By Emily Richardson, Lang ‘14
A record of a letter from Acting Dean Allen Austill on September 15 to the sculpture students of Chaim Gross is a good example of the kind of freedom that was kept while attempting to bring more administrative order. This letter informed registered students that Gross would not be teaching the sculpture course in the fall because he had commissioned work in Israel for a year. Instead the class was to be taught by Vladimar Yoffe, a strong recommendation by Gross. However, students were offered an opportunity to withdraw from the course without any penalties. Gross was expected to return for the spring 1965 semester.
The fact that it was a concern which instructor taught the class, enough to solicit a letter from the acting dean and a free chance to withdraw without penalty, shows how much value was placed on who taught the class. Now it seems classes are chosen for their topic: their draw is the title, course description, and credit type. This letter suggests that the faculty were working artists who the students would be expected to be familiar with, and that it was the teacher that was the draw. This may be an important assumption to keep in mind when thinking of the reasons behind exhibitions of faculty work. [B. 1, F. Art Workshops, NSPE Executive Dean’s files, NSA.]