Inside baseball at MECA

Some disgruntled MECA students, alumni, and former faculty have created a blog, the uncreatively named MECA MFA Letters, to voice their displeasure with recent administrative decisions. Specifically, the letters address recent or pending terminations of professors Iain Kerr (this is his MECA page, which is still up) and Leon Johnson.

On the site, MECA alumni Barak Olins writes: 

"On a personal level, I have been very disheartened by the termination of colleagues whose work, ideas, vision and collaborative spirit I respect enormously. I am thinking not just of the most recent loss of Iain Kerr, but also of Leon Johnson, Jon Calame, Miek Bertus, Ellen Lesperance and others. But more critical is the fact that these terminations happen suddenly and with enormous clouds of ambiguity which, with very little effort, reveal themselves to be driven by personal rather than academic considerations."

His concerns are echoed in the eight other letters archived at the website.

MECA's director of public relations, Jessica Tomlinson, dismissed the ruffled feathers as inside academic politics. She pointed out that the administration has met with some of the unhappy parties. With regard to Kerr's possible termination, she said the school decided to eliminate the full-time MFA instructor position (and move to an adjunct-professor model) because "that will give us more economic efficiency." Approximately 20 students are enrolled in MECA's MFA program.  

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