College Art Association

CAA News Today

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

Refining Hiring Standards for Part-Time Faculty

posted by November 02, 2017

Students and faculty protest at Ithaca College, 2016. Image courtesy Tompkins County Workers’ Center.

CAA is committed to supporting all professionals in the field.  This especially pertains to those who are applying for and working as part-time faculty members.  For more than twenty years, CAA has been setting standards for hiring part-time faculty.

CAA’s current guidelines are published here and copied below. We want to hear from members about how these might be updated and strengthened.

Hunter O’Hanian
College Art Association
Executive  Director and Chief Executive Officer

CAA Guidelines for Part-Time Professional Employment

Part-time employees play a critical role within the art world, specifically in academia, museums, galleries, and other arts institutions. They help meet curricular demands, offer expertise in specialized areas, and/or provide leadership in institutional programming.

Part-time faculty may be referred to with the following terms: adjunct, temporary, lecturer, graduate assistant, and teaching assistant. The terminology and its implications may vary from institution to institution, with the designation “part-time” or “temporary” serving as the most general and therefore consistent names. While this standard is primarily concerned with addressing the conditions of fully credentialed and professionalized part-time or short-term employees who are not simultaneously graduate students, this guideline may be relevant to those employed in conjunction with their graduate studies.

Part-time/temporary faculty and other part-time/temporary employees may be understood to be of several types: Part-time/temporary employees who would prefer full-time positions, part-time/temporary employees with no other employment, part-time employees who teach/work in addition to other full-time employment, and part-time/temporary employees who are retirees. Additionally, some institutions have paid, professional visitors that are not ongoing, full-time employees and also are not recurring, part-time employees. With this in mind, it is acknowledged that there is no singular reason one seeks part-time employment, and while each person may have individual reasons and needs, CAA encourages institutions to chart a path of continual improvements and aspire to provide the best possible working conditions for all part-time/temporary professionals, especially given the increasing reliance on such professionals.

Among key areas of concern are: equitable compensation; employment stability; access to employee benefits, including health care; access to professional development; and safe and adequate working conditions.

Within academia, these areas of concern may be assessed and addressed by comparing part-time faculty roles against full-time tenured/tenure-track faculty roles. Where similar work is performed and similar institutional expectations are held, equitable compensation and resources should exist. Where the treatment of employees in full- and part-time categories is dissimilar, the differences in expectations/compensation and the reasons for those differences should be articulated to both groups.

Institutions that regularly have visiting or guest faculty or curators should define how such roles are similar and different from other full-time and part-time employee roles. If the visiting appointment has responsibilities most similar to a comparable full-time position, the compensation should resemble such a full-time position.

Certain rights and responsibilities should be consistent regardless of one’s employment category. For example, academic freedom should provide the same protections for all. So too should workers’ compensation and other applicable laws that offer employee safeguards.

Working Conditions for Part-Time Employees

Given the great range of mission and expectations in institutions, it is essential that institutions define the roles of part-time employees and provide them with this information as well as information on their workplaces.

  1. The following written information should be provided by the institution at the time of employment.
    • Institutions with a significant number of part-time employees may wish to create and use a part-time employee handbook.
    • Statement on the institutional/departmental mission or philosophy
    • A full description of the part-time position, including a definition of the role and duties (in the case of faculty, this would include class title, description, size, contact hours, advising responsibilities, and any other responsibilities)
    • Description of teaching facilities, office facilities, and support services
    • In the case of art and design faculty, description of and access to studio facilities or teaching and for personal, professional development
    • Description of financial support and resources available for performing the work and for personal, professional development
    • Information on evaluation and promotion procedures
    • Information on employment security
    • Information on institutional governance and opportunities to participate in it
    • Information on any and all institutional expectations
  2. A written contract for part-time employment should explicitly state the following:
    • Compensation including salary, benefits, and any other compensation
    • Duties and responsibilities
    • Duration of employment
    • Process and timing of evaluation
    • Availability and timing of contract renewal
  1. For part-time/temporary faculty:The standards of excellence defined by visual arts programs should be founded upon realistic criteria
    • Generally, part-time/temporary faculty do not have research/creative activity duties; if such expectations exist they should be stated in the contract and the faculty member compensated for them
    • Part-time/temporary faculty may or may not have service obligations; if service duties are assigned, the faculty member should be compensated for them
    • Institutional expectations should take into consideration changes in academia, the commercial
      marketplace, and the discipline in question
    • Whenever possible, faculty should be included in the design of the course taught
    • If a course is to be canceled due to under-enrollment or another issue, the faculty member should be notified in a timely manner; if it is canceled at the last minute, the faculty member should be compensated, either in full or on a pro-rated basis for course preparation
    • Part-time faculty should have access to private (or shared with the expectation
      of privacy when needed) office space for student/teacher meetings
    • If a part-time faculty member’s institutional contribution is equivalent to that of a full-time faculty member, the part-time faculty member should be equitably compensated in comparison to such a full-time faculty member. If there is no expectation for research or service, differential compensation may be significant. This should be clearly stated in contractual materials.
  2. For all part-time employees:
    • Personal and environmental safety should be a major concern with adequate protection provided by the employer
    • OSHA, EPA, and other relevant standards should be followed
    • Institutional practices for ensuring safety should be clearly communicated
    • Opportunities for advancement in rank, salary, and responsibilities should be given to recurring, part-time employees.
    • Adequate administrative support should be provided: mailbox; office space; telephone and computer access; clerical support; library facilities; and teaching/research support such as assistants and/or graders, when warranted
    • When additional duties are offered or assigned, and such duties are ones often performed by full-time employees and go beyond the regular scope of part-time employment, the part-time employee should be offered additional and adequate compensation, such as a stipend

