The San Francisco Art Institute and the University of San Francisco announced today a plan to “integrate operations and academic programs.” USF, a private Jesuit university with a student body of just over 10,000, will pay an undisclosed amount for the sale of the 151-year-old art school.
The sale will include SFAI’s historical buildings, art and film collections, and assets. A program called SFAI@USF will begin in the fall semester, offering continuing SFAI students access to USF’s “academic and co-curricular services, opportunities, and support.”
Today’s announcement is the first official mention of long-rumored merger negotiations between the two schools. In 2020, SFAI explained that talks stalled with an unnamed larger institution when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
The “integration” follows a similar move at Mills College, which will become “Mills College at Northeastern University.” That change will take effect around July 2022.
In a statement provided to KQED, USF says faculty and staff are a priority during this period of due diligence before the sale is finalized. “Part of the potential framework would allow current SFAI full-time faculty to join USF as members of the USF (full-time) Faculty Association,” USF says, “and to retain their rank and tenure status.” SFAI adjunct faculty would need to apply for open positions at USF, with no guarantee of employment.