Critique is a vital and challenging part of the educational experience in a college of art and design. Participating in this practice requires students to be open and vulnerable while they present their work for discussion and questioning, and to trust the transformative powers of the process in service of the work. Through the frequent repetition of this act of openness, students and faculty share and strengthen their humanity, empathy and kinship and their work evolves.
The next five years will be a period of significant change for School of Visual Arts, some of which is already underway. It is fitting then, as we begin this new stage of development, that we engage in our own critique on an institutional scale.
We began the process of preparing this plan by soliciting feedback from a broad cross-section of the SVA community, seeking and receiving, with the openness that thoughtful critique demands. Ultimately, the goals were threefold:
- To accurately represent who we are as an institution
- To appraise those characteristics so essential to our identity that we are committed to sustaining them in some form, regardless of changes of leadership and control or shifts in the creative professions and higher education, while also identifying those areas we seek to improve upon
- To determine the means by which to achieve these interlocking goals of preservation and progress
We invite you to explore how we define our mission and core values, our strategic priorities, and how we plan to move forward through sub-plans.
In service of our vision and core values, we have revisited and restated our mission:
To educate future generations of global creative citizens to foster cultural and social change that promotes our core values through the pursuit and achievement of their professional goals.
In support of this mission, the College is committed to:
- Instilling a standard of excellence in our students through a dynamic and focused curriculum
- Maintaining and sustaining a faculty of working professionals active in their fields
- Recruiting and supporting a fully inclusive community of students, faculty, staff and alumni
- Encouraging discovery, experimentation, and the implementation of bold concepts that challenge convention
- Engaging with, and contributing to, the vibrant cultural and professional landscape of New York City
The revised mission statement is more than a reflection of who we are as a college. It underscores the areas that demand our attention as we move forward. The five principles of our mission statement provide a framework by which to structure the abundance of new and exciting ideas that we encountered in our interviews with the SVA community; a starting point for an ongoing dialogue that must continue throughout the college; and a guide to ensure that we are staying on track toward becoming the best version of who we already are.
Principally, we aim to cultivate an ongoing community-wide conversation that continues throughout the life of this plan and beyond. Over the course of this year, several working groups will convene to address particular areas of focus, culminating in the composition of six sub-plans proposed throughout this section. The implementation, ongoing assessment and regular amendment of the strategic plan and its sub-plans will be overseen by a Futures Committee, composed primarily of the chairs of each working group. This group will review our progress and adjust our goals accordingly, and apprise the SVA community annually of their work.
These efforts toward increased cross-institutional dialogue and collaboration extend beyond the sub-plans as well. In addition to the working groups charged with composing the sub-plans enumerated below, the plan calls for a network of standing committees to meet regularly to discuss, ask questions and share insights around subjects of shared concern to each group. By creating spaces for ongoing dialogue across the institution, the strategic plan itself will be a living document, a functional though nonrestrictive roadmap subject to continuous consideration and review.