Seattle Art Institute lays off 10 faculty members
Students at the Art Institute of Seattle can expect fewer full-time faculty teaching their classes.
The Institute, part of a national group of schools that offer career-path instruction in everything from graphic design to culinary arts, will rely on part-time adjuncts.
Last year the schools were purchased by a California-based nonprofit called Dream Center. A spokeswoman says the faculty layoffs are part of what it calls "aligning to the mission to provide students with an accessible, affordable, relevant and purposeful education."
Ten full-time faculty members lost their positions. Part-time adjunct instructors, however, remain on the job.
Bridget Charters, who taught for 17 years in the Art Institute culinary arts program, says quality teachers can’t afford to work part-time with no benefits.
“It was a real job,” says Charters. “Now they’re taking that away.”
She compares part-time employment to entry-level restaurant jobs that don’t provide a living wage. Charters says when she was on the Art Institute faculty, program graduates went on to work at some of the nation’s most prestigious restaurants.
Despite the layoffs, the Seattle Art Institute fared better than some of its companion schools around the country. Eighteen will close at the end of the year, including Art Institutes in Portland and San Francisco.
Dream Center said in a statement that "the Art Institute of Seattle is, and will remain, a vital source for creative professionals."
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