Yay….another post that points a finger at “the institution” because of a personal dislike for contemporary art. It is one thing to have an opinion and another to have an informed opinion. You appear to have the former.
The image you paint of the “insufferable academic” is both laughable and fictional.
Cheese you are obviously part of the system...it shows badly. If you can't take the knocks well...tough. Katy paints a true picture that I have experienced.
Give you a couple of examples of why sculpture class closings are not a bad thing. Went to two different colleges to learn about ceramics. First one taught how to throw a competent pot (which is what I wanted to know). Teacher at first college though was adrift as to glazes. She fell back on" it was a mystery". Glazes shivered off pots regularly. She maintained that some days glazes worked & some days they did not. Great teaching depth.
Second college, teacher claimed to want to know teach functional pottery. She did not know how to throw a functional pot on a hands-on basis, knew intellectually but not hands-on. As to glazing, glazing was still a mystery. Also as to china painting, another mystery. Also no leads or books to point you to. Another in-depth teacher.
Neither knew the basics sufficiently for a serious student to progress. As to the sculpture teacher in the second college, he was a joke. He knew some technique but not how to apply it, or how to reach his students. His big thing was making paper dress patterns into ephermal sculptures. He did not teach one class personally. By the way he was the head of the art department.
Finally ended up finishing at a 3rd college to put a wrap on my college credits so I could at least say I had a BA & not disassociated college credits (looks like you have no focus when applying for a job). All three Colleges were barely a help. Mostly got to try techniques (with high student frustration levels) that teacher had little grounding in. By the way most of the art classes I took in college were 300 & 400 level courses.
By the third college, just took independent study courses in art. All the teachers in the third college could not/would not share their experience with making art or getting into galleries or helping the artist get started on their art career. Found out that my wife & I had more experience than the teachers we were looking to for guidance. Particulary in running an art business & working with galleries.
So no Cheese, get off your elitest pedestal & do not criticize other people for not lapping up all of the college art teaching short-comings & calling the art teachers great educators. Teachers do not automatically have "informed opinions" (your words). Are you saying that other people (non-educators) that do not share your exalted view are uninformed? Choose your words well.
Am firmly in Katy's corner. You may be holding up your corner of the world. Most teachers I am acquainted with were not when I was going through college. They were falliable people looking to get by & hold onto a job. They did not know how to produce figurative work or advise others on it, were not selling their work in the commercial or public art realm, just basting in their own juices of ignorance. They hewed closely to the adage "if you cannot do it, teach". None had an independent art studio/practice.
Sorry to blow a hole in your conceits of what students get out of college. Your experience may be different because you have tried valiently to be thoughtful, caring & actually teach something. But your attitude comes off as callous & uncaring of anothers experience. Not a good quality of a teacher.
Apologies to Maddie for throughly hijacking this thread. Don't think bullies (Cheesepaws) should get away unchallenged.