Whats going on in there?
What's going on in there? Photo courtesy of Another Believer

I've been meaning to post this for a few days and keep waiting until I have time to follow with some reporting of my own. But I haven't had time and I think you should know about this news about Portland's Pacific Northwest College of Art, which sounds suspiciously like it's experiencing some of the same issues happening at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, which recently appointed as its interim president Chris Kevorkian, a media executive and management consultant with extensive experience in brand strategy but almost none in higher education.

Brian Boucher on Artnet:

Students who had planned to attend the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), in Portland, Oregon, were surprised to receive emails, just days before the August 29 start of the school year, informing them that the school was suspending the MA in critical theory and creative research (CT+CR) for the 2016–17 year.

The move comes amid major changes at the school, which paints a sunny picture, claiming to have doubled its student body and faculty over the last decade while starting a half-dozen new graduate programs with a major grant and moving into a new building. Insiders, though, speaking to artnet News on background, portray a school rife with distrust between administrators and faculty.

Hyperallergic had a story with this:

“It’s crazy because people were quitting jobs and moving and rearranging their lives to do the program,” said Taryn Tomasello, a student who had been accepted into the CTCR program for the 2016–17 school year, in an interview with Hyperallergic. Tomasello received her BFA from PNCA and participated in a work-study program while she earned her degree. Hopeful students spent thousands of dollars, pulled up stakes, and moved their lives across great distances in order to study at PNCA, only to be told they wouldn’t be starting classes because of miscommunication about a $250 security deposit, she said.

Artnet has more on how the situation links to other schools nationwide.