6. The advancement reason

This page is a sub-section of the Open Letter to Senate: Six Reasons Why it is Wrong to Freeze BFA Admissions Without Academic Process, by Mark Jones (4 December 2011).

6.  The advancement reason.  Cutting the BFA has not been good press for Queen’s.  With one hand Queen’s spent over $100,000 to develop a “brand” so it could shine in the public eye, maybe attract some donors . . . on the other, it attracts national press attention for cutting a long-established creative program to save a few thousand dollars.  The testimonials for the BFA are full of amazement, embarrassment, shame, anger, dismay—and they come from all over the country.  “The university’s administration should be embarrassed” (Riley Grant, 17 November).  badcallqueens (Megan Donn, 17 November).  “You worry about the declining reputation of Queen’s University and this is the cause of it” (Byron Letourneau-DUynstee, 14 November). “I am . . . horrified to see one of Canada’s premier Art schools so casually closed by a university administration that never knew what a jewel it possessed, nor cared” (BoltonG, 10 November). “As a faculty member . . . I am ashamed and embarrassed by this decision. It is an extremely worrisome sign that Queen’s no longer knows the purpose of a university education” (Elaine Power, 21 November).  “As a parent of a Queen’s student, and as a Queen’s graduate myself, I am stunned that a school with such a stellar reputation and history is even considering removal of a program that brings such diversity and culture to the Queen’s community” (Mary McAlpine Hornell, 15 November). “i never imagined a day would come when i would be ashamed of the university, my university. but, alas, here we are.” (christopher scott bfa 1992, 18 November).  “Queen’s, Queen’s – sad leadership. Kill the Arts as a cost-saving measure? Pathetic to have you continue as a fully accredited university. Shame on you.” (nototo, 10 November). “This is ridiculous and counter-productive” (Dan Cooper, 10 November).  “This is a university that is in free-fall as we speak. It already has the most expensive tuition in all of Ontario, but it is also falling in the ratings because it overspent on vanity projects and lost sight of the fact that it is an EDUCATION institution” (CKS, 10 November).  “A total disgrace” (Lynn A. Channing, 18 November).  “Queen’s reputation is taking a big hit” (Mark Wihak, 18 November). “To freeze this program is a tragedy to the arts and culture sector” (Franklin Beecham, 18 November). “I am a member of the alumni – this is an ill-considered move and reflects terribly on one of Canada’s oldest Visual Arts programs. It impacts us all negatively. I will be withdrawing my support”  (Kathleen Irwin, 18 November). “I am a very unhappy alum that will not be showing any future monetary support for my alma mater if this silliness continues”  (Natalie Whidden, 21 November).  If the Deans cannot consult with their own Faculty Board, maybe they should talk with the Office of Advancement.

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