CAA News Today

Presenting at the 106th Annual Conference in Los Angeles. Image by Rafael Cardenas.

With an ever-changing academic and museum landscape, it’s clear that CAA must respond to the evolving needs of its members. We can no longer be an organization satisfied only with producing a large annual conference and quarterly journals. We must be a leader in the national conversation about the future of art history and studio arts education; indeed we can work to strengthen all humanities departments in colleges and universities. In addition, the CAA Annual Conference needs to be a supportive environment where everyone can connect as colleagues and friends year round, and to do this, we need your help.


As the world’s largest international visual arts association, we can unite to bridge the generational divide in the field and create a sense of belonging for younger members. We can understand where barriers exist and find ways to break them down. We can provide leadership to solve diversity and inclusion issues on college campuses.

It is our goal to make sure everyone who has a stake in the visual arts, from practicing artists to teachers of art, art history, design, curatorial studies, and museum practices at the college level—at every organization from the loftiest research institution to the most rural community college—feel included and welcomed.

Please consider making a tax-deductible donation that will help the next generation of art historians and visual artists. Your support directly goes to travel scholarships, publications, and reduced membership and registration for student and independent members. Together, we can work to provide everyone in the field the essential resources, contacts, mentorship, and advocacy they need.

Thank you for your generosity and with my best wishes,

Hunter O’Hanian
Executive Director and CEO

March For Our Lives demonstration, New York City, 2018. Photo: Mathias Wasik/Flickr

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting in February, President Trump proposed arming teachers as a measure to protect students

We asked our members what they think about this issue, and got over 150 responses. Here is what they said:

“If teachers in colleges and universities were expected or supposed to be armed, I would leave academia. I don’t want to have to carry a gun to class. I have enough to worry about with teaching content, and creating a strong learning environment, without the added stress of something happening if a weapon were to misfire. Teachers should not be expected to be soldiers on top of being teachers.” — Meghan Bissonnette

“I am a faculty member and would never carry a gun, nor do they belong in a classroom with teachers. I think this is the thinking of a insane person who thinks arming teachers and staff with guns is the answer. I express total OPPOSITION to carrying arms.” — Cianne Fragione

“When I received my terminal degree in design, I never thought terminal would refer to taking someone’s life. I am not a sharp shooter. When a parent sends a child to school there is an assumption that the child will be safe. To put the educator in a policeman’s position doesn’t guarantee success. Outlaw the sale of assault weapons and secure the schools. It’s a much better solution.” — Ferris Crane

“I didn’t pursue my education or career goals with anything remotely like this in mind. We are scholars and educators, not police. The solution to this issue is not guns on campus, but the removal of all assault-type weapons from civilians. They have no place in our society. We also need to find a way to redefine what it means to “act like a man.” Too many innocents have been slaughtered because the shooters felt threatened and dismissed. Art educators won’t necessarily have the answers, but arming us is a risible solution from fools who believe in the tools of death and destruction.” — Bethanie Rayburn

“Teachers should NOT be armed. Their jobs are to educate; putting this burden on them is not fair, on top of the fact that most gun violence is accidental. Teachers and students should be concerned with learning in the classroom while their safety is secure via other means. Perhaps more resource officers on campus, metal detectors, better lockdown procedures and emergency notification systems, etc. More guns will not help the problem.” — Elizabeth Simmons

“I am absolutely against the idea of arming teachers. I would not trust myself or trust any other teacher to carry a gun and use it with poise. The liabilities are endless: is the school or teacher liable if gun goes missing? Who  will pay for the insurance costs? If a teacher accidentally shoots a student what is their role in the crime?” — Katrina Chamberlin

“It should be an option for those who already have extensive weapons training or are willing to get it. They also must be aware that when law enforcement arrives, it may not be clear which side they’re on, and they must affirm their awareness of the risks of that situation. Being armed should never be a mandatory part of an educator’s job description, though. Trained professionals who are present exclusively to perform security duties are far more preferable.” — Jill F.

“No guns in school or university classrooms” — Victoria Dickinson

“Arming teachers and professors is a ridiculous idea. Our jobs are to teach, we shouldn’t have have to worry about an armed, troubled individual coming into our schools with a gun in the first place. Background checks need to be made more strict, and certain guns should be taken completely off the market. I can’t believe we even have to have this discussion.” — Margaret J. Schmitz

“Risk Management won’t let faculty climb ladders in my campus, but we are supposed to carry guns? The insurance alone makes this notion impossible to implement, aside from all the obvious reasons. I would refuse.” — Samantha fields

“I think it is ridiculous and a recipe for disaster. Teachers have enough responsibility as it is.” — Kira Jones

“The fewer guns in our schools, the better.  The United States can and must change its culture of armed violence, beginning with its teaches and young students.” — Anne Higonnet

“Arming teachers is crazy: more guns does not make for fewer shootings. Think of the horrible accidents that will happen, as children are in spaces with guns and find out their teachers have them.

NO—this is a terrible plan by the NRA and the gun makers, to make their coffers yet more profitable.” — Penny Howell Jolly

“The idea of arming teachers is utter madness. Get rid of the ludicrous number of guns in this country—all of them except for police.” — Jayne Merkel

“Arming teachers is a terrible idea. Having guns in the classroom is antithetical to a productive learning environment and it only opens the possibilities for violence. This idea is so wrong headed that it is unspeakable. I would quit teaching before I would carry a gun at school and I would find a school for my children to attend that banned guns.” — Joni Kinsey Fields

“Making teachers responsible for the armed defense of their pupils is an irrational redefinition of their roles, and bringing more guns into schools is reckless. While it conceivable that an attacker might one day be thwarted by a well-trained and armed teacher, schools will be made less safe every day by the presence of additional guns.” — David Brownlee

“I totally oppose arming teachers. I will never carry a gun in my classroom.” — Jan Arabas

“We need fewer, not more, guns.” — David M. Sokol

“This is an outrageous suggestion by Trump. It is not a teacher’s responsibility to be armed to go to work. It is not their responsibility to shoot or possibly kill someone to protect students. Fighting fire with fire is not the solution here. In order to get guns out of schools we shouldn’t be adding more we should be making them harder to get.” — Corey D’Anna

“I think it is a terrible idea that will just add to the chaos and confusion of an active shooter situation.” — Anonymous

“Teachers go through extensive training to be teachers. They are usually overworked and underpaid. To suggest that a teacher can also act as a security guard and be armed is absurd. This is a scheme by the NRA and others (with Trump being complicit) to push the responsibility for these kinds of tragedies on to the backs of teachers. Never!” — Anne Glaros

“I am opposed to anything that would bring firearms into the classroom environment, where they could intimidate or potentially injure students and teachers. The risks posed by firearms significantly outweigh any argument for arming teachers. The classroom should be an environment defined by safety, consideration, and open debate. Not by weapons that could incidentally or purposefully be used to intimidate or accidentally cause harm.” — Greg Foster-Rice, Associate Professor, Columbia College Chicago

“It’s a horrible, horrifying idea. I do NOT want more guns in school nor do I want to have to use one EVER. An officer with one is fine.” — Kristin Osgood Lamelas

“It is not my duty to be fully trained to assess every situation for a threat and to respond with a weapon. My duty is to the education of my students and their well being. If there is an insistence on having individuals armed at school institutions, then there should be security officers hired specifically for the task. An educator can not be fully committed to their job if they are trying to do the work of two positions at once.

Not only are you threatening a teacher’s focus and ability to respond, but you are also putting the teacher/student relationship at risk. Students may not feel safe in a classroom where an individual in an authoritative position could “retaliate” at them and use lethal force. The same goes for schools that allow firearms to be carried by students (universities). Educators feel threatened that a student could retaliate if they are emotional about the outcome of a grade. Academics and law enforcement should be totally different departments so that there is no potential for legal violations.” — Whitney Bandel

“The more concealed or unconcealed weapons that teachers and/or students have on my campus, the less safe I feel. Surely the number of shootings would be decreased by decreasing the number of available weapons.” — BW-T

“Arming teachers would make no one safer but it would reinforce the insanity of the NRA’s campaign to turn the entire country into an armed camp. I especially share the concern of minority parents that if teachers were armed, school would become more dangerous for their children.” — Alan Wallach

“I strongly oppose arming faculty, as this will only lead to more gun death, especially accidental gun death. This call for guns in school should be taken very seriously. While some may label the call to arm teachers a “politically motivated distraction,” here in Kentucky the bills on the floor of our State Legislature right now (HB210 & SB103) are a deadly reality. These bills would mean that the University of Kentucky, where I work, would no longer be able to restrict guns on campus. A 2008 study showed that 89% of campus police chiefs think that guns on campus make it less safe. In a 20012/23 survey, 94% of faculty said they don’t want guns on campus and 79% of college students said that concealed weapons on campus would make them feel unsafe. However, despite how we at the university feel about guns and our desire for gun restrictions on our campus, we would be beholden to state laws sponsored by the NRA that force guns on our campuses. I am so tired of a small faction of gun fanatics and the greedy gun industry forcing us to live in a society where hundreds of people are killed or injured by guns everyday. ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!  WE MUST STOP GUN VIOLENCE!!!

