ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA & RESTAURO ARCHITECTURA: Prof. Darius Arya – American Institute for Roman Culture, Rome. Season 2014: Nearly $15,000 Tuition Fee’s – Outrageous | AIAC is not a professional accredited School in Rome.
Dear Prof. Arya, thank you for your reply after reading my initial posting that was later forwarded to you @SaveRome Twitter account (21 October 2014). https://twitter.com/SaveRome/status/524886588917284864
As you can see, I corrected the information of my earlier posting after reviewing in detail, the information currently available on the AIRC various Websites, FACEBOOK and Twitter account, as well as relevant information in the Italian scholarly, news, and social media resources.
Initially, I was outraged by the fact that the AIAC organization of Rome charges students nearly $15,000 USD (not including the additional $2000 USD round-trip airfare fees from New York City to Rome, Italy) to attend the forthcoming AIRC Rome Program in Spring | Summer 2014, etc. Source: AIAC, Rome (2014).
Rome SPRING 2015 (JANUARY 12 – MAY 15), as noted in the AIAC’s following webpage notice as of late Oct. 2014:
Housing: $4,400 (including standard use of utilities and unlimited wi-fi)
Total cost: $14,670
Classrooms and faculty
Transport and lodging for excursions and site visits included in course syllabi
Required course readings
Welcome and farewell meals
Library/computer lab access
AIRC student services (dedicated staff, 24/7 emergency phone, resources, support)
Cell phone rental (does not cover airtime)
All museum entry tickets associated with course syllabi
Permesso di soggiorno (stay permit) fees
The program price does not include the following features:
Student health insurance and personal property insurance
Round trip flight to Rome
Airport transfer to and from downtown Rome
Source: http://romanculture.org/programs/signature-semester-program/ [October 2014].
But after doing thorough research into the professional status of the AIAC organization in Rome, the AIRC – The American Institute for Roman Culture “is a non-profit 501(c) 3 organization promoting cultural heritage and sustainability through conferences, academic programs, internships and excavations, etc.,” with the main office of the AIRC headquartered at: The American Institute for Roman Culture, 3800 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 730-174, Austin, Texas, USA 78756; which is located in the center of a shopping mall in downtown, Austin, Texas, USA.
The American Institute for Roman Culture, 3800 N. Lamar Blvd., Suite 730-174, Austin, Texas, USA 78756; ie., The UNITED STATES FEDERAL TAX filling for the “AMERICAN INSTITUTE FOR ROMAN CULTURE INC (2012) https://www.citizenaudit.org/223885181/ or http://pdfs.citizenaudit.org/2014_01_EO/22-3885181_990_201212.pdf Form # 990 Return of organization Exempt Income Tax 2012 filed with the United Stated Department of Treasury | Internal Revenue Service, etc. Between 2008 and 2012, the organization earned a total of $677,188 USD in gifts, grants and contributions, as well as between 2008 and 2012, the organization also earned a total of $2,917,764 USD. According to the filled Income Tax 2012 form the public support percentage of the AIRC organization in Rome | headquartered in Austin, TEXAS is roughly 99.810%.
Likewise, I also read in detail relating to the AIRC work in Rome and more recently in Pompeii, Italy in early 2014.
— The Roman Forum (2003-2005) = Il Foro Romano, AIRC (2003-05 [?]).
And then later at the following ‘AIRC’ Villa of Vignacce excavations just outside of Rome (2006-07):
– ROME – ARCHAEOLOGICAL NEWS: Scavi – Villa della Vignacce – Excavations of the Villa d. Vignacce [Full text / English] “Archaeologists dig up 2nd-century bath complex in Rome.” IHT (19|07|2007).
– ROME – ARCHAEOLOGICAL NEWS: Scavi – Villa della Vignacce – Excavations of the Villa d. Vignacce. [Full text] “Ecco le terme romane di 2000 anni fa. Risplendono le terme di Villa delle Vignacce.” Il Messaggero (20|07|2006) pp. 49 & 56.
And including Dr. Arya’s more recent interview(s) relating to the archaeological investigations in Pompeii, Italy in April 2014:
– POMPEI ARCHEOLOGIA e BENI CULTURALI: & Bufala pompeiana all’acqua pazza | Darius, un texano (arrabbiato) a Pompei | the apodyterium: “Do not fall asleep, on account of the thieves.” Redazione Filelleni | Corriere Della Sera (17-18|04|2014).
– ITALIA ARCHEOLOGIA e BENI CULTURALI: Archaeology and Privatization – Italy, the New ‘Grand Tour’ Rome | Pompeii and the New American Disneyland Approach to Italian Archaeology, l’Espresso; il manifesto; & Corr. Della Sera (18|04|2014).
