Singular failure to tackle plurality

March 12, 1999

It was interesting to see the list of art and music colleges with no black academics. Many are very small, with fewer than 1,000 students and a staff of 100 full-time equivalent or fewer. Art schools have, by tradition, employed a high number of part-time teachers. Thus a major Scottish art school will have about 70 full-time academics. There is an argument that such numbers are too small to be meaningful.

In any case, the number of Afro-Caribbean people in Scotland, according to the last census, is statistically insignificant, which makes your "naming and shaming" list an absurdity as regards the Glasgow and Edinburgh colleges of art. What would be a more interesting question is the proportion of Glasgow School of Art graduates teaching at the Edinburgh College and vice versa.

H. Ferguson Glasgow

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