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progress, of a kind

Post #367 • September 15, 2004, 7:42 AM • 7 Comments

You may recall my suggestions for shutting down the College Art Asssociation Meat Market that I posted in February. I followed up on this with Director Susan Ball of the CAA and she replied:

The CAA Board of Directors has been engaged in strategic planning for the past year, developing its plan for 2005-2010.I did bring the issues you raisedto the attention of the strategic planning working group.The same concerns arose in focus groups and town meetings. You will be pleased to note that career development and workforces issues is one of the priorities in the plan. To that end, we have established a senior management level position, Director of Career Development, who will run this department.I fear that changing the method of selection will be a slow process and one that we cannot mandate, but can and will attempt to influence and improve.

I find this an excessively incrementalist stance to take against exploitation and hardship, but I suppose committees operate like this, and I prefer it to no action at all. I did tell her back in February that I would consider rejoining CAA if it took action on this issue. Now I wonder - did it? Or just sorta-kinda?

Comment

1.

that guy in the back row

September 15, 2004, 3:52 PM

I remember this discussion, thanks for the follow up. Cheeper ways to apply for the best art jobs are needed. I have friends who still owe me for the great slides I made of their work.

2.

Jack

September 16, 2004, 1:42 AM

As you obviously realize, the last sentence in the quoted statement sounds very unconvincing, as in "we mean well and hope for the best, but we promise nothing and are not responsible for actually doing anything substantial." It's classic institution-bureaucracy-speak. Don't even think of holding your breath.

3.

oldpro

September 16, 2004, 3:11 AM

Hey, Jack, he said he was " bringing the issues you raised to the attention of the Strategic Planning Group" and that they had "established a senior management level position" to focus on "workforces issues" and paying attention to "concerns" that "arose" in "focus groups", and other "priorities". What more can you ask? Sounds like a dynamite action group to me. I expect swift, radical change any minute now.

4.

Franklin

September 16, 2004, 3:30 AM

She describes such a furious launch into action I got whiplash just reading it.

A committee of devils will administer the apocalypse with memos written in passive voice.

I toned down my initial criticism of the above response - I may find it useful to cooperate with, rather than antagonize, Ms. Ball - but the committee-speak dismayed me. I thought, oh, great, they established a senior management level position. Everybody fasten their freaking seat belts.

I wonder too about the hesitency to mandate reform. They exist to maintain professional standards, right? Which requires reforms of existing ones? Hello?

5.

a

September 16, 2004, 4:07 AM

yeah . . . i know....

there's a weird thing that happens when anything becomes successful . . . "effective" people are hired to ballance the eccentricities of the vision-people who caused said success. it's this weird way that our capitalistic society seems to work. the stories i could tell. but i'm not going to.

suffice it to say that you guys, in ciriciizing "breuracracy," are biting the hand that feeds us all, in a way.

6.

a

September 16, 2004, 4:12 AM

don't get me wrong . . . i LOVE franklin's criticizms of the 'meat market'. I think the breuracrats NEED your criticism. but i'm not sure they deserve your sarcasm... these are educated people who want to do the right thing, but do not have the luxury of ignoring the counter-argument for whatever gets posted here.

puting the rabble-rousers in charge is never a good idea... you put inteligent people in charge that can look at all the arguents and come to a reasonable decision.

those of you who would criticize them for not coming to the correct conclusion instantly are assholes.

7.

oldpro

September 16, 2004, 6:45 AM

Sorry a. I know all about the exigencies of administration. It works better when you are open, straightforward and honest, and talk directly to people so they can understand That language is anything but. It deserves all the criticism it gets. And we have had enough of calling each other names on this blog.

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