s BFA has always been well sought-after by students looking for a traditional visual arts education administered in intensive, college-style classes that are still set within a diverse, academic university setting.
The reason for the suspension is cited as being due to ‘resources’. The university is currently working in a deficit, and the Board of Trustees (BoT, who oversees budgets at Queen’s) have told Dean MacLean (of the faculty of Arts & Science) to balance his budget in the next two years. This is hugely unnecessary because many universities are working through these hard economic times on deficits.
MacLean says the quick decision to suspend admissions to the Fine Arts program for 2012-2013 is because, in addition to his orders from the BoT, he was suddenly notified that one BFA professor would be retiring in two-to-three year’s time. The loss of one professor would be 20% of the BFA faculty and it would have profound repercussions on the program. We, the undersigned, acknowledge that MacLean was rightfully concerned about admitting students next year that could not be guaranteed the same structure/quality of education through all four years of the BFA.
But, why should administration suspend admissions – thus cutting a form of income – when a temporary adjunct professor could be hired to replace the one who retires? An adjunct is much less the cost of a well-tenured professor. At the very least, the program deserves an opportunity to ‘regroup and form new ideas’ without the pressure of a suspension hanging over their heads!
Therefore, we, the undersigned, urge Principal Woolf, Dean MacLean, and the Board of Trustees to recognize the incredible efforts taken by BFA students to preserve their valuable program by lifting the suspension of admissions to the Queen’s Fine Arts program for at least one year.