My statistics come from:

Every Town for Gun Safety

Mom’s Demand Action

As an aside, if these bills pass in Kentucky, the university will have to pay for additional security measures on campus. Our budget is already stretched so thin and those funds could be used for scholarships, educational infrastructure, and faculty hires that would support our educational mission.” — Miriam Kienle

“I think you will lose a lot of teachers, as well as students. Most teachers will not be willing to do that.  I wouldn’t. I would just teach online. Pretty sad. Anyway, shooters can just go to some other venue, and some may not mind a gunfight. We need to get at the real problem, which is access to guns, especially automated ones. Ban automated weapons. Raise the age limit to buy guns.  Make more strict an in-depth background checks.  These are the primary problems. This problem has been going on far too long without being fixed and we as Americans are really embarrassing ourselves in that we are more attached to our guns than we are to our children and college students.” — Stacy Berlfein

“The plan is absurd. Teachers are not police officers. Effective gun control laws that include thorough background checks, weapons insurance for gun owners, license renewal standards and banning of all high magazine weapons is a reasonable first step.  Other nations do not have these mass shooting problems because they don’t privilege gun owners rights over the pursuit of LIFE, LIBERTY and HAPPINESS.” — Julia Morrisroe

“Absolutely not. Arming teachers would almost certainly lead to more student deaths, and after all, every student has seen their professor struggle to get the projector in the classroom to work – do you want that person to have a gun?” — Lindsay Alberts

“Arming teachers is a terrible idea. We don’t need more guns. I completely disagree with the idea.” — katlin Evans

“We should not be arming teachers. Teachers are hired to teach and that should be their focus, not to be a armed security force.” — Carol Schwartz

“The idea of arming teachers is asinine. It would (1) put an extra burden upon them, (2) not be at all effective, and (3) possibly lead to accidents. I am unequivocally opposed to it.” — Gina McDaniel Tarver

“I do not think teachers should be armed. I think semi-automatic and automatic weaponry has not place in civilian hands. Delay all gun ownership by at least 3 days, and register the owner and the gun. We never know if a sane person will kill, but if they have a gun they can in a heated moment. We are the most violent nation gun-wise. And the most immature in in using and regulating them.” — Phyllis Rosenblatt

“Arming teachers will likely result on more deaths as teachers try both to protect the students and shoot the killer. Police may find it difficult to distinguish between the gun holder who is the killer and the teacher. In short, it’s a bad idea.” — Anita Moskowitz

“Arming teachers is an absolute necessity! “Gun free zones” do not protect people. They only make the people in those areas sitting ducks–defenseless and easy prey for angry cowards. I am sickened by people who will not allow my children and myself and my students to be protected at school in this way. And, stop blaming the NRA for school shootings. CAA MUST advocate for all teaching (grade school and college level) to be allowed to conceal carry!!!” — Stephanie Chapman

“Arming teachers is a truly horrifying, incomprehensible suggestion. As a college teacher and former high school teacher it is glaringly obvious that this move would increase the danger to all parties and deteriorate, probably permanently destroy, the supportive relationship between teachers and students that is imperative for quality (or any) education.” — Darielle Mason

“I teach at a State University in one of the most conservative states in the Union where gun-ownership is ubiquitous. Our campus bans concealed carry – in fact, no one on campus are allowed to have guns. I have no doubt that there are a few secreted in desk drawers, but the policy is no guns.  I believe arming teachers – even willing teachers with training – would result in a bloodbath eventually.  Even police often shoot the wrong people in a firefight – the idea of encouraging one in a public school with crowds of children around is beyond stupid. Teachers and law makers must veto this ludicrous idea and look for real solutions beginning with banning and confiscating automatic weapons.” — Muffet Jones, Lecturer, Boise State University

“Arming teachers will only raise the level of danger in classrooms, as teachers are not mentally/psychologically infallible, security of the firearm cannot be maintained if said firearm must also be at the ready, and police or others are likely to mistake the armed teacher for the shooter.” — Jaleen Grove

“It is a dangerous proposal for a number of reasons.

  1. Anyone who points a gun must be prepared to kill. If not, they will risk the weapon being taken and used on them or their students.
  2. Classroom situations can get tense. There is much empirical evidence that the presence of a firearm actually escalates tensions. So the weapon becomes dangerous to teachers and students outside its use to defend against an armed intruder.
  3. My job as a teacher is to teach, not provide security. I am trained in emergency procedures and am a certified Black Belt in Taekwondo. This means I can help my students in an active shooter situation. It does not make me temperamentally qualified to use a firearm.
  4. I asked teenage students in my dojang what they thought about their principal having a gun. They were shocked by the idea, saying he already has anger management issues.
  5. There is scientific evidence that the more guns there are, the greater the amount of gun violence. Escalation, like any arms race, endangers everyone.” — Anne E. Guernsey Allen

“This is a dreadful idea. The possible consequences are dire. Imagine a teacher firing at an invader but hitting a student instead, whether a hostage or a student who was shoved into or fell into the line of fire. Teachers are not sharpshooters even if they are trained in firearm use. Imagine, too, the rare possibility of a teacher feeling threatened by a student, and then having the teacher fire his/her gun at a young person—something that cannot happen now. The possibility of a teacher being able to shoot an armed invader is small. The teacher’s first job is to save students by leading them to safety, not to take time to pull out a gun from a presumably secure repository.” — Carol Krinsky

“Teachers are not equipped to handle the emotional strain of shooting another human being. We got into this profession to help students develop and to expect them to be the ones responsible for shooting another person is absurd. In addition, having guns in classroom wouldn’t make all students feel safe.  There are one that come to the classroom to escape the violence of their homes and having guns their could prove a distraction. Is the plan for the teacher is be locked and loaded? Or will it be stored in a safe in the classroom? Every time there’s a lock down drill, they go through the hallways sweeping for armed students?  What would happen if we accidentally shot the wrong student? Also consider the logistics of how the guns would be issued and stored. What about the cost of training them. We struggle with funding just to deliver what is expected of us and the idea that there is money to train, store and arm teacher is ludicrous waste of money. I am against this ill thought out proposal.” — Sarah Merola

“No, I do not want to carry a weapon to class, nor do I want my colleagues or students with weapons on campus. This is an NRA driven idea to obfuscate the real problem and obvious solutions. It only serves to increase sales for gun manufacturers. Teachers in a classroom are not police officers or members of the armed services,  nor should we be expected to behave like ones.

The stupidity of this idea is beyond my understanding. No individual needs to own military style weapons. All the data from other countries proves removing them reduces the violence. It may take a generation or two for these weapons to disappear  from our society, but that is the real solution. I fear none of this will really change until we remove the money from elections. It’s time to stand for public funded elections.” — Ada Pullini Brown, Professor of Painting & Drawing

“It is dangerous. Just last week a high school student in MA managed to fire a policeman’s pistol in its holster–in the classroom. Teachers, like airline stewards, will be called on to protect students and need to be drilled in emergency procedures. Don’t let us be distracted by this–control access to assault weapons” — Madeline H. Caviness

“A terrible, counterproductive idea. More guns will mean more deaths, including lots of accidental ones.” — Joshua Shannon

“Any suggestion of arming teachers neglects to address the real issue here- the ease and access of anyone to purchase automatic weapons. Until the government takes a stand by passing gun control legislation, this epidemic will continue to worsen.” — Martina Shenal

“I think arming teachers is a dangerous proposal. If there is a shooter and everyone pulls their gun – who is to say a teacher won’t shoot a student by accident? And when the SWAT team arrives, how will they know who is the good guy and who is the bad guy? Law enforcement might target the teacher instead of the attacker.

I would prefer (though I do not advocate) armed security in school buildings over armed teachers – let’s let everyone be experts in their field. I feel like arming teachers follows the contemporary attitude of “everyone’s an artist” or “who needs professional expertise?” trend, when, in reality, not everyone can be properly trained and equipped for every situation, whether that is painting a pleasing picture, or protecting students from an attacker.

School safety should involve in-depth training on a variety of situations:  medical, mental health, violence between students, violence against students, non-violent crime, vandalism, etc. Professional security forces will have the time and budget to deal with the possible outcomes and ramifications of all these situations: professors have neither time nor budget to receive this level of training.

The teachers who saved students lives in recent shootings did so by ushering them into back rooms, out of doors, etc. Had they been holding guns they would not have been able grab students and pull them to safe places. Pulling a gun might have hindered their ability to get students out of the way of harm.  Teachers are already protecting students WITHOUT using guns- by thinking fast, solving problems and guiding students, as they do every day in the classroom.” — Michelle Paine

“I think that arming teachers would result in more gun violence incidents, an increase in casualties resulting from those, and ultimately a less safe environment for everyone. Guns have no place in civilians hands on schools and campuses. If the President and the NRA are genuine about increasing safety, they should form their recommendations on what our law enforcement professionals and our teachers recommend.” — Emir Bukva

“I can’t think of a worse “solution” to the problem than this. For one thing, how many teachers  would want to be armed, or would be capable of being so responsibly. How would law enforcement be able to tell the difference between an armed teacher and a armed assailant? What should be happening is a unified effort to stand up to the NRA (or, really, that portion of the NRA that is actually opposed to any kind of sane gun legislation), Trump, etc., to control or eliminate the circulation of automatic or semi-automatic military-style weapons, and to control gun access more generally speaking in this nation. Responsible gun owners don’t have to fear any of this.” — Bob Haskett

“Our schools need funding for scholarships, for resources, for supplies, for salaries, and for research. We do not need any more money put towards arming ANYONE in this country. I can’t believe I even have to voice my opinion on this issue. I do not want to teach in any environment where a deadly weapon is present. The arming students or faculty or staff will prevent the free expression of thought and expression, and do nothing to protect us.” — Janine Polak

“I am strongly against it because teachers should not have to wield guns if there is a shooter, they are not professionals like law enforcement and it would create a negative atmosphere in the school if teachers or staff have guns.” — Jill Carrington, Professor of Art History, Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches TX

“No teacher should be required to “protect and serve,” however, if a teacher felt impelled to have a firearm to protect her students, I don’t see a problem as long as students’ families were made aware of it. It is as dangerous as it is safe. If someone is trained and comfortable with a firearm then it can be safer but it can be potentially more dangerous with an unwilling or uncomfortable party. Different communities should have the choice in whether they want firearms implemented into their schools. While guns are a big debate, I cannot think of a more qualified gun owner than an educator who has gone through background checks and loves and cares for the future of our children, but protecting them with a gun should not be a requirement.” — Alyssa Moon

“I think the proposal is not simply ridiculous, but very dangerous. It is evident that is not by adding more weapons that you can solve the problem, but the other way round.” — Matteo Bertelé

“I’ve always wondered how arming teachers could possibly help and tried to imagine for myself a scenario of protection. For it to work, you enter the classroom, pull out the loaded weapon and train it on your students, or available entrances for the entire class. That would be the only way you could catch the determined perpetrator before they caught you. Surely any gun carrier, intent on harm, would take out the armed teacher first to protect her/himself.

Imagine the art history lecturer in a darkened room. Harder to detect entrants, students in the classroom with weapons, and you certainly couldn’t compromise your vigilance with focusing on a slide, to point out salient features of an image. That practice was at the heart of our teaching enterprise, or, perhaps not the NRA tells us.

