By ANUSHKA MEHROTRA
Kent Kleinman, dean of the College of Art, Architecture and Planning, stepped out from his office and spoke directly to dozens of students about their concerns at a public forum Wednesday.
At the forum, which more than 50 people attended, Kleinman discussed opening a new food cart, renovating existing facilities and developing academic programs.
“What I thought would be interesting to do … is for me to come up from behind the desk so you have a face behind the name and so I tell you about the things I’m paying attention to,” Kleinman said.
Alumni donations have made adding a food truck on Sibley Plaza a possibility in the next few years, Kleinman said, adding that students and staff have wanted to see an eatery that is more accessible to AAP open up.
“The proposition was that the food at the Green Dragon is fine, but wouldn’t it be nice to have another option?” he said.
Kleinman also discussed his efforts to find qualified new faculty to replace department retirees.
“Nothing is more important to me than faculty,” he said. “We are in a moment right now where a lot of faculty are moving into their senior years, and if we don’t do something to … transition, we have a bunch of faculty retiring.”
Kleinman said he also hopes to improve career and internship support for AAP students.
“We think we can have a comprehensive, college-wide new team of people that provide services that you’ve probably never seen from this from the college,” he said.
He said a new career support initiative called “AAP Connect” that will provide students with internship and career placement as well as portfolio support is in the works.
Several AAP students voiced their concerns with regard to more effectively integrating the three divisions of the college.
Pablo Maggi ’16 said fine arts students often feel isolated in the college.
“I’m curious to see ways we can integrate the [fine arts] community into the college. … Can we expect to see a physical connection established between the buildings?” he asked.
Although Kleinman said building a physical connection between Tjaden Hall and Sibley, Milstein and Rand Halls is not possible, he said he does support greater cohesion inside the college, as well as making the college less rigorously divided by academic departments.
“I totally agree with the idea of integration. My one hope was by expanding the [workshop to be accessible to all fine arts students] and making it sufficiently interesting to all students of all disciplines … that learning outside the curriculum would occur,” Kleinman said.