I was very sad to read that Northwestern is considering dropping the jazz program.
I had thought David N. Baker, Jerry Coker and Jamey Aebersold had already won that battle so long ago. The idea that a major university music program wouldn’t have a jazz program? Why, it’s almost barbaric. Especially in the country which gave birth to the art form.
What’s intriguing is that just a few miles south of Northwestern, little Columbia College and UIC are growing their programs at a tremendous pace. It’s seem rather obvious where they’re putting their priorities. What an easy choice as a student wanting to study in Chicago: go north, pay a LOT of money and fight administrivia most of the time or go south and get with a program that is working hard to build the program. It’s a pity – especially since I enjoyed my time at Northwestern when I got the Masters in Jazz Pedagogy degree.
There’s probably some true “business” pressures. We’re seeing consolidation everywhere else – I guess it will hit our universities too. However, I would hope our universities might remain insulated from such corporate nonsense. More evidence that our culture doesn’t value “culture” enough to properly fund it. How sad.