I vote no.” — Ellen Wiley Todd

“A Disgrace, like everything proposed by this administration and its enabling voters and congressional members, which are gutting our formerly effective government and its institutions.  Continue your active protests! Some professional societies shy away from speaking out. I am very glad you and the AHA do not.” — C. M. Pyle (Life Member)

“I absolutely do not want guns in my classroom. I don’t want a gun and I don’t want students carrying guns. The issue is not about hardening our classrooms or schools; the issue is that American culture that is permissive about guns and about violence broadly. “Gun control” should really be replaced with “no guns”; I realize this is a non-starter but more guns in the mix (as in arming people in classrooms and schools) is not the solution.” — Jennifer Germann

“I was hired to teach. If I was interested in carrying a weapon I would be in the military or police work.  I live in a state that loves its outdoor sports, including hunting. There are enough guns already in this country. If people understood the politics of academia you don’t want us armed. I’ve sat in too many meetings where tempers flared. There is no reason to have assault weapons. Do you really think a hand gun could stop someone with an assault weapon? Would we really be able to shoot someone that may have taken our class?  Instead of arming faculty let’s provide a safe environment where we don’t need to discuss our safety plans in case a shooter arrives in our buildings. Students are anxiety ridden, they live in a country that allows these things. Students stated to me that guns are too much in our culture to do anything about it, and I reminded them that smoking was too, and nowadays it is hard to even find a smoker. We have changed the culture for smoking, we can change gun culture too.” — Diane Bywaters

“We don’t need more guns, we need gun regulation. Teachers need to focus on teaching.” — Satri Pencak

“WE SHOULD ABSOLUTELY NOT ARM TEACHERS. To even entertain the discussion is in some ways to move the “normal” needle that much further to “crazy”. TEACHERS DO ENOUGH. THEY STAND IN FRONT OF BULLETS. DO NOT ASK MORE OF THEM. They are maligned, overworked, underpaid. My partner is a teacher educator and also made the point that to arm particular teachers (teachers of color), would be to ENDANGER THEM MORE in our country, where even being black or brown and being “suspected” of having a weapon on you can get you killed by law enforcement. DO NOT DO THIS. DO EVERYTHING in CAA’s power to stand up IN SOLIDARITY WITH PUBLIC SCHOOL K-12 teachers. Thank you for asking.” — Chris Barnard

“Arming teachers in schools may be the worst, potentially most harmful, disgustingly politically-motived move Trump has made yet and I hope the CAA will join in strong opposition against it.” — Dr. Jan Cavanaugh

“Arming teachers/professors? A misguided notion indeed!!! Proposing that teachers shoulder this burden obfuscates a deeper truth: That putting the attention on arming educators to halt this growing public slaughter of innocents (arguably a horrible consequence of this country’s tsunami of “civil” weaponry) simply ignores a deep and very dangerous social and cultural insanity. Is it not delusional thinking to progressively and systematically diminish support of our mental health AND our educational systems in this country while steadily increasing the number of firearms?! And, where is there ANY evidence to demonstrate that this proposal could possibly lead to greater public safety?!!!” — John R Blosser, Professor of Art Emeritus Goshen College, IN

“No. I do not think this is a good idea at all. We need less guns not more. Why should the message be that things are so dangerous that you have to arm your teachers? That is ridiculous. No to arming teachers. This is the NRA and GOP pushing their agenda once again.” — Tara Spies Smith

“I think this is an awful idea. I will begin looking for another career if if my university allows firearms in our classrooms.” — Carol Magee

“Everything Trump does is ridiculous and dangerous” — Dr. Jean Bundy (

“Arming teachers and school staff is an absurd idea. I totally object to this suggestion. The Congress and the White House should take their obligations of protecting the citizens of our country serious and enact strict gun control.” — Maria Palazzi

“This is obviously a TERRIBLE idea, one put out merely to deflect attention from the reality of the benefits of smart gun control legislation. IF, IF, IF it were true that more guns in the hands of adults in crowded places would make everyone safer, then surely the Republicans in their own 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland should have allowed adults to carry guns into their crowded Convention hall, right?  In fact, they did NOT allow guns in the main Convention hall, of course!

See Time magazine’s report on this fact: .  Here is just one relevant quote from the Time article: “Dean Rieck, executive director of the Buckeye Firearms Association, told TIME that in this situation ‘it may not be wise’ to bring firearms along. He added that no serious gun rights group is advocating for that.” So, President Trump, most Republican legislators, and the NRA all now say that they think that it is a good idea to let more guns into public schools, BUT when it comes to their own meetings “no serious gun rights group is advocating for that” at the Republican National Convention itself? Why not? Safety perhaps? Obviously, no one in the Convention hall wanted to deal with a crazy person shooting dozens of people with an assault weapon. The benefits of banning guns at the Republican National Convention hall are as obvious as the benefits of banning guns from public schools.

We ALL need to get serious, like Dean Rieck stated in the Time article. The idea to arm teachers is NOT a serious idea: it is a crazy and TERRIBLE idea.” — Anonymous

“What if a teacher is wounded or killed and a Black student picks up the gun, what if the teacher is Black and the police open the door to her or his room, sees someone they don’t know with a gun aimed at them, it will be a shootout and someone will die, including more than one person. If a student is Black and picks up the gun, the police won’t know whether that person is the shooter or not, that student is likely to lose their life. With each teacher in a room aiming a gun at the door, how can the police know who is a shooter and who is a teacher.  I see nothing but violence in this picture. Teachers need to teach and the police have to do their jobs. They need to have stronger security doors at the schools. Each teacher knows his or her students and can meet a lineup of their students in the morning and  bring them into the school. All others must go through security at the office. Since Trump and the NRA deem that schools are a target because they are gun free zones, how about congress and the whitehouse. Aren’t they too gun free zones. Why can’t congressional members carry guns, why can’t visitors carry guns. We need to ask congress these questions and the whitehouse too.” — JQTS Smith

“As a former middle and elementary school teacher, now visiting assistant professor, I find this proposal to be alarming, preposterous, and downright terrible. I grew up in west Texas (in a very small town) so grew up with guns. They terrify me — a classmate of mine was accidentally shot and killed by his friends while they were out hunting at the age of 16.  I know guns have absolutely no place in our schools. As many military professionals have said, shooting a gun and using it to combat someone who wishes to do you harm are two very different things. It takes years of training and active combat to be able to stand in the face of such terror. Even trained professionals, like the peace officer onsite, refused to confront the shooter within the school. I imagine he’s had more training than many teachers. Teachers should be free to teach and lawmakers should stick to their jobs as well – to make laws to curb gun ownership, especially assault-style rifles, and to support a school environment that is safe for all.” — Victoria

“It’s a terrible idea and I oppose it. As with guns in homes: the likelihood is far higher that a gun on school property will be stolen, used to commit a crime, or misused in a way that will cause an accident, injury, or death than it is the gun will be used to stop a school shooter. And even a well-trained teacher is likely to hurt students and bystanders when trying to use a gun in a chaotic, crowded situation.” — Sarah Miller

“I am a retired teacher living a few miles from Parkland School. Giving guns to teachers is unacceptable. They have enough responsibility already. Never.” — Elaine Abbe

“I hate the idea of militarizing our schools and campuses, it is the complete opposite of what should be done to deal with America’s gun problem.” — Rachel Silberstein

“The very fact that there is even debate about such a ludicrous suggestion demonstrates the depth of rot and insanity in this country and culture. We are doomed.” — Janet Grossman

“Teachers are in the classroom to teach. No way should we be expected to defend our students against an armed attacker bearing an automatic rifle. Schools should arm some of the security guards, after seeing that they are fully trained to use their weapons.” — Mary D. Edwards

“I think that arming teachers is a horrifying idea. The relationship between teachers and students, especially minority students, should be based on trust. A firearm would not only jeopardize that, but it would also create potentially life-threatening situations. It seems to me that the proposal of arming teachers is a way to please NRA by politicians who receive donations from this organization. Arming teachers is not a solution, but it will create more problems.” — Agnieszka Szymanska

“This is insanity. NO.” — Susan Swanson

“NO GUNS IN OUR CLASSROOMS! The same for P-12 schools + colleges and universities. Arming teachers is NOT the answer to the problem of gun violence in our schools.  Reducing the number of handguns in America and regulating them is the answer. Look at the rest of the world where there are fewer guns: far fewer incidents of gun violence. The math is easy on that side of the equation. The math falls apart when it comes to Congressional votes.” — Gregory W Shelnutt

“This is a terrible idea. The classroom is a place where all students, teachers, and visitors should feel safe, and the presence of firearms makes the classroom less safe. Whether or not such devices might be used to end attacks, they have the potential to cause grave injury, intentionally or accidentally.  Furthermore, the idea that law-abiding citizens should take on the role of vigilantes, or should be asked to make split-second decisions in life-or-death situations, is fundamentally at odds with the kind of society that I want to live in, or that I want my students to live in. Even when police officers – trained law-enforcement professionals – shoot people, the situation is often highly controversial, leading in some cases to rioting and fundamental questions about fairness and justice in our society. Why would we want to ask educators to be in such a position?” — Kathryn Gerry

“Utterly reprehensible idea.” — J Gonzalez

“Terrible idea. It is not just teachers who think it is a bad idea; law enforcement and people with military background also think it is stupid. It is no part of a teacher’s job to be an armed guard and in any case, the evidence is strong that in most cases additional shooters on the scene would be more likely to hit bystanders or get shot by first responders than they would be likely to take out the perpetrator. Many studies have shown that more guns lead to more gun deaths. I am strongly opposed to allowing any weapons on campus except those carried by trained law enforcement personnel. If universities start allowing students and/or faculty to have guns on campus, I am going to quit teaching.” — Anne-Marie Bouche

“Unequivocally a terrible idea to arm teachers and eventually professors too.

  1. we are all humans and some of our ranks are bound to “lose it” now and and then. What then? If the teacher is armed the consequences would be staggering. The psychological trauma would be exacerbated by the added factor of betrayal by a trusted teacher.
  2. the risk that if the gun is present in the classroom, on the campus etc. then it goes without saying that there is a risk if it getting into the wrong hands, be it students or otherwise.
  3. The power balance in the classroom would be detrimental to educating. It essentially would make every interaction about threat assessment. If this rule is enacted, then we will be creating a generation of young people, children who will never feel safe anywhere. One cannot hope to educate in a setting where the focus no longer is teaching and learning.

