San Francisco Art Institute to Merge With College of San Francisco

Stella McDaniel

Leaders of the financially troubled San Francisco Art Institute say they have formalized strategies to combine functions and academic plans with the University of San Francisco, a private Jesuit university, in a method they say will at some point guide to the university obtaining the 150-12 months-aged art university.

In a news launch, the artwork college said Wednesday that the heads of the two institutions have signed a official letter of intent to get started the course of action of checking out exactly how to merge their undergraduate and graduate arts systems. The settlement has been accredited by the trustees of every single establishment, the statement stated, and calls for a interval of due diligence right before the acquisition can take place.

The resulting software will be known as the San Francisco Artwork Institute at the College of San Francisco, the assertion explained. Below the agreement, the University of San Francisco will choose more than the art school’s historical structures, artwork and film collections, and belongings. Those people belongings include every thing on the art school’s Chestnut Road campus, which houses a Diego Rivera Gallery that retains a useful mural.

Officials stated they expect their critique to be accomplished in time for integrated functions to begin this slide.

“After months of confrontation, negotiation, triumph, system, gratitude, hope and elation we come across ourselves signing up for with another group that realizes the depth of our contribution and the confluence of our beliefs,” Lonnie Graham, the San Francisco Art Institute’s board chairman, mentioned in a letter posted on the school’s web page. “This merger will assist to guarantee the continuation of our college and the contribution of our learners.”

Information of the pending acquisition brings a opportunity resolution to what has been yrs of economical tumult for the Art Institute, which manufacturers itself as among the nation’s oldest and most prestigious colleges of present-day high-quality art.

Facing a mountain of personal debt soon after high-priced expansions, declining enrollment and the challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, the school — which has witnessed the likes of Ansel Adams, Kathryn Bigelow, Annie Leibovitz and Mark Rothko educate and study in its partitions — suspended lessons, stopped accepting college students and confronted the prospect of shuttering in 2020.

The College of California Board of Regents aided help you save the university when it stepped in to purchase its $19.7 million of debt from a personal financial institution. But even with that assist, university officials came under fire when some thought of providing a beloved mural by Diego Rivera — stated to be worth $50 million — to aid balance the spending budget.

Amid the turmoil, Pam Rorke Levy, then the chairwoman of the Art Institute, resigned in January 2021. Graham, a photographer, took over as chairman.

In the school’s news launch about the coming merger, officials stated the San Francisco Art Institute and the University of San Francisco experienced experienced conversations about likely integrating their programming and operations “at several occasions above the earlier decade.”

The owing diligence interval will include things like a assessment of funds, the physical property at the artwork school’s Chestnut Avenue campus, and the logistics around the system of academic accreditation, amid other difficulties. Officers said that present-day San Francisco Artwork Institute students who entire their degree courses at the College of San Francisco will acquire the same educational providers, alternatives and aid that the College of San Francisco students ordinarily get.

In a letter to his campus neighborhood, Paul J. Fitzgerald, the president of the University of San Francisco, claimed that combining the institutions’ efforts for the duration of the interval of owing diligence “provides us with increased capacity to establish an extraordinary, transformative, social justice-oriented arts education and learning inside of our liberal arts and Jesuit tradition that will reward the Bay Spot, the nation and the planet.”

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