Columbia has been fortunate to employ some great minds in its cinema studies courses, among them Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa (coauthor of Abbas Kiarostami with Jonathan Rosenbaum) and Reader contributors Bill Stamets and Fred Camper. Eliminating these classes would deprive students of their invaluable guidance, and more importantly, the well-rounded understanding of cinema that comes from probing the historic, theoretical, and aesthetic foundations of the medium. Any film program that teaches all practice and no theory is simply lopsided by nature. This is an art form we're talking about.
President Carter addressed the film and video department faculty this morning in a closed meeting. More public announcements will surely follow.