2 items from 2016
One of the country’s most influential film schools is having a tough week.
Members of the American Film Institute’s faculty and administration are voicing their support for AFI Dean Jan Schuette following a letter from the school’s faculty union Tuesday calling for Schuette’s resignation. The letter came two weeks after a union vote of “no confidence” in Schuette’s leadership that passed 35-8, with roughly half of the 87-person faculty not voting. At least 30 faculty members also signed a letter last October expressing deep concern about Schuette’s leadership and the direction of the conservatory.
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Three faculty members from AFI’s editing discipline have resigned in recent weeks, including 21-year veteran Howard Smith, who told IndieWire in an email that his resignation was directly in response to changes instituted by Schuette. »
- Graham Winfrey
The faculty union at the American Film Institute today called upon the administration to fire Jan Schuette, the dean who took command of the elite conservatory in 2014.
In a letter to CEO Bob Gazzale and the AFI board, the union warned that the school is “on the brink of unraveling.” The letter alleged that Schuette had failed to consult with the faculty and created a culture of “fear and intimidation.”
Though the conflict has been brewing for at least a year, the union decided to go public with its concerns when five union members were dismissed this summer. The union accuses the AFI of retaliating against its membership, which the institute denies.
“The dean has lost the faith and trust and support of the faculty,” said Rob Spera, a directing instructor who led the effort to form a faculty union this spring. “He no longer can lead us. We’ve »
- Gene Maddaus
2 items from 2016
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