The 2013 ad-hoc committee for revision was co-chaired by Thomas Berding, Michigan State University and John Richardson, Wayne State University. The committee included Janet Casey, Skidmore College; Zoe Darling, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design; Jim Hopfensperger, Western Michigan University; David LaPalombara, Ohio University; Dennis Nawrocki, Wayne State University; and Kate Wagle, University of Oregon.

Click here for more information.

Lynda.com Membership for $99 (70% off)

posted by October 10, 2017

We recently announced new membership levels and new benefits for our CAA members, and we wanted to pull out one new benefit for highlighting because we think it’s really helpful, and kind of a big deal.

All CAA members can now get a one-year membership to Lynda.com for $99 (standard price $360). To purchase Lynda.com, log into your CAA account.

Lynda.com is the largest online learning platform, with over 6,000 courses ranging from Teacher Tools to Educational Technology to Content Marketing and Computer Programming.

Lynda.com purchases are nonrefundable and limited to one per CAA member. Please allow up to two business days to receive confirmation email from Lynda.com for access.

Photography by Daniel Seth Kraus, 2016 Professional-Development Fellowship Awardee

October 2 (PhD candidates) and November 10 (MFA candidates) are the deadlines for the CAA Professional-Development Fellowships. The program supports promising artists, designers, craftspeople, historians, curators, and critics who are enrolled in MFA, PhD, and other terminal-degree programs nationwide.

Fellows are honored with $10,000 grants to support their work, whether it be for job-search expenses or purchasing materials for the studio.

“I remember sitting in my graduate school studio applying for the award. I was day-dreaming about how it could help me be a self-sustaining artist and maybe start my career in teaching. A few months later I received notification of the award and I’m happy to say the grant has helped me enormously with both of my day-dreams, artistic and academic. CAA’s Professional-Development Fellowship for Visual Artists has stabilized a shaky phase of my career and life, continuing an artistic practice after graduate school. The award funds helped me to kick-start my studio space, travel for photography research, and secure teaching positions right out of graduate school. CAA’s support of developing visual artists is certainly outstanding and to an even greater extent, appreciated. I’m happy to now be a CAA member and encourage others to apply for the fellowship without hesitation.” —Daniel Kraus, 2016 Professional-Development Fellowship Recipient

One award will be presented to a practitioner—an artist, designer, and/or craftsperson—and one award will be presented to an art, architecture, and/or design historian, curator, or critic. Fellows also receive a free one-year CAA membership and complimentary registration to the 2018 Annual Conference in Los Angeles, February 21-24. Honorable mentions, given at the discretion of the jury, also earn a free one-year CAA membership and complimentary conference registration.

CAA initiated its fellowship program in 1993 to help student artists and art historians bridge the gap between their graduate studies and professional careers.

Learn more about eligibility and the application process for CAA’s Professional-Development Fellowship.

 

CAA recently corresponded with Marc Handelman, an artist and assistant professor of visual arts for the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey, about a new grassroots organization concerned with advocacy issues, called the Art Professors of America.

When and why did the Art Professors of America form? What are its goals?

A couple of dozen art professors from several schools in the Northeast came together in the wake of the election initially to discuss how we might respond to a right-wing campaign to blacklist liberal and progressive faculty by smearing them as un-American. Simultaneously, many of us were seeing a troubling uptick both of threats and attacks on Latino, Muslim, and LGBTQ students, and of anti-Semitism on campuses. Some of us were also experiencing increased feelings of anxiety and self-censorship. Most of all, we felt the urgency and need of being together and sharing our experiences as artists and educators and citizens. We decided to meet every two weeks in New York and continue the conversation. Because colleagues from around the country reached out to be part of the dialogue, we started an email group that now represents professors in well over a dozen states. We are currently working on expanding this network to all fifty states, welcoming art professors of all ranks and teaching status, including TAs and those between positions. Our primary goal right now is to be a platform that connects people nationally and shares critical information. Our latest project was the launch of our website that features news related to education in our political climate and a critical resource page.