– ITALIA ARCHEOLOGIA e BENI CULTURALI: ARCHEO DISNEYLAND – Manlio Lilli, I veri siti come Pompei soffrono per mancanza di fondi. Mentre in tuta Italia fioriscono i progetti di finiti parchi a tema, l’Espresso (24|04|2014), p. 90.
l’Espresso (24|04|2014), p. 1 =
l’Espresso (24|04|2014), p. 2 =
Furthermore, in April 2012, I contacted prof. Arya and the ‘AIRC’ organization in Rome. Problematically, either Dr. Arya or one of the staff members of the AIRC of Rome, published the following the report and other information (I requested to be removed from the website of the AIRC) relating to an amended report I had published in October 2011, discussing prof. Clementina Panella (the La Sapienza university of Rome) recent research conducted on the Palatine Hill overlooking the Coliseum valley.
– ROMA – ARCHEOLOGIA Straordinari i risultati degli ultimi scavi della Sapienza: [PDF=] ‘PROGETTO “CURIAE VETERES” SINTESI DEI PRINCIPALI RISULTATI DELLA CAMPAGNA DI SCAVO DEL 2011,’ PROF.SSA CLEMENTINA PANELLA (10/2011).” [in: “Prof.ssa Clementina Panella, Roma-Piazza del Colosseo, area della Meta Sudans; pendici nord-orientali del Palatino,” Dipartimento Di Scienze Dell’ Antichita, La Sapienza (2002-2014) (aggiornato 2014) a cura di Martin G. Conde (foto e stampa e video 1 di 343 https://www.flickr.com/photos/imperial_fora_of_rome/sets/72157594580930580]
1). M. G. Conde | Flickr | WordPress (10|2011).
2). AIRC | via M. G. Conde | Flickr | WordPress (04|2012).
Again, in my initial comments about the outrageous fees charged by the AIRC of Rome for the forthcoming Programs Spring | Summer Season (2014), although Dr. Arya is correct to state that the fees of the AIRC is less inexpensive, then other similar accredited American Universities study programs in the City of Rome.
For example see:
While the Loyola University of Chicago, Illinois (USA) – Study in Rome | Scholarships (2014-15) is somewhat more expensive than the ‘AIRC’ program in Rome, as noted in the following information: “2014-15: Tuition (12-18 credits)” – $17,385” or “JFRC Summer Session 2015 (five-week session) Tuition (6 credits) – $4,230.” http://www.luc.edu/rome/study-abroad-programs/study-abroad-scholarships/
Yet, the difference between the professionally accredited Loyola University of Chicago – Study in Rome Program (2014-15) and the non-profit 501(c) 3 AIRC organization, is the fact that the Loyola University clearly states that a student attending their forthcoming course will received 6 academic credits or 12-18 academic credits depedning on the particular course attending the Loyola university’s program in Rome.
While, in reviewing the ‘AIRC’ webpage information for the Rome program (2014), etc. The ‘AIRC’ website has no readily available information relating to the as to how many academic credits a student will receive for attending the forthcoming course in Rome?
Furthermore, the AIRC of Rome, list on its website – http://romanculture.org/mission/ the “California State University, Fresno’s Division of Continuing and Global Education is the official school of record and transcripting body for AIRC programs.”
But, there is no useful information on the ‘AIRC’ relating to the academic relationship between the ‘AIRC’ of Rome and the “California State University, Fresno, California (USA).
Although, the webpage for the California State University, Fresno, California, USA [10|2014] http://www.fresnostate.edu/cge/international/airc/ has basically the same information as the AIRC’s Rome website. But, the Cal. State Fresno page does have important information relating to the amount of possible academic credits a student will receive if they attend the AIRC | California State University, Fresno Rome, program = “HUM[MANTIES] 101t, 13 units of California State University, Fresno credit.” Why this important information as to number of “13 units” [of academic credits] is not available on the AIRC’s Rome webpage or a back URL to the Cal. State University Fresno webpage is not provided for interested students? Why this information tuition | academic credits is not readily available on the ‘AIAC’ website is rather problematic?
Also, because, of the fact, the AIRC in Rome is simply a “non-profit 501(c) 3 organization”, and not a more traditional accredited professional academic program, such as those offered other professional American university programs in Rome; the AIRC also lacks creditable and independent endorsements from other American universities here in the United States (operating in Rome) or from the American Academy in Rome, as well as from several of the other international academic, schools or institutions located in Rome. This is further complicated by the fact of the ‘AIAC’ past working relationship with Mario Resca (2008-12), Italy’s former and very controversial Director General of the Italian “Direzione Generale per la Valorizzazione del Patrimonio Culturale,” of the MIBAC of Rome, Italy [continued below at: M. G. Conde].
– Mario Resca, “McDonald’s boss in charge of Italy’s museums,” THE TELEGRAPH, LONDON, U.K., (24 November 2008).
– Mario Resca, “Cheeseburgers Get Into the Mix in the Italian Debate on Museums,” THE NEW YORK TIMES (21 November 2008).
Foto: Mario Resca, [former] General Directorate of Management and Promotion of Cultural Heritage of the MIBAC[T] & Prof. Darius Arya, Rome (11 October 2011). Fonte: http://saverome.wordpress.com/ [10|2014].