I am so beyond words, the feeble ones above are my attempt to add to the discourse what my biggest fears are in addition to every argument that is already out there regarding the inappropriateness of this idea of arming teachers. The idea that teachers of color would become instant targets –  valid I think. The fact that teachers as a majority are against the idea – logical. The fact that student could get caught in the crossfire and actually could end up accidentally shot by a teacher – imagine the fallout of that?! There is not a single argument that you could present me with that would make arming teachers a good idea. The whole scenario is out of hand!” — Line Bruntse, Associate Professor

“I think it is absurd! The solution is more gun control, not handing out guns. If we had more control over who can purchase guns then we would not need our teachers and librarians to have guns in the classrooms.” — Nicole L

“Absolutely not. Our public safety officers are not even armed. Perhaps we should consider that before a free for all with guns in the classroom.” — Jenny Hanosn

“I was hired as a teacher. Not as a paramilitary.” — Carla Lord

“I do not support teachers being armed in colleges and universities. Statistics demonstrate that when guns are present in an environment, the risk of being injured by the gun increase. Law enforcement officials and combat veterans often explain that even with extensive training active shooter situations are difficult and individuals do not always behave as expected. Instructors with guns could confuse organized responses to active shooter situations and put themselves or their students in danger. Further, they may create a false sense of security. Instructors with guns would raise the chances of accidental injury or death. Guns do not equate safety.” — Kelly Wacker

“Arming teachers/professors is a terrible idea, about the worst I’ve heard in relation to the gun-control issue. We need fewer guns, not more. As a professor, I would not be comfortable carrying a gun to class–it’s ludicrous. More teachers would end up being killed Not to mention that I would have to go through training to learn how to use one. And teachers have enough responsibilities as it is.” — Sarah Mahler Kraaz

“I am opposed to teachers carrying guns in the classroom.” — Margaret Samu

“Arming teachers will increase not decrease risks of gun violence. The only way to end gun violence is to limit gun access. Statistics comparing US gun violence with the rest of the world should suffice as evidence.” — Anonymous

“This is one of the single stupidist ideas I have heard. Ever.

Get rid of the stupid guns, don’t put them in the hands of more untrained, underpaid and overstressed citizens.

Teachers are trained and paid to teach, let them do that. Put the money this would cost into education. How many teachers buy school suppies out of their own money? Will they have to buy guns and ammo too?

Why should teachers have to bear that stress on top everthing they must deal with? Who is to say some teacher wont misuse this power at some point as well? Then what? Who will the guns be put in the hands of next?

The President may fancy himself as a hero who would go into a school during  a shooting incident, but really, what is more likely: him saving the day, him getting shot, or him saving himself with a human shield?” — Anonymous

“The notion of arming faculty divides people and diverts attention from regulating and licensing guns, and banning high capacity magazines and assault weapons. Guns are not allowed in the halls of Congress or on board a commercial jetliner, and they certainly do not belong in my lecture hall, seminar room and studio. I lived and taught as a Fulbright Scholar for a year in Australia, and I have never felt safer and more secure. The reason, Australians sensibly regulated weapons after the Port Arthur massacre.” — Timothy Nohe

“This is a terrible idea. The only solution is to block guns from schools, not to add even more.” — Anna Russakoff

“Arming teachers is a horrifying idea, for teachers and for their students. Teachers are partners in our students’ education, not prison guards. Our students need to trust us as their mentors and partners in their education, not fear us as enforcers. This issue is particularly fraught for students and teachers of color. Our schools are not prisons and they never should be seen as such.” — Kristina Arnold

“NO!” — Sara Greenberger Rafferty

“Not only is this proposal a terrible idea given classroom safety concerns (and in assuming most teachers are willing and physically able to use a firearm), it’s reprehensible to expect any educator to take on this responsibility. What kind of ethical and moral territory do we enter when we ask teachers to be burdened with the possibility or obligation of killing one of their students?

We must also recognize the very real power dynamics in many classrooms and schools — with instructors/administrators positioned as unquestionable authoritative and antagonistic figures — and consider how this would only further alienate students in their own educational experiences, or create an environment that cultivates further abuses of power or control.

This proposal is myopic and cruel, and I oppose it in every way.” — Stephanie G.

“When this idea was proposed I thought they were kidding. I thought, “It’s another ridiculous idea from he who has never been in the trenches with the teachers.” Another hair-brained Trump idea. Why in the world would I want to carry a gun? Would I want a teacher next door to have one? No. If there is a deranged student in my classroom and I have a gun—even if I knew how to use one—s/he could disarm me and shoot us all. It’s the most absurd idea this White House has come up with yet. It makes me shudder.” — constance moffatt

“Bad idea” — Karen Wilson

“I strongly believe that the US needs less firearms of every kind, especially in public spaces. Allowing teachers to be armed in classrooms is not the way to prevent mass shootings and the accompanying fatalities. Instead, it would only serve to further normalize the current gun culture which lauds the idea of nearly every citizen carrying a deadly weapon with little to no regulatory oversight.

Teachers are there to help make our children more knowledgeable and inquisitive world citizens, for which they are both poorly paid and supported in many states. We should not expect them to take on the responsibility of protecting our children’s lives against dangerous threats by means of firearms as well. Instead, we should demand that our government enact meaningful gun legislation which protects all citizens, including those who are most vulnerable.” — Teresa Kilmer

“A terrible idea. Guns don’t belong in the classrooms of schools, colleges, or universities, or the grounds of these institutions. Give us gun free zones, secure classrooms, and better mental health services.  Give us stronger gun control with universal background checks, 21 as a minimum age, a ban on rapid fire weapons and bump stocks, and no loop holes. Give faculty and teachers the ability to issue an alert that a student is a potential threat so that they will be banned from buying guns. But don’t arm us. That will undermine learning and won’t make anyone safer.” — Emily Kelley

“Please tell me this can’t happen. Guns readily accessible? For persons whose job is to lead children/college students to safety…and whose job is NOT, cannot ever be expected, to have a shoot out in the school corridors. This is nearly as poor an idea as allowing college/university students to carry guns on campus. In re the latter, has no one ever heard of that small, undeveloped lobe until 25?  I’m absolutely opposed. NCW” — Nancy Coleman Wolsk, Lexington, KY  Emerita, art history Transylvania University

“This is not a good idea.” — Jacquelyn Clinton

“No, teachers should not be armed in colleges or universities or any school. It is yet another a bad idea voiced by an unfiltered and irrational president.” — Kenn Kotara

“This hits home for me, as a Florida resident. Our legislature has just passed genuine gun reform raising the age, adding a waiting period, banning bump stocks, and providing mental health funding. This is a victory against the NRA, and for the students of Stoneman Douglas High School. Nevertheless the bill also includes a provision for a $67 million voluntary school “marshal program” to train and arm “designated personnel on campus.” President Trump says we need to “harden” our schools. That represents a devastating acceptance of violence, and in particular gun violence, as a norm rather than an aberration.  I strongly oppose guns in schools. The arming of staff, administrators, librarians, athletic directors, etc. etc. serves only the goals of the NRA, the gun lobby, and gun manufacturers, to sell more guns.” — Karen J. Leader

“Guns in the classroom will only exacerbate the situation. The presence of a gun increases exponentially the likelihood that someone will be shot.  With good reason, African American parents fear their children will be shot by pistol-packing teachers. This is a “solution” originating with the NRA and being advanced by right wing politicians. The only real solution is to reduce rather than increase the number of firearms in circulation. We could begin with another ban on the sale of assault rifles.” — Alan Wallach

“This is a terrible idea. As a professor I have so many other things to worry about and having a weapon will not make me or my students safer. It will make us more vulnerable and terrified.” — Dr. Stefanie Snider

“As a contingent faculty member, I already do a tenure-track professor’s job for what barely amounts to a living wage. I refuse to take on additional unpaid labor as a security guard. Our politicians should be granting funding to academics to study gun violence and passing laws to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, not leaving us to fend for ourselves while undercutting our ability to do our jobs at every turn.” — Sarah Beetham

“Arming university and college teachers is a horrible, short-sighted idea to deal with school shootings. It isn’t a real solution, but a twisted attempt to sell more guns. More guns does not equal more safety. I am qualified to teach, not to wield a gun in an emergency situation- I don’t want that responsibility, nor do I think it appropriate to ask it of me. Smarter gun laws are the only solution to this public safety crisis.” — Catharine Wallace

“This is a TERRIBLE idea.” — Linda Kim

“I am against guns in the classroom.” — Victoria Delaney

“Teachers should NOT be armed in schools. All educational institutions should be gun-free. These measures only exacerbate the alienation of minority students (by ethnicity, LGBTQ status, religious beliefs, socioeconomic level, etc.) and could devolve into tragedy. It’s also inadvisable for more citizens in this country to be armed when the police, whose members are supposedly trained to de-escalate situations, suffer from lack of discipline, cool judgement, and problem solving skills.” — Andrea Iaroc

“Everyone should oppose this.” — Alejandra Gimenez-Berger

“If a voluntary program for certifying and training teachers in the effective use of defensive weapons were implemented, it could serve as a deterrent for any would-be shooter. However there are of course drawbacks. If much thought was given to a training program, and not just implemented as a piece of feel good legislation it may have a high rate of success.” — John H

“This is an absolutely horrible idea.  No guns should be allowed on any campus except for law enforcement officers.” — Jennifer Shaw

“As a university professor, I am vehemently opposed to the presence of guns on any educational campus, primary school through university. Beyond the folly that arming educators somehow makes the school environment safer is the gross imbalance in power that weapons possession enforces, which is contrary to the open, safe spaces of the classroom and the trust that ideally should exist between teachers and their pupils. I will refuse to carry or use weapons, and I will fight to keep weapons out of my classroom and university campus.” — Allie Terry-Fritsch

“Imagine qualified individuals turned down for a teaching position on account of poor marksmanship.” — Margaret Armbrust

“Armed teachers do not belong in any classroom in the USA” — Faith Pleasanton

“To suggest arming teachers is to concede mass murder with automatic weapons is the new normal. Let’s get rid of the weapons, and it can be done. We pass laws all the time. The number of weapons in circulation is misleading because a large percentage (30%+?) own thirty to seventy weapons each.” — Edward J. Olszewski

“Absolutely not. What a daft idea. It will cause more harm than help. This is not the way to combat the scourge of gun violence that has gripped our nation. I vote NO.” — K. Andrea Rusnock

“I do not think that college/university faculty should be armed. College/universities typically employ security staff who  handle security issues.” — Suzanna Simor

“The idea that teachers and professors should/could be armed is a terrible idea. Now retired, I was no longer teaching when the Arkansas legislature, in its wisdom, made concealed carry weapons legal on university campuses. When first proposed ALL campus presidents objected and wanted to opt out. Subsequently, the legislature made carrying permitted weapons not only legal, but uncontested.

More guns make situations more dangerous, not safer. Police no longer know which person with a gun is the criminal.” — Jane Hetherington Brown

“It’s a terrible, terrible idea.” — Martha Dunkelman

“I vehemently oppose to the proposal to arm teachers. It essentially turns our schools into war zones. It naturalizes the presence of guns and teaches our children to combat violence with violence. It will also provide huge revenue for the gun manufacturers and enable NRA to be even more powerful.” — Jocelyn Chen

“NO! I think this is not in the best interest of the educational community. Arming teachers serves only to legitimize guns as an answer to multiple social-economic-mental health issues. The winner of this is the gun industry and their voice in Congress; the NRA. Armed guards, yes; they are what they are. Teachers, teach.” — Roland Salazar Rose

“This is a dangerous proposal that literally brings guns into the classroom by people who will not be, and never be, fully prepared to use them (as deterrents or fatally) against their intended target: their students. Although some educators may have a facility in marksmanship or become certified to handle such a weapon, their primary job is education, not security, and even trained professionals have accidents (like just yesterday in northern California), have their weapons stripped from them by determined attackers, are caught of guard, or actually commit gun violence themselves. Rather than bringing in more guns into the classroom, it makes more sense to make it harder for any gun to enter the school generally — which is to say, the real policy initiatives should be toward making requirements for gun ownership more sensible (age minimums, waiting periods, background checks and national registries, and proof of ability, IE need to prove my ability to drive to get a driver license, but I can buy a gun without ever having shot one before, how is that so?)” — Nicole Scalissi

“A very bad and unconscionable idea!” — Samuel W Kochansky

“Where there are more guns there are more gun deaths. If arming for self protection worked the USA would be the safest country in the world. Toronto Canada, the same size as Chicago had about 60 gun homicides last year. Chicago had over 400. If you compare the rate of murders without guns in Canada and the US the  US is slightly higher. The rate of murders with guns is 8 times higher. Americans should give their heads a shake. Arming more people, regardless of the intent, will result in more dead children. Period. And given that half the guns recovered in crime in Canada are smuggled in from the US it will result in more dead Canadian as well as American children. It is ironic that in a country that prides itself in guarding democracy the NRA has bought so many politicians.” — Wendy Cukier

“Arming teachers is a spectacularly bad idea.  Schools are spaces of learning, not militarized zones.” — Sheila Crane

“More guns on campus, especially in the hands of those whose everyday business is not to protect others with access to fire arms, is not an effective component of the solution to gun violence on campus.” — Professor Ed Mineck

“Allowing guns in school in any form is such a ridiculous notion it is hard to imagine working in an environment where educators are encouraged to bring guns to work.

The problems that may occur:

1) Mad/Mentally ill/depressed student steals the gun and shoots teacher or other students. How are guns going to be secured/locked up in the classroom?

2) Mad/Mentally ill/depressed teacher shoots the students, other teachers or administration. It happens.

3) Gun is accidentally discharged by teacher or student. My brother-in-law accidentally killed himself with his own gun when he slipped on ice with a loaded gun.

4) A climate of intimidation and fear in the classroom because of the knowledge that the teacher has a gun.

It is not a matter of self defense. Video games have taught kids that a character with a gun is a entity to be challenged. School shooters are not going to be deterred by teachers with guns.  They will target teachers with guns and find it a challenge to kill them before the armed teachers kill them.  Its a game.

The whole situation is a bigger problem that is not being addressed.  There is an increase in mental instability of the students we serve. This has become very apparent at all levels K-12 and college level.  Why? and how can we deal with this problem? Art classrooms are in a unique position because students reveal their inner thoughts and the issues they face through the work they produce either orally or visually.

Recently one of my students was so depressed and despondent that I reported it to the college authorities because of my concern of possible suicide. They told me there were walk in hours at the Counseling Center and I told the student she should go there. She told me she had been there many times and as recently as the day before and that it only made her more depressed to talk about her issues. So what do I, as a teacher, do next? I had a graduate student that would occasionally become violent and irrational and “flip out”. We had to call the police a few times in fear of him hurting others or himself. The police talked with him and called a medical professional to adjust his medication but he was right back in school the next day.

My suggestion is NOT to arm teachers but to address the bigger picture:

Kids are being raised in a world of instability, fear and hate.  Many are not getting the nurturing and love they need at a young age because of a number of reasons. Many are born with mental illness via genetic heritage.  These kids are forced into the mainstream and are often alienated and bullied. Over years of enduring this type of treatment, these individuals become angry and want revenge.  Bullying in schools runs rampant and can adversely affect kids’ entire lives. We need strict enforcement of respectful behavior towards one another in the schools.  Of course that brings up the issue of good role models which unfortunately our current government does not portray and the trickle down effect is making its way into the classroom.

Anyone that wants to shoot other people, obviously, has emotional/mental illness issues. Deal with the mental instability epidemic and you reduce the possibilities of school shooting and other irrational violence. Deal with the bullying problem and you reduce the angst it creates.

Let’s quit looking for the bandaid to cover up the festering wound.  Let’s address the source of the problem.” — Bonnie Mitchell

“I rather move to another country that has sane gun control. Police, military and National Guard have the professional training and the team support to handle guns when necessary if at all. Nobody feels safe today next to an isolated non professional with a gun, specially in urban or areas or mass events. Moreover, the prefrontal cortex, that is, the part of the human brain that deals with judgement, matures on average until age 25: guns need to be as far from schools and Universities as possible. I know it seems like an uphill battle in the US gun porn consumer society, but we need to move guns away from civilian life and all public places, not just music concerts. Guns are either irrelevant as tools for freedom, or obsolete as tools for safety. Guns exacerbate racism also. They only deceive bullies into portraying themselves as sane heroes, which is a dangerous delusion. Education and guns do not mix, and civilized public life is beyond guns. Please CAA, make this statement as clear as possible while we still can.” — Julieta Aguilera

“I am appalled and terrified by the proposal to arm teachers with guns. Guns cause deaths. They should be kept out of people’s hands. All people’s hands. I do not want to read in the news about teachers killing students or students killing teachers or any other scenario that will happen if guns are given to teachers.” — Christina Neilson

“It is ridiculous to arm teachers, who are not experts in firearms and policing.  Really the important thing is to regulate guns and get rid of these killing machines.  The proposal increases the need for guns, so is very profitable for those businesses who support the NRA.  Yes, just what we need is more guns!

However, if we are expected to become armed to protect our campus, we should be trained like undercover police officers and pull an additional overtime salary for doing so—I.e., we should be salaried and should have the pensions and benefits police officers do—this would be very costly as they generally get paid better and retire earlier.  You don’t just put guns in the hands of inexperienced individuals and you don’t expand the job description of  a full-time employee without due training and compensation.” — Anonymous

“Teachers need to be contemplative, to see all sides of the issue. These qualities do not serve police well.” — Diane Wolfthal

“Arming teachers  – ie providing more guns in circulation (!) is not the answer – reducing access to guns in the ANSWER” — Paul Donnelly

“There are so many issues with the idea of academics being armed and expected to assume the responsibility of counter terrorism. I cannot but visualize the repercussions if the few that think this is a good idea are allowed loaded sidearms in the classroom. Schools and Universities of all kinds should remain gun free zones – armed trained guards who’s sole responsibility and attention is to be vigilant and respond in an emergency is rational until the level of available guns in the community drops.  No. Just no. Will we next arm every person behind a register? every employee at public events?” — Kathryn Carlyle

“As a professor of art history, a teacher, I would never want to be responsible for a firearm at work.  I would feel less safe knowing there was a gun in my classroom.  At my job, I am required to be acutely aware of facts, critical thinking, knowing what my students are understanding or confused about, and always thinking about how to present material in a fresh and meaningful way.  I am too busy to worry about a gun.  Moreover, I would look for another job if I were required to carry a weapon to do this one.” — Anonymous

“I totally agree that the proposal to art teachers is a distraction on the part of NRA. W@e badly need gun control reforms, and I suggest voting in politicians not “purchased” by NRA – who think like you do” — Kyra Belan

“This proposal by 45 is politically motivated and influenced by the gun lobby and not a good idea. I’m against it.” — Bryan Melillo

“Arming teachers is absolutely not the solution to this problem.” — Colleen F.

“We should absolutely NOT arm teachers.” — Colleen F.

“I am a gun owner. Teachers should not be armed in colleges and universities. Carrying guns for self-defense requires ongoing training (even trained experts screw up), it puts a band-aid on the real problems related to gun in the US, and it turns the education profession into a Wild West fantasy with real-life deadly consequences.” — Anonymous

“I would not want to work in a place where teachers could carry firearms.  Volatile situations are not helped by additional weapons. I cannot imagine the nightmare combination of panicked students, faculty, and flying bullets. It’s absolutely a ludicrous proposal.” — Laura Crary

“I am strongly AGAINST teachers being armed in colleges and universities. Statistically, firearms cause far more deaths from accidents than from deliberate attacks; students would be far more likely to be maimed or killed by the gun-holding teacher him- or herself than by an armed attacker.  It’s unlikely that an instructor with a weapon would be able to engage in a firefight with an attacker to defend a classroom without also injuring students and other bystanders. Even highly-trained soldiers say that a firefight is a chaotic situation–imagine how much more chaotic it would be if the classroom’s “defender” was an amateur with just a few hours of training.  Proliferation of deadly weapons will not make students safer.” — Emily Morgan

“The proposal is too misguided and dangerous for words.” — Rachel Zimmerman

“As someone with no special knowledge on this topic besides what I read in the news, it seems to me that while arming teachers may in fact decrease the number of mass-fatality attacks (shall we call them terrorist attacks, no matter who they are committed by?), those attacks are statistically extremely rare and do not account for the majority of gun-related homicides. The majority of gun-related homicides are single or double homicides, the kind which don’t make the front page of the news because they aren’t enough of a spectacle. I am desperately worried that arming teachers would dramatically increase the number of gun-related homicides in schools, whether it ends up increasing, decreasing, or not affecting the number or severity of mass-fatality attacks. I am also desperately worried that arming teachers would dramatically increase the number of accidental gun-related fatalities and injuries. So, in my opinion, there is a minimum to be gained and a great amount to lose by arming teachers.” — Zach Duer

“Not in favor” — Carla Lord

“Ask Gabby Giffords how her Glock helped her defend herself when she was speaking.” — Betsy Schneider

“Guns have only one purpose and that is to kill.  If all our educators packed weapons, we would only see a rise in gun related deaths, not a decrease. Since gun related deaths and accidents happen constantly already, we can only expect that with more guns being carried, there will be plenty more deaths and definitely more accidents. No doubt about it.” — Deborah Viles

“It is a terrible idea. I wouldn’t own a gun but if I had one and brought it to school, I would leave it in my purse, locked in a filing cabinet which would be locked in my office on the other side of the building from my classrooms. My fear is that a child or a young person could get ahold of the weapon and wreak havoc.

I believe in much stricter gun control laws.” — Marilyn Murphy

“No guns for teachers.” — Elaine Abbe

“It’s a terrible idea, as the proliferation of weapons increases the consequences of bad judgement.” — Adrean

“Absolutely absurd! I completely oppose this idea.” — Anonymous

“Arming teachers is the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard. This is one of the (many) reasons I now teach ONLINE ONLY!!!” — Roxanne Farrar

“Arming teachers is an absurd idea that will result in more gun deaths, not fewer. Politicians must stop trying to make teachers compensate for politician’s lack of leadership and corruption.” — Andrea Pappas

Filed under: Advocacy, Higher Education, Surveys

CAA staff in Washington, DC (left to right): Joelle Te Paske, media and content manager, Alison Chang, sponsorship and partnership manager, Aakash Suchak, grants and special programs manager, Hunter O’Hanian, executive director, and Nick Obourn, director of communications, marketing, and membership.

Earlier this week CAA staff traveled to Washington, DC for Americans for the Arts’s Arts Advocacy Day and National Alliance for the Humanities’s Humanities Advocacy Day.

After a day of breakout sessions and briefings on Monday, staff visited congressional offices on Tuesday to advocate for continued funding for NEA, NEH, IMLS, CPB, and support for the arts, humanities, and higher education. See our on-the-ground updates.

We visited 18 congressional offices representing three different states, with positive responses from both Democrats and Republicans. We meet with staff or dropped off materials with:

New York

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY 6th District)

Dropped off materials with Rep. Nydia Velázquez (D-NY 7th District)

Dropped off materials with Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY 8th District)

Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-NY 9th District)

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY 10th District)

Dropped off materials with Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY 16th District)

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY 17th District)

Rep. Sean Maloney (D-NY 18th District)


Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI)

Rep. Mark Pocan (D-WI 2nd District)

Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI 7th District)

Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-WI 8th District)


Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT)

Rep. John Larson (D-CT 1st District)

Rep. Joe Courtney (D-CT 2nd District)

Rep. Jim Himes  (D-CT 4th District)

Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT 5th District)

Learn more about Advocacy Days below.


March 12 – March 13, 2018
Hosted by Americans for the Arts

Arts advocates from across the country convene in Washington, DC for Americans for the Arts’s annual Arts Advocacy Day each year. Arts Advocacy Day brings together a broad cross section of America’s cultural and civic organizations, along with more than 700 grassroots advocates from across the country, to underscore the importance of developing strong public policies and appropriating increased public funding for the arts. Learn more.


March 11 – March 13, 2018
Hosted by National Alliance for the Humanities

Humanities Advocacy Day provides the opportunity to connect with a growing number of humanities advocates from around the country. Together, advocates will explore approaches to year-round advocacy on college campuses and in local communities while also preparing for Capitol Hill visits. On March 13, they will visit House and Senate offices to make a persuasive case for federal funding for the humanities. Learn more.


For two years in a row, we’ve offered our complete and total opposition to efforts to eliminate funding for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH), and other domestic programs that fund education, arts, and humanities initiatives, as outlined in the 2018 and 2019 White House budget proposals.

Over the last year, we’ve also solicited feedback from our members on a variety of issues that impact the arts, humanities, and higher education, including:

For more on our advocacy efforts, click here.

We encourage you to be vocal about your support for the arts and humanities. Click here to access the CAA Arts and Humanities Advocacy Toolkit.

Conference Submissions for CAA 2019

posted by February 27, 2018

CAA 2019 Annual Conference
February 13-16, 2019
New York, NY
Hilton Midtown

Beginning March 1, 2018, CAA members are invited to submit the following proposals for review to the 2019 CAA Annual Conference Committee: Complete Sessions, Sessions Soliciting Contributors, and Individual Paper/Project proposals. Submissions that cover the breadth of current thought and research in art and art practice, art and architectural history, theory and criticism, studio art, pedagogical issues, museum and curatorial practice, conservation, design, new media, and developments in technology are encouraged.

The submissions portal closed on April 27, 2018.

Complete Session
The organizer has complete information about the session including names and affiliations of all session participants, presentation titles, abstract texts, etc.

Session Soliciting Contributors
The organizer proposes a session title and abstract that will require a call for participation. The list of accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors will be posted on the CAA website in late June or early July, 2018. Session organizers select papers and projects based on their own requirements. See CAA 2019 Call for Participation section below for more information.

Individual Paper/Project
An individual CAA member may submit an abstract (with title), which, if accepted, will be included in the 2019 conference as part of a composed session with others accepted in this category based on subject area or compatible content.

OPENS: March 1, 2018
DEADLINE: April 27, 2018 [closed]

Please note: To submit a proposal, individuals must be current CAA members. All session participants, including presenters, chairs, moderators, and discussants, must also be current individual CAA members. Please have your CAA Member ID handy as well as the member IDs of any and all participants as this is a required field on the submission form. Please note that institutional member IDs cannot be used to submit proposals. If you are not a current individual member, please renew your membership or join CAA.

The Annual Conference Committee members review over 800 submissions each year. They take into account subject areas and themes that arise from accepted proposals to present as a broad and diverse a program as possible. The Committee selects between 250-300 sessions for each conference and it must, at times, make difficult decisions on submissions of high merit.

CAA schedules the conference program so that there are back-to-back sessions with similar content. However, given the number of sessions, this is not always possible. All sessions are 90 minutes in length and are scheduled Wednesday, February 13, through Saturday, February 16, in the following timeslots:

  • 8:30—10:00 AM
  • 10:30 AM—12:00 PM
  • 2:00—3:30 PM
  • 4:00—5:30 PM
  • 6:00—7:30 (Thursday, February 14, and Friday, February 15, only)


CAA Affiliated Societies and CAA Committees may each submit for one guaranteed session in the Complete Session or Session Soliciting Contributors category according to the general session proposal deadlines. Visit Affiliated Society membership for more information on participating in the CAA Annual Conference.


  • Session and paper/project abstracts should be no more than 250 words in length.
  • Please follow the Chicago Manual of Style for your submission.
  • The accuracy of information in the submission is important as, if selected, it will be transferred to the conference program, abstracts booklet, website, etc., exactly as written.


  • March 1 – April 27: Call for Proposals (includes Complete Session, Session Soliciting Contributors, Individual Paper/Project)
  • Early July: Notifications sent to all submitters
  • July: Call for Participation for accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors posted on CAA website
  • End July: Notifications sent to accepted individual paper/project participants regarding composed session configurations
  • Late August: Organizers of Sessions Soliciting Contributors finalize session information and notify accepted contributors
  • September 4: Deadline for updated accepted session content entered into portal by original submitter for all categories for print and web publications (includes any required edits to abstracts, titles, and speaker order)
  • mid-September: CAA 2019 Annual Conference schedule finalized
  • October 8: CAA 2019 Annual Conference schedule posted on CAA website; online conference registration opens
  • December 16: Early conference registration closes
  • December 17: Advance conference registration opens
  • February 8: Advance conference registration closes


Poster Session
OPENS: May 21, 2018
DEADLINE: August 15, 2018
CAA invites proposal submissions for Poster Sessions at the CAA 2019 Annual Conference. Poster Sessions offer excellent opportunities for informal discussion and conversation focused on topics of scholarly or pedagogical research. Proposals require a description of the project (up to 250 words), with a title and member CV.

Exhibitor Session
OPENS: May 23, 2018
DEADLINE: September 14, 2018
Registered exhibitor at the 2019 conference are welcome to propose full sessions or workshops (ninety minutes in length) for inclusion in the full-conference program. These sessions should convey practical information, professional expertise, or historical/scholarly content and may not be used for direct marketing, sales or promotion of products, publications, or services or programs.

Call for Participation for accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors
The CAA 2019 Call for Participation (CFP) for accepted Sessions Soliciting Contributors will be posted on the CAA Annual Conference website on June 29, 2018. Submissions will be accepted for review through August 6, 2018.

Beginning June 29th, 2018, single paper or project submissions in response to the CFP should be sent directly to the session chair(s)—if there is more than one session chair, send materials to both chairs. Proposals should include a proposal form (found at the end of the CFP), an abstract of your presentation, a cover letter to chair(s), a shortened CV, and work documentation (if necessary).


Q: Do I have to be a CAA member to submit a proposal?

A: All conference participants (presenters, chairs, discussants) must be CAA members to participate in the annual conference. A CAA member ID number will be requested for all conference participants in the online submission form. However, if you do not have all CAA ID numbers available for participants, you may enter them when you obtain them. If you are not a member of CAA at the time you submit the proposal, you will not be prevented from submitting. You may work on the submission in stages until the proposal deadline.

Q: Is CAA membership required to participate on a CAA session?

A: Yes, ALL session participants (presenters, chairs, discussants) must be members of CAA in order to participate in vetted conference sessions.

