Sunday, May 17, 2015

Fire Your Student

The “fire your customer” idea has made its way to academia, in the sensational story this weekend of the University of Southern California driving out an entire class of graduate fine arts students along with faculty after the fine arts program became an obstacle to the university’s plans to make its name in commercial art. Such changes are rare in higher education because a customer will stay only a few years at most, so even when a program is being discontinued it is so easy to let the students complete their degrees. A transition period of two or three years is a short time by the standards of academia. It was just a matter of time, though, before an impatient university would not be willing to wait even this long, and here you have it: a university essentially firing its students, along with faculty, less than a year after the decision to kill off one of its programs to make room for something new.

At LA Weekly:

At LA Times: