In a move long seen as inevitable, the San Francisco Art Institute filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection last Wednesday, on April 19, 2023. The case is currently pending in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California.
SFAI’s recent financial struggles became public in March 2020, when the school announced it would not be enrolling a new class of students and was preparing faculty and staff for layoffs. In October 2020, to avoid foreclosure on its 800 Chestnut St. property, the UC Regents assumed ownership of the campus, and SFAI became a tenant.
And yet the school hobbled on with tiny classes and a skeleton team of administrators and educators. A hoped-for merger with the University of San Francisco fell through in July 2022. The 152-year-old art school graduated its last class of five undergraduates that same month. The campus has sat empty since.