Letter to the Deans in support of Brian Fitzhugh
Carol Becker, Dean of Faculty, Columbia University School of the Arts
Jana Hart Wright, Dean of Academic Administration, Columbia University School of the Arts
Ira Deutchman, Chair and Professor, Columbia University Film Department
We are writing regarding the recent dismissal of long time Columbia Film School Equipment Room manager, Brian Fitzhugh. His service record is exemplary and countless emerging filmmakers relied on his advice and support as they created their films. His dismissal comes as a shock to all of us who know him.
We as current students and alumni have found him to be thoughtful, easy to work with, insightful, and always at the ready to lend a hand. He treated each student, novice or professional, with fairness, respect, and compassion, and offered thoughtful guidance through the often arduous task of completing class projects and Thesis productions. This has made a huge difference in our lives, both personally and professionally. So many students owe so much to him for what he has done for them.
Dismissing Brian Fitzhugh means that his technical experience is dismissed, his capacity for working with and empowering students is also dismissed, and his maturity in handling crisis situations is also dismissed.
We are distressed that an esteemed institution such as Columbia has foregone the process whereby a staff member of such stature and seniority is given an opportunity to defend his record of service. We strongly urge the administration to review this decision and to retain Brian Fitzhugh in an appropriate position.
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