“…This fall, a group of American architecture students will arrive in Rome to participate in the first semester-long program of the American Institute for Roman Culture (AIRC), a non-profit organization founded by Context Rome partner Tom Rankin and docent Darius Arya.” (13 July 2005).
“…It saddens me to have to add this addendum to the above post made in 2005. In April of 2008, I resigned from the Institute that I had co-founded. Early in the year, despite progress being made towards organizational clarity, critiques of co-founder Darius Arya by board members, officers and faculty went unanswered. In April the only independent board member who had worked probono for the Institute was removed without explanation, and decisions made by the remaining board members made it impossible for me to continue to guarantee the stability of the organization. I can no longer endorse the AIRC although I still believe strongly in the mission for which we worked. I can now be reached at tgrankin[@]mac.com.”
Mr. Tom Rankin, (OCTOBER 2008).
Paul Bennet, “SCALA TO AIRC: TOM RANKIN LAUNCHES A NEW CULTURAL PRESERVATION INITIATIVE IN ROME,” (2005 )
ALSO UPDATED (24|10|2014).
Roman Culture all roads lead to a city not built in a day Save Rome’s Colosseum from Contemporary Roman Culture, by Tom Rankin | Roman Culture (12|01|2012).
Even something as obviously beneficial to world cultural heritage as the restoration of Rome’s most recognizable monument, the Colosseum, or Flavian Amphitheater, has become steeped in controversy. Diego della Valle, owner of Tod’s footwear, has threatened to rescind his offer to underwrite the project after allegations of inappropriateness in the contract for the restoration.
The concept of benefactors, although it can be traced to Rome through the etymology of words like “mecenate” (derived from the name of Gaius Maecenas, generous friend and adviser to the Roman Emperor Augustus), is foreign to Rome today, and Saving Roman Culture is often just another way to make money. Thus worthy efforts like Della Valle’s end up under suspicion, Italians unfamiliar with arts patronage asking “what is in it for him?”
After my own experience as President of the American Institute for Roman Culture in the past (until the actions of several board members led me to resign to preserve my own professional dignity) I understand how even honest efforts to Save Rome can be dragged down by a corrupt or mismanaged administration.
Tom Rankin, Roman Culture (12|01|2012).
[And then later further comment]:
At the conference Our Future’s Past: Sustainable Cultural Heritage in the 21st Century where I presented a paper recently I was surprised to see a web address in a presentation of one of the other presenters. The URL is saverome.org. Interestingly, I purchased this domain when I was working as President of the American Institute for Roman Culture, an organization I had co-founded. At the time I was happy to forward traffic to the AIRC website from my domain but when I left my position there in 2008, I renewed my subscription to the domain but changed its forwarding address.
Shortly after doing so I was informed that someone had transferred ownership of the domain to the AIRC. My requests to the Institute to return my domain were refused, not in itself a big issue, but their refusal to reimburse me the $239 I had paid in advance for a domain they continue to use seemed pretty low.
I didn’t think of it again until the other day when I saw the URL projected on a screen at this conference. Since I paid for the domain renewal out of pocket, and the AIRC was (at the time at least) a recognized 501(c)3, shouldn’t I have received recognition for a donation in kind?
Tom Rankin, Roman Culture (27|11|2011).
Tom Rankin, wrote:
“Interesting, I just read your whole post. Good job … It’s great how information has a way of coming to the surface, isn’t it?”
Tom Rankin to M. G. Conde, via FACEBOOK (25 October 2014).
[Continued from M. G. Conde above:] But as far as my professional opinion, after reviewing the current (and or lacking) information relating to the ‘AIRC’ various programs offered by the ‘AIRC’ in Rome; as well as information on the non-profit organizations past and research in Rome (2003-present); and other relevant recent Italian and English language scholarly, news media, and electronic resources; as well with discussions with other Italian and American scholars working in Rome, familiar with the ‘AIRC’ in Rome, etc. I would not professional recommend to any American student, that they attend the ‘AIRC’ programs in Rome, when there more professional and creditable accredited American University Rome study programs offered in Rome, Italy. While the AIRC may be an interesting and novel way to promote cultural heritage Rome, Italy, the ‘AIAC’ simply lacks professionalism and creditability. As Prof. Cesare Brandi & Prof. Arch. Giorgio Muratore, believed: “No Disneyland in Rome!!!” That includes non-italian unprofessional American archaeological organizations also, such as the [possibly corrupt or mismanaged administration] AIRC of Rome, now being run by CEO Prof. Darius Arya of Rome!
Martin G. Conde
Washington DC, USA
21 October 2014
“…monumenti antichi riportati alla lezione con cui li ammanniscono nei polpettoni delle pellicole storiche. Sicche’a per un pelo si e` capitololato il pericolo di veder sorgere a Roma, una Roma in miniatura tipo Disneyland.”
Prof. Cesare Brandi, La situazione archeologica, Ulisse 2, Sansoni (1966), pp. 9-15.