The embattled Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture School may have worked out a plan that will allow its master’s program to continue.
As we reported in August, the Frank Lloyd Wright Architecture School–the school opened in the 1930s by legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright–was in danger of losing its accreditation as an institution of higher learning.
The architecture school is part of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, a relationship that violates a newly enacted policy from the Higher Learning Commission, a Chicago-based nonprofit that accredits colleges and universities. Accredited institutions must be separate corporations from their non-academic sponsoring organizations, according to the 2012 policy change. In August, HLC notified the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture that it would lose its accreditation by 2017.
Initially, the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation balked at the idea of incorporating the school separately (and losing its control over the school’s operation and direction). But last week, Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation president Sean Malone announced that the board approved independently incorporating the 82-year-old architecture school as long as certain fundraising goals are met.
Students and alumni of the Scottsdale, Arizona, and Spring Green, Wisconsin, campuses vocally supported spinning the school off into an independent entity, rather than partnering with another accredited institution that might change the unique character of the hands-on residential fellowship Frank Lloyd Wright founded in 1932 at his Wisconsin estate Taliesin. “The passion of students, alumni, and other supporters of making the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture independent must now translate into significant financial support,” Malone wrote in a note (obtained by the New York Times) to those involved in the school. The exact amount of money necessary to fundraise has not been determined.