U. Arts closure

after 150 years. Any current or former students out there want to weigh in?

I’m not an alumni but admired the programs, sad news to hear.

A link: Closing | University of the Arts.

I graduated in ‘02 with a degree in Industrial Design. Just for background, the design program(s) at that time had, ID, GD, multimedia design, Illustration along with a fine arts program. ID was the only BS degree with all other matriculating students with a B’ of Arts.

Over the course of my 20+ years, there has been a steady decline for the demand of ID work as labor costs for design were being amortized by outside US manufacturers. So that put a strain on the grad, recent grads altogether. With the rise of UIUX as a discipline, many design students, as well as professional ID’ers, flocked to schools tied closer to the tech industry for easy internships, new hiring.

Like many traditional schools in established cities, universities have always supported the local city economies with appropriately educated and ready graduates for immediate work. Unfortunately, the city of Philadelphia either couldn’t pivot to identify market needs for universities to adjust or, in my opinion, established politics and bureaucracy just finished running it’s course to run the university into the ground.

Though saddened, I’m not surprised. Expect many other dedicated art schools to shutter, if they haven’t shifted from their existential course. Larger State Colleges and Universities may absorb the staff, but may struggle as the Art schools have VERY distinct cultures from the large university experience.

Last, I have reached out to the administration to support students with portfolio reviews or any other topics of interest. If anyone needs help, continue to post on Core. I’ll check and see if I can chime in with responses.

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