Q: Is CAA membership required to participate on an Affiliated Society guaranteed session?

A: Yes, all session participants (presenters, chairs, discussants) must be members of CAA in order to participate in guaranteed Affiliated Society sessions.

Q: Can someone who is not a CAA member participate in a panel?

A: We require all conference session participants to be CAA individual members.

Q: How long is a session?

A: All CAA 2019 sessions are ninety minutes in length. Please plan either session or paper/project presentations accordingly.

Q: How many people should be on a panel?

A: For a traditional ninety-minute session, we suggest one chair, four participants, and one discussant. This format allows introductions, fifteen-minute presentations, and Q&A. CAA encourages innovative session formats but all session participants must plan accordingly.

Q: How many ways can I participate in conference sessions?

A: To allow a greater number of CAA members to participate in the conference, CAA members can participate in the following roles only once during a conference: chair, presenter, discussant. They can serve in all three roles, but cannot perform any of these roles more than once. For example, they can serve as chair and present in one session, and serve as discussant at another session, but cannot present twice.

Q: Can I attend the session for free if I am presenting on that session?

A: While you cannot attend a session for free, even for the one you are presenting in, we do offer a number of conference registration options including full registration, day passes, and single session time slot tickets.

Q: Can I plan something other than a traditional panel?

A: YES! Feedback from our attendees reveals that they want to take in information and learn in formats other than several people sitting at table in front of a session room. They very much want more interaction with panel participants. We strongly encourage you to think about presenting your content in a manner other than the traditional panel format. While planning your session, you are reminded that we cannot deviate from the ninety-minute time limitation.

Q: Can I have a two-part session?

A: The Annual Conference Committee aims to include as many contributors as possible reflecting the range of scholarship and expertise. In the submission process, please make the request and the committee will evaluate this based on the number of subject areas received as well as the logistical possibilities.

Q: If I am selected to participate as an individual paper/project participant how is my session arranged?

A: Accepted individual paper/projects are organized by the Annual Conference Committee and the CAA staff into what is called Composed Sessions with other individual paper/projects based on subject area or compatible content. Since there is no formal chair for Composed Sessions a mentor is assigned to the group to provide guidance as needed. Sometimes participants identify one in the group to act as chair, sometimes a CAA member outside the group is asked to lead, other groups choose to go without this formal role.

Q: Are there sessions that are free and open to the public?

A: The mid-day time slot (12:30 – 1:30 PM) is free and open to the public. This time slot is reserved for business meetings and special conversations on hot topics for the field. There are other events throughout the conference which are also free. Check the schedule when it is posted in October for details. Please remember to check back often as the schedule is updated as the conference approaches.

For more information about session proposals for the 2019 Annual Conference, please contact Mira Friedlaender, CAA manager of programs, at 212-392-4405 or Tiffany Dugan, CAA director of programs and publications, at 212-392-4410.


Students in class at Tulane University. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

In 2013 the Social Science Research Council (SSRC) launched the Measuring College Learning (MCL) project as a way to engage faculty in the effort to understand and improve student learning in their discipline through development of better tools for assessment in higher education. CAA recently partnered with the SSRC to create an MCL-Art History panel that would outline learning objectives for introductory art history courses, including identifying essential concepts and competencies that demonstrate foundational knowledge of the discipline. The MCL-AH panel convened in July and December 2017 to produce a draft document.

The MCL-Art History panel will host an open forum at the CAA Annual Conference from 2:00-3:30 PM on Friday, February 23rd in Room 511A of the Los Angeles Convention Center to collect CAA member feedback on its initial draft of core learning goals. The panel plans to share the draft document, solicit input and observations, and respond to questions from the community. CAA members are also invited to review the draft document and share observations before, during, and after the annual conference (until March 31, 2018).

Link to MCL-AH Document:

CAA Member Feedback to:
Background on the Measuring College Learning Project

In MCL projects faculty and other experts come together to consider what students should learn in their majors and how that learning should be measured. Panels of experts from six disciplines participated in the first iteration: biology, business, communication, economics, history, and sociology. Several national disciplinary associations—including the American History Association, the American Sociology Association, and the National Communication Association—were actively involved in this project. The culmination of this work was the publication of Improving Quality in American Higher Education: Learning Outcomes & Assessments for the 21st Century (Jossey Bass, 2016). More information and resources from this project are available on-line for free download at:

MCL-Art History Panel Members:

Richard Arum, University of California-Irvine, SSRC Senior Academic Advisor
Cole Edick, SSRC Program Assistant
Christine Havice, Kent State University
Richard Lubben, Lane Community College, CAA Education Committee
Elisa Mandell, California State University Fullerton, CAA International Committee
Walter Meyer, Santa Monica College, CAA Professional Practices Committee
Chika Okeke-Agulu, Princeton University, CAA Board of Directors
Stephanie Smith, Youngstown State University

MCL-Art History Co-Chairs:

Virginia Spivey, Independent Scholar and Consultant, CAA Education Committee
Andy Schulz, Penn State University, CAA Board of Directors
Jim Hopfensperger, Western Michigan University, CAA Board of Directors

The Humanities Indicators project, an Andrew E. Mellon Foundation-funded initiative, just released the most recent numbers on salaries for those entering the the humanities professions. CAA has been an active participant in the initiative for the past few years.

Their survey shows that as of 2015, for arts graduates in the workforce, the median earnings for art history majors in the workforce with just a bachelor’s degree were $45,000, while those who had gone on to earn an advanced degree (which could be in any discipline) had median earning of $65,000. Graduates who majored in the arts had median earnings of $48,000 (with just a bachelor’s degree) and $60,000 (with an advanced degree). In all cases, these were slightly below the average for all fields.

These updates about earnings are tied to a new report on humanities majors in the workforce, which tries to look beyond earnings, and finds that when it comes to job satisfaction and perceived well-being, humanities majors are pretty much the same as graduates from every other field (including art majors).

Among the key findings in the new report:

  • Almost 87% of workers with a bachelor’s degree in the humanities reported they were satisfied with their jobs in 2015, comparable to graduates from almost every other field.
  • Over three-quarters of humanities graduates saw themselves at or approaching “the best possible life,” which was similar to the shares among engineering and natural science graduates. Education majors had the highest level on this measure.
  • The academic fields were quite similar with respect to their graduates’ level of satisfaction with their personal financial situations in 2014. Among graduates from engineering, barely 50% reported “I have enough money,” while among humanities and education graduates, the share was 42%. (Arts majors had the lowest share on this question.)
  • More than a million graduates with bachelor’s degrees in the humanities were employed as managers in 2015, and almost 60% of humanities graduates report managing or supervising employees as part of their job (which was equal to the share of all graduates).
  • While much of the report points to similarities, there was one notable difference: only 30% of graduates with a bachelors in humanities perceived a close relationship between their job and their degree in 2014, while more than a third saw no relationship. Fine and performing arts majors were similar on this score. This differed substantially from graduates with science and professional degrees.

Pepón Osorio, Badge of Honor, 1995. Photo: Sarah Welles

Drawing on his childhood in Puerto Rico and his adult life as a social worker in the Bronx, artist Pepón Osorio creates meticulous installations incorporating the memories, experiences, and cultural and religious iconography of Latino communities and family dynamics. The 2018 CAA Distinguished Artist Awardee for Lifetime Achievement, Osorio is a professor in the Community Arts Practices Program at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He is also the recipient of a 2018 United States Artists Fellowship, among many other awards and fellowships.

CAA media and content manager Joelle Te Paske worked with Pepón in 2016 on reForm, a project responding to school closures in Philadelphia in collaboration with students, teachers, and Temple University. In the project high schoolers, affectionately nicknamed “Bobcats” after their former school mascot, were invited to contribute to an art installation at Tyler School of Art, where they also met with local politicians to advocate for community-based school reform.

Joelle caught up with Pepón in January 2018 to hear his thoughts on being an artist and professor, and to learn about his hopes for the year ahead.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Pepón Osorio, To my darling daughters, 1990. Photo: Carlos Avedaños

JTP: I’m happy to be speaking with you. When I heard that you were getting the award, it was great news!

So, we find ourselves in 2018—how are you doing? What’s on your mind?

PO: I think that I am still processing the fact that we are in 2018 and 2017 didn’t look very good for us. Both as an artist and a citizen. I’m hoping that we begin to tell the truth in a country of lies. I hope that is what 2018 is like. This is a very interesting moment with the CAA lifetime achievement award, because I’ve been mostly thinking in retrospect. How in the world did we get here? How did we get here and how did this happen?

I’m looking in retrospect and trying to see where energy is stored and how to rejuvenate so I can move forward with a new perspective. That’s where I’m at.

JTP: I love that—looking for pockets of energy that are there, but haven’t quite been found.

PO: That in addition to how do we tell the truth in a country of lies? What does that mean? Everything’s been blurry to the point that you begin to doubt. That’s where we are.

JTP: Definitely. And what does your work look like right now? 

PO: I am working on a couple of ideas. My production is very, very, very small. I don’t produce tons of work. I only produce work that I feel is urgent and is important. So I’m working on a whole bunch of ideas for possible pieces. Of all those ideas, one will emerge and come out. I’m working with that and also teaching. I’m trying to perfect the transformation of my methodology into a philosophical pedagogy. I’m trying to figure that out without losing touch with my creative self and my sense of curiosity.

JTP: When you say philosophical, do you mean putting together a formal pedagogy? Or more in a spiritual way?

PO: Well, both. I have been teaching at Tyler over the years and I feel that I always want to be able to center myself in my pedagogy in the way that I center myself in my artistic practice.

Pepón Osorio, Scene of the Crime… (whose crime?), 1993. Photo: Frank Gimpaya

I’m looking at what I’m really good at and that which I know most, which is my methodology of getting my work done, my practice. How do I transform that into a pedagogy of philosophy? That I can go around and teach something that I feel has this philosophy at the center of the work, similar to my artistic practice. Those are the things that I’ve been doing. A lot of looking in retrospect. Really looking in retrospect at the system.

JTP: That’s great. I’ve enjoyed being at CAA because I’ve been thinking more about history. It’s always there for you to learn from. The more you dig into it, the more you learn about the moment you’re in.

PO: Exactly.

