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Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture Set to Lose Accreditation in 2017

Taliesin West faces possible closure in 2017.
Taliesin West faces possible closure in 2017.
Artotem via Flickr

It looks like the graduating class of 2017 may be the last for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation's board of trustees has decided not to pursue independent incorporation for the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, which, thanks to a recent 2012 policy by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), is now required to remain an accredited school. As a result, in two and a half years, the school's Master of Architecture program will come to an end.

See also: Frank Lloyd Wright House in Phoenix Sold Again to New Anonymous Buyer

The Board of Trustees' decision to not make changes that would restore the accreditation of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture comes as a major disappointment to the school's governing board, which released the following statement:

"We encourage Foundation leadership to reconsider their actions and engage the School and its leadership in a productive conversation about how to continue the accredited Master of Architecture program the School now enjoys. Without it, they will be responsible for ending one of the most distinctive chapters in American architectural education and one of the greatest architectural legacies of all time."

Should the Foundation's board of trustees change their decision, the governing board believes that the HLC would be willing to work with the school to become accredited under the new policy. "They've been enormously cooperative and helpful with us," says governing board member David Mahoney, who believes that giving the school independent incorporation wouldn't produce any major changes to way things operate currently.

"I still believe personally that the Foundation could exert all of the financial control, governing control, so there would not be any concern that they would have to make a commitment to something they couldn't control."

The Foundation's board of trustees will meet next month with the possibility of revisiting this decision. Until then, the school's governing board is getting the word out while remaining hopeful in the continued future of the school.

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