What is the purpose of the advocacy resource APA is building?

There are many potential and actual threats that faculty are facing increasingly. Some of these issues begin at the state level, where funding for classes or entire programs are being cut due to their political content. Other issues range from online harassment to deceptively progressive legislation for free-speech protection on campus. Meanwhile, higher education in general continues to foster crippling student debt as institutions struggle to deal with increasing demands for greater diversity, inclusion, and equity. The resource page we launched and continue to build on modestly attempts to provide critical information and tools to help us deal with some of these problems, from distributing information about student loans for undocumented students to debt models in art education. Other items provide online security protocol and consent laws for recording in classrooms. Some of the categories include Censorship and Intimidation, Critical Pedagogy, Alternative Art Programs, Debt and Precarity, Sanctuary and Immigration, and Legal Resources, among others.

Where do the resources come from?

Nearly all of the content already exists online in some form, from other organizations and studies. Populating the website was an extensive three-month process of collecting information and links and aggregating them in these categories. We have been so grateful to other working groups and colleagues for sharing their resources as well.

What are the most urgent issues confronting art professors in the United States today?

Clearly we don’t assume to speak for every program. But in the immediate context, the travel ban and ICE deportations may have the most immediate effects on our students, faculty, and visiting artists. Academic freedom has been under various levels of threat for a long time, and it remains to be seen how deeply and broadly new threats develop. But economic precarity and inequality remain the most pressing structural issue in education both for art schools and the larger university system. This affects part-time adjuncts who, already underpaid, are increasingly asked to do things such as decrease their course loads so as not to trigger contingent benefits, the end of tenured lines, and students who suffer under crippling debt or have no access to higher education at all. Critical and progressive curricula can’t make up for the undergirded issues of access, which are directly tied to geography, race, and class.

Under this current political regime, arts faculty may actually have a greater deal of security than professors and departments researching and teaching social justice, antiracism, and climate change. We need to continually find ways to support our colleagues in other fields.

How can CAA members get involved?

We welcome new arts-affiliated adjuncts, TAs, and professors into our organization and dialogue—the more voices represented, the better. Members will have access to group documents and files, as well as The Story Collection Project, which shares and archives testimonials and stories about what is happening in different corners of our campuses and in classrooms across the country. Meanwhile, the Art Profs America website, offering news, links, and resources, is live and available to anyone online. Please feel free to share with other colleagues as well. You can visit us, or join at http://artprofsamerica.com.

To request to join the discussion, please visit https://groups.google.com/d/forum/art-profs-america. You may also follow APA on Twitter.

Filed under: Advocacy, Higher Education, Teaching
promotionalphotoforraampGuy Laramée, The Grand Library, 2004. Altered book, pigment, metal stand, 96 x 21 x 44 inches. Courtesy of the artist and JHB Gallery. Courtesy of University of Richmond Museums, Virginia. Photo: Gordon Schmidt/University of Richmond Communications.

RAAMP (Resources for Academic Art Museum Professionals) is an online repository and forum that collects, stores, and shares resources 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. RAAMP aims to strengthen the educational mission of academic museums and their parent organizations, and is oriented toward colleagues at academic art museums as well as university and other museum colleagues. RAAMP is a project of CAA made possible with a generous grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

The principal investigators for RAAMP are N. Elizabeth Schlatter, deputy director and curator of exhibitions at the University of Richmond Museums in Virginia and an officer of CAA’s Board of Directors; and Celka Straughn, Andrew W. Mellon Director of Academic Programs at the University of Kansas’s Spencer Museum of Art and a member of CAA’s Museum Committee. Schlatter says, “Art museums at colleges and universities today are creating some of the most dynamic connections to their academic communities. RAAMP creates a virtual place to share these accomplishments and gain inspiration from colleagues. Academic museums can use examples created by their peers and posted on RAAMP to enhance their offerings to faculty and students.”

Straughn adds, “They can find curricular materials utilizing museum resources to emphasize critical thinking skills or sample reports that demonstrate and quantify how a campus museum contributes to its parent institution. RAAMP is also a place to promote professional development activities, to find research related to academic museums, and to engage in discussions with fellow professionals.”

RAAMP was created in response to a 2013 CAA Annual Conference session organized by the organization’s Museum Committee. Attendees at the session expressed a need to have a digital space where they could easily share information and strategies for communicating how their academic museums contribute to the educational mission of their parent institutions.

