Enjoy the following:
To whom it may concern,
I would like to bring to your attention an email recently received in response to an ANU student’s recent query to the Manhattan School of Music, regarding the proposed changes to the ANU School of Music. Please find below a very interesting reply received from Ms Majorie Merryman, Vice President for Academics and Performance at the Manhattan School of Music (MSM).
The Manhattan School of Music has a strong link with the ANU through video-conferencing, as they are one of the only overseas institutions currently paired with the ANU for such conferencing. The ANU has repeatedly justified their proposal for the changes to the School of Music by reference of the wonders of such video-conferencing which would supposedly allow for group lessons from high quality overseas teachers (please refer to Mr Adrian Walter and Ms Marnie-Hughes Warrington’s statements in their press-conference on 3 May 2012: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5SdKWoEYQZU). In light of such comments, trust that you will find this response from the MSM revealing.
Please do not hesitate to contact me or my associated for further information,
You will have received the note below a group at the School of Music at Australian National University (ANU). I am writing to assure you that MSM played no role in the restructuring plan at ANU, and does not support it. The University is using our name without our permission and over our expressed objections. Here is the truth:
MSM has had a positive and mutually supportive relationship with the School of Music at ANU, in which we have provided Distance Learning content (mostly at the K-12 level) and college-level master classes. Recently (and unknown to us) ANU has decided to cut faculty in an attempt to restructure and save money.
We learned of this restructuring about 10 days ago when contacts at ANU brought to our attention an email that went out to their whole community on May 3, sent by their Vice-Chancellor Ian Young. Prof. Young’s announcement stated that some ANU faculty would be cut, but that students would have the option to take lessons and sessions provided by MSM through videoconferencing. As soon as I saw that, I wrote to VC Young saying:
1. We have had no knowledge of any restructuring at ANU; it was never discussed with us.
2. We do not agree with their idea as an educational model; we support one-on-one live studio teaching.
3. Educationally and philosophically, we could not endorse ANU’s new model for college-level music study.
4. We have no arrangement with ANU to provide the services they describe.
5. We strongly object to being associated with a plan that would eliminate faculty positions.
6. We strongly object to our name being used or to any implication that we endorse this restructuring.
I received reassurances from Prof. Young that our name had not been used (which was untrue). But it seemed that it would not be used in the future. Therefore we are dismayed to see that in a publicly released news story today, we are still cited as supporting this restructuring.
MSM has no role to play in determining the financial structure of Australian National University. We are very sad to learn that the University’s financial decisions may result in faculty members losing jobs, and in students there receiving an inferior education. Certainly we would hope that ANU could find other solutions to its financial crisis. But we are truly dismayed to be cited as partners in such a decision or supporters of such an action. We support our colleagues at ANU and the students there who deserve a first-rate education, provided by an on-site, professional faculty.
Vice President for Academics and Performance
Manhattan School of Music