Posted by Doreen Higgins on Jan 14, 2019
We welcomed John Buckovich, a SCAD vice president, to our breakfast meeting this week. John is a Vice President for SCAD Savannah and University Safety. He comes with 30 years of law enforcement experience, public safety know-how and emergency preparedness. He brings expertise in leadership, critical thinking and crisis response.
He reviewed the past forty years of SCAD in Savannah, its contributions in terms of finance, neighborhood improvement, safety mitigation, and security on and for the university campus. Parents, he said, are “trusting their kids to you” and these are kids of 18, 19 years of age. Their propensity for getting into trouble is taken very seriously. SCAD, John reminded us, is a non-profit accredited university opened in 1979. It is the largest of its kind in the US, with a total enrollment of 15,000 students in its campuses from all states and 100 countries, offering 40 majors and 60 minors. It has campuses in Atlanta, Savannah, Lacoste (France) and Hong Kong.

John told us about the benefits brought to Savannah since SCAD’s opening, with pictures – before and after – of various buildings. These included the SCAD Museum of Art, the Jen Library, and Arnold Hall. The refurbishment of these buildings benefited not only the university; it substantially improved the immediate neighborhoods in terms of appearance, safety, property values, and employment opportunities. “It’s much easier to sell a property that is near a SCAD building,” John said. Over the period that the university has had a presence in Savannah, it is estimated that its value to the city has been over 2000 jobs and a 100% increase in the value of nearby properties.

In terms of safety, the university has provided significant resources. The presence of uniformed security staff and 24/7 patrolling of all SCAD buildings and properties in the city offers added safety and deterrence to criminal activity in and near SCAD neighborhoods. In addition, SCAD has funded the installation of “Shotspotters.” This is a $350,000 investment of 1000 cameras in and near SCAD property with access offered to the Savannah Police Department.

SCAD alumni, over the past forty years, have been assets to the university and, notably, to Savannah itself. Many of them remain in Georgia, where they recruit new students for SCAD, provide employment in their businesses or professions, and, in many instances, provide or help community service. What does the future hold? SCAD expects continued expansion of its student body. Its academic policies facilitate growth in that they are flexible – for example, there is no tenure and academic employment is on an annual basis. The university, John said, is often approached to open additional locations.

Answering a question, John told us that tuition is currently about $38,000. We thanked John for his presentation and SCAD for all it has done for Savannah.
Pictured below are John Buckovich and President Andy.