The San Francisco Art Institute and the University of San Francisco announced this month that they’re planning to merge. Under the agreement, USF will acquire the cash-strapped 151-year old arts college and offer a program called SFAI@USF in the fall. The move is reminiscent of Northeastern University’s acquisition of Mills College in September 2021 as small colleges and arts schools deal with financial pressures compounded by Covid. We’ll talk about the implications for SFAI’s students and adjunct faculty, as well as for the broader arts community of the Bay Area, and look ahead at a new era for the irreverent contemporary arts school.
Merger with USF Charts New Direction for San Francisco Art Institute
The Diego Rivera Mural at the San Francisco Art Institute in Russian Hill in San Francisco, California, on Thursday, January 15, 2009. (Photo By Liz Hafalia/The San Francisco Chronicle via Getty Images)
Sarah Hotchkiss, senior associate editor, KQED Arts & Culture