RAAMP would not be possible without the help of its partner organizations: Association of American Museum Curators (AAMC), Association of American Museum Director (AAMD), and Association of Academic Museums & Galleries (AAMG), and representatives from the following US-based academic museum stakeholders:

The Art Galleries at Lafayette College, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, The Fowler Museum at the UCLA, Galleries of Contemporary Art at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; The Hood Museum at Dartmouth University, Lowe Art Museum at the University of Miami, Neuberger Museum at SUNY Purchase College, Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida, Schnitzer Museum at the University of Oregon, Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago, Spelman College Museum of Art, Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas, University of Iowa Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museums

Visit the RAAMP website to learn more.

Visit the RAAMP submissions page to submit materials.

CAA Local College Tour

posted by September 30, 2016

Students are crucial to CAA and the work we do. Support and interest from student members allows us to provide fellowships, professional development, mentorships, and job placement services to those very same students. In the coming months, CAA is visiting several local New York colleges and universities in order to connect with our youngest and one of our most vital constituencies. Below is our upcoming schedule. We hope to see you there.

Monday Oct. 10, 10AM-12PM at Parsons Fine Arts 

Tuesday Nov. 1st at Pratt Institute (Time TBD)

Wednesday Nov. 2nd at Pratt Institute (Time TBD) 

Friday Nov. 18th, 12PM-4PM at School of Visual Arts

CAA has signed onto the letter reprinted below, written by the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) on July 21, 2016, and signed by dozens of organizations. To read the full list of signatories, please visit the MESA website.

Threats to Academic Freedom and Higher Education in Turkey

The above listed organizations collectively note with profound concern the apparent moves to dismantle much of the structure of Turkish higher education through purges, restrictions, and assertions of central control, a process begun earlier this year and accelerating now with alarming speed.

As scholarly associations, we are committed to the principles of academic freedom and freedom of expression. The recent moves in Turkey herald a massive and virtually unprecedented assault on those principles. One of the Middle East region’s leading systems of higher education is under severe threat as a result, as are the careers and livelihoods of many of its faculty members and academic administrators.

Our concern about the situation in Turkish universities has been mounting over the past year, as Turkish authorities have moved to retaliate against academics for expressing their political views—some merely signing an “Academics for Peace” petition criticizing human rights violations.

Yet the threat to academic freedom and higher education has recently worsened in a dramatic fashion. In the aftermath of the failed coup attempt of July 15–16, 2016, the Turkish government has moved to purge government officials in the Ministry of Education and has called for the resignation of all university deans across the country’s public and private universities. As of this writing, it appears that more than 15,000 employees at the education ministry have been fired and nearly 1,600 deans—1,176 from public universities and 401 from private universities—have been asked to resign. In addition, 21,000 private school teachers have had their teaching licenses cancelled. Further, reports suggest that travel restrictions have been imposed on academics at public universities and that Turkish academics abroad were required to return to Turkey. The scale of the travel restrictions, suspensions, and imposed resignations in the education sector seemingly go much farther than the targeting of individuals who might have had any connection to the attempted coup.

The crackdown on the education sector creates the appearance of a purge of those deemed inadequately loyal to the current government. Moreover, the removal of all of the deans across the country represents a direct assault on the institutional autonomy of Turkey’s universities. The replacement of every university’s administration simultaneously by the executive-controlled Higher Education Council would give the government direct administrative control of all Turkish universities. Such concentration and centralization of power over all universities is clearly inimical to academic freedom. Moreover, the government’s existing record of requiring university administrators’ to undertake sweeping disciplinary actions against perceived opponents—as was the case against the Academics for Peace petition signatories—lends credence to fears that the change in university administrations will be the first step in an even broader purge against academics in Turkey.

Earlier this year, it was already clear that the Turkish government, in a matter of months, had amassed a staggering record of violations of academic freedom and freedom of expression. The aftermath of the attempted coup may have accelerated those attacks on academic freedom in even more alarming ways.

As scholarly organizations, we collectively call for respect for academic freedom—including freedom of expression, opinion, association, and travel—and the autonomy of universities in Turkey, offer our support to our Turkish colleagues, second the Middle East Studies Association’s “call for action” of January 15, request that Turkey’s diplomatic interlocutors (both states and international organizations) advocate vigorously for the rights of Turkish scholars and the autonomy of Turkish universities, suggest other scholarly organizations speak forcefully about the threat to the Turkish academy, and alert academic institutions throughout the world that Turkish colleagues are likely to need moral and substantive support in the days ahead.

Note

Organizations wishing to be included as signatories on the above statement should contact Amy Newhall at amy@mesana.org.