Thursday, September 29, 2011


Members of The Art Students League - 
this Wednesday, October 12 - say enough is enough
The President and the Board of Control are no longer working for the STUDENTS of the Art Students League. Operating in secrecy with disregard for members, the current President and Board of Control are out of control - letting contracts without competitive bidding, to themselves or their cronies, handing out positions and pay to former and current board members. This year, tell them ENOUGH. We want transparency and we deserve better governance! We want a clean Board of Control.

Under self-proclaimed President for Life Sal Barbieri, the Board of Control has hardened into a monster of conflicted interest shunning newcomers to preserve their fiefdom. In recent years, the President and Board of Control gave the Director permission to create NEW staff positions - positions that never before existed in the history of the Art Students League - and and staffed them with former board members without a search for candidates.

Beginning in 2010 and for the first time in League history, administrative and support staff compensation grew to more than 50% of total, more than the fees paid to instructors and models combined (historically, administrative and support payroll is about 33% of total). Current and former board members have accepted contracts worth tens of thousands of dollars from the league’s administration. Other Board of Control members have resigned before the end of their terms because they were uncomfortable with financial irregularities and the appearance of conflict of interest in matters under the board’s review. The work going on this fall to the entrance, estimated to cost $320,000, was initiated without an announcement to the membership. If the President can be so secretive with a $320,000 contract, what else is he hiding?

In recent years, the Board of Control has made broad appeals for members to join the board only to reject anyone with a pulse and select the few who will mutely agree to whatever the Director and the President says.

It’s time to tell the “President for Life” and the Board of Control enough: THROW THE BUMS OUT. YOU DO NOT NEED ANYONES CONSENT TO JOIN THE BOARD OF CONTROL. You only need to garner a majority of members’ votes and THE LEAGUE NEEDS YOU NOW. The COMMITTEE FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE may be able to help but you have to take the first step - join The Committee for Good Governance, attend the Art Students League members meeting on October 12th, nominate Arthur Stein for President of The Art Students League, and VOTE FOR A NEW PRESIDENT AND BOARD OF CONTROL.

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