The Academic Senate voted unanimously to support the Architecture Department’s bid to remain part of the School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts after the department was informed by administrators that it will be moving to the Career and Technical Education division.
In a letter presented to the senate, Coleman Griffith, Architecture Department Head, asked for the Senate’s support for the Architecture Department to remain in the VAMS department and requested that their physical class space be retained.
“On Friday, April 11th afternoon I was informed by Vice President Bell of his impending decision to move the Architecture Department from the School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts to the CTE, Career and Technical Education Division,” Coleman said. “He indicated that the rooms currently utilized by the Architecture Department would be given to the Second Year Experience program.”
In his resolution, Coleman gave a list of potential negative impacts, arguing that the move could create negative financial and educational impacts on both current and future architecture students, eliminate the F1 Visa student transfer population, and block access by underrepresented minority and economically disadvantaged students.
Coleman said a recent technical visit from the Community College League of California made it clear that “any changes that impact either the faculty, the students or the curriculum must be implemented by mutual agreement.
“If there is no mutual agreement, the status quo stands,” Coleman said.
The resolution also went on to state that the PCC Architecture Department is widely recognized in Southern California as the number one transfer school for students seeking transfer to a four to five year University Degree in Architecture.
Members of the Senate openly expressed their disapproval of the move, with Rod Foster, visual arts and media studies, pointing out the temporariness of grant-funded programs, which will replace architecture in the department.
“Grant programs are inherently temporary, what’s the value in moving it for a program that might not be here in a couple years,” Foster said. “More of the same from the gang that can’t shoot straight.”
Kris Pilon, engineering and technology, feels that classroom space played a role behind the scheduled move.
“There is no reason except they want classroom space,” Pilon said. “We have to take a strong stand against this.”