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Announcement from Board of Trustees

We regret to announce that after several years of exploration, evaluation, and deliberation, the Oregon College of Art and Craft Board of Trustees approved a resolution to terminate all degree programs at the end of this academic term. May 19, 2019, will mark the commencement ceremony for the final graduating class of OCAC.

While this was a difficult and painful decision, the Board explored numerous options in hopes of continuing OCAC’s 112-year legacy, ultimately determining that closure is the only responsible option. The Board made this decision now to prioritize the well-being of students, faculty and staff, and fulfill its fiduciary obligations to the institution. In the Board's best business judgment, a thoughtful and orderly closure process offers the best possible outcome for all affected, and is therefore the right and only responsible thing to do.   

The path to closure was paved with years of restructuring, none of which could sufficiently eradicate the rising costs of running a private arts college in the 21st century. Since the most recent financial recession, it has been difficult to sustain our high level of academic programming in the arts and, unfortunately, we are not alone in this struggle. 

The decision by the OCAC Board of Trustees to close the college has been nothing short of heartbreaking for the tight-knit band of makers who have called this creative oasis in the southwest hills of Portland a home. Many of our cherished faculty members have devoted over 30 years to this institution.

With the final OCAC Commencement Ceremony approaching on May 19, 2019, we are working diligently to transition students into new institutions that fit their educational needs, and to help faculty and staff transition to the next phase of their academic and professional lives. OCAC plans to cease all operations at the end of May 2019, following the spring term.

We are pleased to announce the sale of the OCAC campus to our longtime neighbor, Catlin Gabel School. While this news may be bittersweet for much of our community, we also know many will be relieved that the campus has been sold to a school with deep connections to OCAC. This which will allow us to continue funding operations through the remainder of the 2019 spring semester.  

While the sale is final as of today, April 29, 2019, OCAC will temporarily lease back property from Catlin Gabel to ensure our students are able to complete the May term and allow for an orderly closure after our final commencement ceremony.  We will continue to share updates on the upcoming closure as new information is available. In the meantime, we hope you will join us in welcoming Catlin Gabel to the campus. Read the full Property Sale Announcement HERE

As we discuss with the community what a future after OCAC looks like, our spirits are bolstered by the generations of artists and craftspeople primed to continue the practices they learned here and share them with the next generation. OCAC’s tribe of makers, designers, and creative thinkers will continue to shift the paradigm throughout the Oregon art scene and beyond. Today, as we endure this difficult time, we are grateful for this vibrant community.