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CAA Member Survey Results

posted by Christopher Howard — Oct 15, 2008

CAA warmly thanks the 831 participants in a recent email survey, which was sent to 8,300 members whose database records indicate that their primary profession is: art/architectural historian, artist, administrator, curator, art-museum educator, or librarian. The results of the survey will be presented at the Board of Directors’ Strategic Planning Retreat on October 25, 2008, and will be incorporated into discussions on how to better serve all CAA members in the new strategic plan.

The survey contained one open-ended question: “What are the most pressing issues you face in your profession?” The following summary provides a synopsis of your responses, which are recorded in order of priority and frequency; many respondents gave multiple answers.

Art/Architectural Historians – 455 respondents
33% – Decrease in positions; increase in PhDs; reduction of tenured positions and increase in part-time and adjunct positions
17% – Difficulty finding publishers; insufficient number of art journals; decrease in presses publishing art history; tenure requirement for monographs vs. few presses publishing monographs
16% – Limited research funds and high cost of travel
13% – Work load vs. keeping up with the field and quality of life
11% – High cost of image reproduction; copyright restrictions
7% – Low salaries and need for pay equity
7% – Issues regarding resources and attention devoted to historical art vs. contemporary art; Western vs. non-Western art; national vs. global; traditional curriculum, research, and pedagogy vs. interdisciplinary curriculum, research, and pedagogy
7% – New technology demands: cost, training, accessibility
5% – Need for American public understanding of art and combating anti-intellectualism
4% – Viability, credibility, and relevance of art history to other disciplines

Artists – 305 respondents
40% – Earning enough to support creative work; finding jobs and job security
23% – Finding reliable galleries; support for exhibitions; support for creative work and research
19% – Need for exposure of work, networking, and negotiating the art world
17% – Low salaries and need for pay equity
13% – Reduction of tenured positions and increase in part-time and adjunct positions
5% – Maintaining art as a critical discipline on all levels of education
5% – Need for health insurance
5% – Heavy teaching load and higher expectations for productivity
5% – Need for greater preparation of entering students

Administrators – 47 respondents
45% – Decrease in federal, state, and private funding for research, travel, faculty, staff, and technology
10% – Decrease in scholarships and fellowships
10% – Reduction of full-time faculty and increase in part-time faculty
10% – Recruitment of qualified candidates for faculty positions given the expansion of disciplines and need for pedagogical expertise
7% – Decreased enrollment
6% – Need for pay equity between art historians and artists
5% – Work load vs. keeping up with the field
4% – Blurring of disciplines and need for curriculum revision; new forms of assessment

Curators – 14 respondents
44% – Financial stability of art museums; decrease in funds for research and scholarly exhibitions
19% – High stress, long hours, and diminished staff positions
15% – Devaluation of research
10% – How to communicate with the public
10% – Low salaries and need for pay equity
5% – Demands of exhibition funders

Art-Museum Educations – 6 respondents
25% – High stress, long hours, and diminished staff positions
10% – Maintaining links between museum educators and art historians
10% – Low salaries and need for pay equity
5% – Decrease in funds for public programs

Art Librarians – 4 respondents
30% – New technology equipment costs, training, and research
25% – Decreased funds for purchase of books and periodicals
10% – Recruitment of qualified candidates for staff positions

Because many respondents gave more than one answer, the percentages do not always add up to 100 percent.

Filed under: CAA News, Membership, Surveys, Workforce