President Bok interrupted a regular meeting of the faculty of Fine ARts Tuesday to announce his decision cancelling a proposal for a $7.8 million extension for the Fogg Art Museum. Bok's action brings an abrupt end to five years of elaborate planning and six months of delay from the Corporation awaiting the project final approval.
A public announcement of Bok's decision about the proposed addition in scheduled for this morning, public relations director David M. Rosen said and yesterday.
Bok said yesterday that a shortage of construction and operating funds as well as concern selling art from the Fogg's collection to help finance the extension would be controversial enough to hamper the Fogg's efforts to find a new director were factors in his decision.
Fogg Museum Director Seymour Slive. who last spring announce his decision to resign fail said the cancellation is extremely painful."
"The building was not designed as a luxury--it was designed to alleviate desperately over-crowed conditions for our staff our students and our library." Slive said
Oleg Grapar chairman of the Fine Arts Department said yesterday that Bok's decision was "legitimate." but he added that it should have been made long ago. "There aren't enough new reasons--the main reasons were known four or five months ago," he said.
Bok said he reached his "final" decision on Monday which construction firms bids on the building expired. The birds exceeded original estimates by about $2 million.
Bok discussed the extensions in a meeting two days earlier with slive Henry Rosovsky. dean of the Faculty, several faculty members and Joe B. Wyatt the university's vice president for administration. He said Sunday night he brought the matter up after the regular meeting of the Board of Overseers.
About $7.5 million had been raised for construction and $6 million had been donated for operating expenses. Slive said Bok said he feared the total was not large enough to safely proceed with the project because of the construciton overrun and estimated future costs.
"We looked over the whole project and it seemed that the risks and burdens were just too great to proceed." Bok said.
"With inflation cutbacks in government aid to higher education, and the rapid rise of tuition it didn't seem prudent to take on a new building," he added.
The decision did not."
The plan to sell some of the Fogg's artwork has been criticized recently by the Association of Art Museum Directors a group of about 150 museum administrators from the United States and Canada.
Ralph T. Coe. president of the association said Tuesday that the sale of artwork for construction violates codes of the Professional Practices of Aert Museums and that at its last meeting the association resolved "to express its concern" over the contemplated sale to Slive and other University officials.
Konrad J. Oberhuber, professor of Fine Arts and a curator at the Fogg discussed Bok's decision in his first lecture for Fine Arts 13 Yesterday.