San Francisco Art Institute considers suspending classes permanently after May

Citing the coronavirus pandemic, the San Francisco Art Institute says its efforts to find a financial partner have run aground David Shamma

The San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI), a critical force in Northern Californias arts sector for nearly 150 years, has failed to find a partner to ensure its financial survival and is uncertain that it can offer classes this summer and fall, its president has announced in a letter.

The president, Gordon Knox, indicated on Monday that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic had dealt a decisive blow to the institutes efforts to bolster its bottom line by merging with a larger educational institution “with the scale and resources necessary to help us survive, prosper and grow in todays hypercompetitive landscape”.

Negotiations with two Bay Area institutions had been “promising”, he said, but “those talks reached an impasse this past week, in no small measure due to the unanticipated hardships and uncertainty wrought by the unfolding Covid-19 pandemic.”

As a result, “SFAIs leadership has no clear path to admit a class of new students for the fall of 2020,” Knox wrote. He said the institute was now considering the suspension of its courses and degree programs immediately after graduation in May.

Online instruction of the schools 300 students will continue until the end of the spring semester so that they can receive academic credit, he says, and graduating bachelor of fine arts, master of arts and master of fine arts students can expect to receive their degrees in May as scheduled. (The institutes two campuses have been closed since 13 March as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and MFA and BFA exhibitions and graduation ceremonies have been cancelled.)

Layoffs of faculty and staff members are planned for the end of the semester, Knox adds.

Nonetheless, the schoRead More – Source