Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Art Takes A Hit At USF St. Petersburg

Below is a copy of an e-mail received from Joani Spadaro, USF St. Petersburg Professor of Graphic Design, regarding the imminent demise of that program. Just now emerging as a major cultural destination, St. Petersburg cannot afford to be without this vital art education.

"I wanted you all to know that USF St. Petersburg has plans to eliminate the Program in Graphic Design. My students were told of this just last week. At this point, it is not known if the juniors in the program will matriculate; they may have to transfer to other programs. The seniors will graduate with adjunct professors.

I have resigned my position from USF St. Pete due to a variety of reasons, all related to a lack of support for this vibrant, important and interesting program. The program is currently the only public BFA granting graphic design program on the west coast of Florida. It is popular, successful and at this point, I fear, doomed.

After being told that a national search was to be conducted for my successor, the students were then told that, due to budget cuts, the program would be eliminated. This makes little sense. The program is one of the most cost effective to run (according to the administration) and it is the only art program that is currently being offered on the St. Pete campus. This is a terrible situation for my students and for the arts community in general. The university seems to think of art in general and the Program in Graphic Design specifically as a dispensable. I hope that you share my outrage and concern.

There is a meeting of the College of Arts and Sciences Faculty Council at 2:00 on Friday, November 14 to discuss this situation. The meeting is open to the public and is currently scheduled to be held in the Dean's Conference Room, Davis Hall 100. I will update you on any change of venue.

Thank you for your support!"

Warm Regards,

Joani Spadaro
Associate Professor of Graphic Design
Director, Program in Graphic Design
USF St. Petersburg

1 comment:

Sheree Rensel said...

This is so terrible. It really is. I am an artist. I have watched that program since its inception. I always entertained the idea of going for that degree. Unfortunately, I work full time and could not fit it in due to its structure. However, I am very aware of the program and class offerings. I have been in awe. To hear that it isn't supported or held as a highlight of the USF offerings is shocking to me. In fact since I have taken many classes at USF and have an educational experience linked to USF, I find it very troubling and offensive that USF doesn't realize the Graphic Design Program is one of the BEST they have at USF St. Pete. Oh yes. This is very disturbing. I am so sorry.