Word has been spreading since yesterday about the resignation of Michael Jemtrud, Director of McGill's School of Architecture. Archinect has just been anonymously informed, however, that "a very reliable senior faculty source within the school" has confirmed that the resignation was forced and that Jemtrud is not allowed to talk about it.
The message we received follows:
On Thursday, June 23, 2011, Michael Jemtrud was forced to resign from his position as Director of McGill University School of Architecture. Jemtrud was hired four years ago with a mandate to integrate current technologies into the professional programs, to reinvigorate critical discussion and research about their use, and to foster a clearer organizational structure and closer collaborations within the school's many professional and post-professional programs. Jemtrud approached the job with a distinct vision and direction, and an ability to move quickly while continuing to foster the school's longstanding strengths. In recent months it had become apparent that this level of ambition and intensity was never truly desired by the faculty or the university. While this sudden move to force Jemtrud out of his leadership role is provoking both outrage and mixed responses among the school's faculty, Jemtrud had enjoyed overwhelming support among students--who saw that their education under Jemtrud's directorship better preparing them to engage the profession in meaningful ways.
As current students of McGill University School of Architecture, we want to make our position known. In recent months, our work had been emerging into the international spotlight through a number of initiatives that uniquely engage the use and understanding of technology within the profession. Our school had become vibrant, engaging, and prolific in ways that were unimaginable only a few years ago. While our colleagues in other North American schools of architecture might perceive this move as one of McGill simply returning to its old ways, this falls short of the truth: in the coming days, a new McGill University School of Architecture will begin to emerge. We do not know what is in store for us.