Columbia seeks new Dean of ArtsNews
Message from Lee C. Bollinger:
I write to share that Carol Becker, Dean of our School of the Arts, plans to step down at the end of this academic year. Since 2007, Carol has led the School with warmth, grit, and skill, shining a bright light on the central role that art and artists play in furthering the University’s mission and in serving the interests of our global society. After her term as Dean concludes on June 30, 2023, Carol will remain Professor of the Arts, return to teaching and writing, and also continue her work with other programs to integrate art and artists into the fabric of the larger university.
Carol’s 16 years as Dean will be remembered as a period of dramatic growth for the School of the Arts. Under her leadership, the School nurtured innovative programmatic initiatives, invested in new and emerging technologies, centralized its operations with the Arts Initiative and Miller Theatre, grew the number of full-time tenured faculty significantly, and invested in financial aid, working closely with her development team to create a number of full-tuition scholarships in film, theatre, visual arts, and writing. Carol and her team’s efforts have produced one of the most diverse schools in the institution.
The Wall Street Journal reported that Columbia’s arts programs are notorious money making machines that put graduates in huge debt that they can’t pay off with the jobs they get:
Columbia’s film program graduates had the highest debt compared with earnings among graduates of any major university master’s program in the U.S.
Recent film program graduates of Columbia University who took out federal student loans had a median debt of $181,000. But two years after earning their master’s degrees, half of the borrowers were making less than $30,000 a year.
Yet, Columbia is among the world’s wealthiest schools with a $11.3 billion endowment. Greed, greed, greed.
I can’t think of a single arts field in which Columbia excels… except in tuition.
Why go to Columbia when in the immediate neighborhood, there are far better programs: film and art history at NYU, creative writing at Princeton, drama at Yale, music at Juilliard, design at Parsons…
Free advice: If you get admitted to one of Columbia’s terminal masters degrees in the arts and humanities, and the department doesn’t offer you a full scholarship, it means the faculty thinks you have no talent and no future, but that you do make a good patsy to pay them $65,000 per year in exchange for a piece of paper written in Latin that you can hang on your wall to impress your mother.
If I may add to your comment, the immediate neighborhood of Columbia also includes The Manhattan School of Music – a few blocks away – which is a world renown music school. So yes, Columbia’s ‘arts’ program have steep, steep competition with institutions who have world-class credentials already.
Juilliard is an an option at Columbia where you can earn a dual degree. Columbia is an Ivy League School and Ivy League tuition is expensive across the board. That said, Columbia’s music department is top notch. Yale and Princeton are also expensive Ivy League schools with great faculties and charge similar tuition, so those schools are no solution. Juilliard is also expensive. All said, there is a tremendous amount of scholarship monies available to those in need and have the grades. Further, unlike most students in said schools, there are opportunities for music students to perform and make some sort of income while they are in school.
From the July 8, 2021 Wall Street Journal:
‘Recent film program graduates of Columbia University who took out federal student loans had a median debt of $181,000.
Yet two years after earning their master’s degrees, half of the borrowers were making less than $30,000 a year.”
“Recent Columbia film alumni had the highest debt compared with earnings among graduates of any major university master’s program in the U.S., the Journal found. The New York City university is among the world’s most prestigious schools, and its $11.3 billion endowment ranks it the nation’s eighth wealthiest private school.”
“…create a number of full-tuition scholarships in film, theatre, visual arts, and writing.” And this is a classical music website so where is the tie in?
“create a number of full-tuition scholarships”
Columbia economics 101:
-admit 1 student on full scholarship
-admit 10 students paying full tuition
-take a share of those 10 tuitions to fully fund that single scholarship
-pocket the rest as pure profit
Trump University operated on that same model.
And yet, their music deparment remains insignificant.