FIU Photography

FIU Photography

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Diana Suarez started this petition to FIU Administration

To: 

Dean Brian Schriner

Dean Bares Pelaez

President Mark Rosenberg

 


It has come to our attention that Professor Peggy Nolan has been removed from her teaching position. We are writing to express our grave concerns over the mistreatment of Professor Nolan and Professor Rolando Dal Pezzo, the lack of formal process that was displayed, and lack of awareness that led to this unfortunate and unilateral action. 

This decision inherently damages FIU’s photography program which has a rich history and connections to some of the greatest thinkers and practitioners in the medium. The professors that teach at FIU offer an essentially unique approach to photography that is exceedingly difficult to find in contemporary art. For decades they have emphasized seeing, formal questions, and investigation that presses the limits of what photography is and can do. 

There are hundreds of photography programs around the country. A large portion of them all teaching essentially the same thing in the same format. FIU students can rest assured that they are receiving the highest quality of photographic education from professors like Peggy Nolan, William Maguire, Priscilla Forthman, and Rolando Dal Pezzo. However, as of this writing every single film photography class is being taught by one single professor with a fraction of the experience of any of the aforementioned professors. 

FIU’s photography program can be traced back to Walker Evans who inspired Garry Winogrand. Winogrand, a massively influential figure to photography as we know it today, lectured at FIU and taught William Maguire. John Szarkowski also had an influential relationship with FIU. Throughout all of this, Professor Peggy Nolan was present. She represents a link to photography that is disappearing, a link that we FIU photography students understand and value. 

Removing Professor Nolan from the classroom is something unprecedented that has impacted the student body negatively. Though we appreciate her for all that she brings to the program including her unmatched color correction mastery, we are concerned for how she has been brushed aside – not even considered for the full-time position that opened this Summer. Professor Nolan has put in considerable years and has driven the program forward with a student-centered approach. It strikes us as a great injustice what has transpired, and we need it to be known we are united in finding out exactly how this was allowed to happen and who is responsible.

We request a formal response from the office of the Dean. We demand that Professor Nolan is returned to her position and we recommend that she be elevated to a full-time teaching position. 

 


Sincerely,

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