Inside the AFI Faculty Revolt: Has the Dean ‘Lost Control’ or Brought Needed Change?

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Jan Schuette Stefan Falke
Jan Schuette Stefan Falke
Jan Schuette
Stefan Falke

Reprinted from The Hollywood Reporter by Gregg Kilday on September 1, 2016

As the first week of the new semester at the American Film Institute Conservatory drew to a close last Friday, the elite film school, with long-standing ties to some of the biggest names in Hollywood, found itself in the middle of unaccustomed drama.

Newly unionized faculty members had issued a vote of no confidence in Dean Jan Schuette and called for his immediate resignation, while others have stepped forward to voice their support. On the bucolic campus that sits on a hillside above Hollywood, colleagues and instructors have found themselves pitted against one another. Editing instructors have led the attack, while cinematographers have leapt to Schuette’s defense. New initiatives instituted by Schuette, who took over leadership of the 47-year-old institution in 2014, have been applauded by some and decried by others. One source who visited the campus says the amount of controversy has been exaggerated, insisting, “This is not an issue on campus, nobody is talking about it.” But some students — or Fellows, as they are known in AFI parlance — as well as recent graduates have begun to take sides…


Hollywood Reporter 9/1

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