Cathy Curtis responds: I was not evaluating the UC Irvine studio art program in this feature. If I were, I would have talked with faculty as well as students. The "disapproving tone" he mentions is not mine; it comes from certain students. On another point, I asked everyone what sort of inspiration or guidance the faculty provided and virtually none of the students had much to say on that subject. Very few students credited any one faculty member with particular insight or helpfulness.
As a former graduate student on another UC campus, I well understand that graduate school is not the place to learn the rudiments of one's craft. On the other hand, my impression is that few students felt they owed much at all to the faculty. It almost seemed as though they could have done their "research and experiments" as an isolated community, apart from the structure and expertise represented by a university department.