July 18, 2022
The San Francisco Art Institute will no longer offer any courses or degrees after an attempt to merge with the University of San Francisco failed.
The institute has been struggling financially since 2020, when it was engaged in other merger talks with local institutions, including the University of San Francisco, which announced in February that it had “signed a letter of intent to explore integrating operations and academic programs in the arts to elevate the next generation of artists.”
The Reverend Paul Fitzgerald, president of the university, wrote at the time, “Our shared goal is for undergraduate and graduate art programs at the two institutions to merge, and to create a world-class arts education program—unique in higher education—that will benefit our students through newly developed and collaborative opportunities.”
But the university announced last week that “after five months of extensive exploration and discussion about a possible integration of arts education programs for undergraduate and graduate students, the University of San Francisco has informed the San Francisco Art Institute that a full integration of the two universities is not feasible due to financial and other considerations.”
Father Fitzgerald added, “We had hoped for and invested in a more expansive outcome at the conclusion of due diligence and after the many months of excellent collaboration between faculty and staff. Today, aligned with university strategic initiatives and priorities, the university remains committed to expanding and growing its arts program.”
The university announced that it will hire arts faculty on its own into one-year appointments in a new fine arts program.