Juilliard Students Continue To Seek A Tuition Freeze

Right before the compensation report week, we examined how Juilliard Students were protesting tuition hikes and since then, the situation has exploded.

The New York Times and Rolling Stones both covered the story along with sector-specific outlets like Inside Higher Education. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the school’s administration has kept to a tight list of talking points but thanks reports in the aforementioned outlets, it became clear that they weren’t afraid to use pressure behind the scenes.

The Rolling Stones article reported at least fifteen students were being denied entry into the Diamond building as a result of participating in protest activity. This is one of the key facilities for instrument storage, classrooms, etc. Getting barred from this building pretty much means students are not able to go about the business of the one thing they are paying the school to provide: an education.

On the other side of that coin, school administrators assert the disciplinary action was the result of protest activity making at least one staffer feel unsafe but additional details were not provided.

Public support has continued to grow and recently included a video from the celebrity violin duo Brett Yang and Eddy Chen of TwoSet Violin. They released a video on 6/21/21 that was very supportive of the students. But what’s interesting is they took a deeper dive into some of the measures the school was taking to clamp down on protest activity.

For example, the students posted video of them being locked in a section of a building in order to contain their activities but an administrator later claimed, on video, they were only “testing to see if that door would lock.” The excuse prompted instantaneous laughter from the duo. It’s an excellent video with an unvarnished perspective.

You can follow the students at their Instagram account.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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