JTP: What are the biggest changes you’ve seen in your time at Tyler as part of the faculty?

PO: The changes that I’m seeing at Tyler are new faculty members are coming in with a preoccupation that seems to be different from the history Tyler was built on. I’m looking at faculty members who are much more interested and preoccupied with things other than the object; where new faculty members are coming in with a clear understanding of what the true intention of becoming an artist is.

So I’m seeing that. I’m seeing transformations. We obviously have a new dean who is also looking at ways of transforming the past into a bright and hopeful future. Which is basically what I think this whole nation should be looking at.

JTP: I’m with you. Feels a little blurry, as you said, right now.

PO: Exactly. I think that the new blood and new faculty members that are coming to Tyler are interested in redefining a lot of concepts. I see that a lot in the world. I see that a lot with new generations of people coming up who are very interested in: “Let’s redefine this thing, because the system as it is simply doesn’t work.”

JTP: Would you say that’s your favorite part of being on the faculty at the moment?

Pepón Osorio

PO: Yes. Also because I always feel that I found a niche in this. As an artist, dealing with the social, the political, the truth, and interdisciplinary work that creates very complex, chaotic environments—all that stuff seems to be so unacademic. I came in and I just felt like, “What in the world? What is my place in all this?” Little by little, by joining a new faculty and redefining, it’s making perfect sense. I’m finding myself more and more comfortable. That there are people around me that are supportive, that understand my trajectory and understand how I got to where I am now, whatever that place is.

It’s wonderful and I think to me that is a highlight. It’s finding a space in academia that feels comfortable and that I can bring the complexity of who I am into it, without necessarily having to be only one person.

JTP: I think that’s beautifully put. Everyone brings their own experiences. No one wants to be part of a monolithic institution that doesn’t let people be themselves …well, ok, some people do. But it’s interesting to me there’s so much more openness for that than I thought there might be, coming to a traditional academic membership organization like CAA, for instance.

PO: Basically, for me, it feels that this is not in demand. I am not filling up a demand of what all the people want to see. This is who I am. In relationship to the earlier question, I just feel like I was able to figure out a way to become myself in a world where people have demands of, “Oh you should be a professor.” Everybody thinks that you should be a [certain type of] professor. No. You just can’t be anybody else but who you are. It just so happened that being a professor is part of that.

We are looking at being an artist from a three-dimensional reality and in a more inter-dimensional way—that being an artist and professor is a very complex human being. I love that. I’d love to embrace that and not hide it from anyone. As a professor, I come in with all my imperfections as well. It’s not like I’m trying to correct them, I’m just going to do a balancing act with all this. That’s me, anyway.

JTP: If there was one thing that you would recommend to students or artists that they should be reading that they aren’t, what would you recommend?

PO: I’m not sure, but a student did ask me the other day if I have a recommendation of what he should be reading and what came out, which is really interesting, was feminist literature.  Just listen to that stuff, read it, and understand what it means so then you can place yourself, as a male, in a place of understanding. That’s all.

JTP: I love it—you say, “Yes, I have an answer. Feminist literature.” Done. 

Detail, En la barbería no se llora (No crying allowed in the barbershop),
1994. Photo: Frank Gimpaya

PO: I think that women should be reading it, but I think that men should be getting into it and reading and understanding where it comes from. I think that people, mostly men, will probably begin to empathize with the reality and the system, the fact that it’s not supportive of women.

JTP: I’m curious if you’ve attended CAA conferences in the past? What did you think?

PO: I have participated in the past. I have been in a couple of them.

JTP: It’s my first experience with the conference. It’s enormous.

PO: Yes, it always surprises me how the college system is much bigger than what I always think of it. I just wish that there were much younger people coming in to turn this thing upside down.

JTP: I agree. We’re trying to think of different ways to get closer to that. This year I know that we’re doing outreach to high schools in LA for all the free events. How amazing would it be to have a whole bunch of juniors and seniors in high school from a local public LA high school show up at the LA convention center alongside established, older academics? Just everybody.

PO: So both of them can see each other. Both of them can see each other and it’s like, “Okay, this is what’s coming up,” and the younger will say, “Oh, this is what it’s been.”

Find a happy medium somewhere in there. It’s just too much of the extremes. That’s my reaction. Too much of the extremes.

JTP: I agree. It reminds me of reForm, even just in terms of space—basically allowing people to feel comfortable. I just loved that the Bobcats (high school students who collaborated on the project with Osorio) walked through the main space of Tyler to get down to their classroom. It made Tyler theirs, in a way.

PO: A lot of people asked me, “Why aren’t you doing this piece in their neighborhood?” It was because the chances for the students to come into a college and to occupy space in a college environment were one in a million. I just thought if we can open up a space for them to occupy a classroom, open up a space for them to understand and to begin to look at the social architecture of a university, that’s more than enough for me.

I think that’s basically what I’m referring to when I’m talking about the CAA conference. If we can only suggest and show up a little bit more, that it’s much bigger than that, and that there’s a world out there both ways, that’s it. That’s what needs to happen. So people can come and begin to think differently. That was exactly what happened with the Bobcats. I said, “I’m just doing this at the institution because there are multiple functions in which the institution can work. This is one of them.” We think about institutions as the only place for education. Education is much bigger than that.

JTP: I agree, and I think that gets us closer to the truth you were talking about earlier. It opens up many more opportunities. 

PO: Yes. It unties that sense of curiosity in all the kids’ minds.

reForm, 2014-2016, installation at Tyler School of Art classroom. Photo: Constance Mensh

JTP: Do you think artists can change the world?

PO: I think artists have changed the world. I think that the changes that I have seen in this country are not by artists alone, but I think that they have. When you’re talking about artists, I think you’re mentioning just these single artists changing the world, and I don’t think that that has happened. But I don’t think that that cannot happen.

I’m saying yes, because in the changes that I’ve seen in the world, there has always been an artist behind that. I do agree, but I don’t think that an artist alone can do it.

To break it down, I think that creativity has always been at the center of world’s change. Artists have always been on the periphery of it. Sometimes at the center of those changes.

JTP: Great, thank you. Lastly, you touched on this a bit, but what gives you hope for the future?

PO: Change.

JTP: Pepón, I’m right there with you. The possibility that it won’t be how it is right now.

PO: Exactly. That’s all. I just hope for change.

CAA’s Annual Conference Convocation, including the presentation of the Awards for Distinction, will occur February 21, 6:00-7:30 PM and will be livestreamed.

See the full list of 2018 CAA Awards for Distinction.

Honor students from The Cinema School at The Frick Collection, 2016, from AAMD’s “Next Practices in Diversity & Inclusion” PDF in RAAMP. Photo: Michael Bodycomb

Given the spirited discussion taking place on a number of curatorial listservs and websites, RAAMP (Resources for Academic Art Museum Professionals) invites submissions to add to its publicly accessible online archive for individuals working in academic art museums.

Examples include museum strategic plans, campaigns for outreach to campus communities, and strategies for diversity and inclusion in the academic art museum, and include PDFs, links, videos, and more.

Click here to submit resources.

You can also browse the existing resources, submit updates, or join the conversation on Humanities Commons.

What is RAAMP?

RAAMP serves to promote scholarship, advocacy, and discussion related to the role of academic art museums and their contribution to the educational mission of their parent institutions. To this end, it functions as a publicly accessible online repository; it collects, stores, and shares resources.

RAAMP is a project of the CAA with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Yesterday, the House of Representatives passed a tax reform bill, titled the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” that harms the lower and middle class, and puts harsh financial burdens on college students and recent graduates of college. Additionally, the House bill contains a provision that would end the deduction of student loan interest for tax payers. Nearly 12 million people claimed this deduction in 2015.

“This is a very cynical approach to higher education,” said CAA executive director Hunter O’Hanian. “To tax students on money they don’t earn and not allow them to deduct the amount of their student loans will have a chilling effect on higher education in America. These are the future scholars of this country. They are the ones who will preserve our cultural heritage as a nation.  It is absurd to imagine that the US House of Representatives seeks to dumb-down future generations in this way. Everyone needs to contact their representatives in the House and Senate and strongly advocate that that this measure never becomes law.”

Under the House version of the bill, graduate students and doctoral candidates would be taxed on the waivers their schools provide them in return for working on campus as part of their professional development in their fields. The New York Times published a piece yesterday by Erin Rousseau, a graduate student at M.I.T., who receives nearly $50,000 in waivers each year. These waivers make school affordable for students, a financial support lifeline to those who otherwise would not be able to pursue graduate educations. The new House tax bill would increase Erin’s taxable income to an imaginary $80,000 a year, pushing her tax burden up by $10,000 a year.

With Congress aiming to pass this bill just as quickly as the House did, it is urgent to speak out now.

Click here to urge Congress to oppose this provision

Read more on the issue:

The House just passed its big tax bill. Here’s what is in it. (The Washington Post)

The House Just Voted to Bankrupt Graduate Students (New York Times)

The Republican Tax Plan Could Financially Devastate Graduate Students (The Verge)

Filed under: Advocacy, Higher Education, Students

Take Action to Keep Graduate Education Affordable

posted by November 10, 2017

Image: University of Washington

“The idea of taxing people on money they don’t get is absurd.”
Hunter O’Hanian, CAA Executive Director, Nov 10, 2017

On November 2, the House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee released the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.” Among many provisions that would affect higher education, their version of the bill would treat tuition waivers as taxable income, increasing the tax liability of hundreds of thousands of graduate students.

While the Senate’s version, released on November 9, does not consider tuition waivers taxable income, the House plan could still become law.

This potential additional tax burden would cut into the modest stipends with which many graduate students already struggle to make ends meet. It would make graduate school unaffordable to many, and seriously deplete future generations of scholars and leaders.

With Congress aiming to pass this bill by Thanksgiving, it is urgent to speak out against the House’s provision.

Click here to urge Congress to oppose this provision

Read more on the issue:

Why Graduate Students Are Worried about the Republican Tax Plan (Artsy)

The GOP Tax Plan Will Destroy Graduate Education (Forbes)

The Republican Tax Plan Could Financially Devastate Graduate Students (The Verge)

We thank our colleagues at the National Humanities Alliance for their advocacy on this issue.

Filed under: Advocacy, Higher Education, Students