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NYC culinary school to discontinue program

NEW YORK The Art Institute of New York City, a local source of restaurant talent here, alerted students and faculty last week that it would phase out its culinary and restaurant-management degree programs because of declining interest.

Aspokeswoman said the 600 or so students currently enrolled in the programs would be able to Òcontinue with the same instructors until they complete their degrees,Ó a process that will take 18 months.

"However, we will not be taking any new students as of March 31," she said.

In a letter posted on the school's website, AINYC president Tim Howard said, "While this is an extremely difficult decision, it has become increasingly evident that interest in the culinary program continues to decrease."

Afaculty member said administrators also cited high lease renewal costs as a reason for the discontinuation.

Robert Kern, lead instructor at AINYC, said the culinary and restaurant management programs employ about 40 faculty members who belong to the United Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers. The faculty members were expected to hold a meeting Monday to "determine how to respond to the decision [to discontinue the programs]," he added.

The AINYC spokeswoman indicated that many of the faculty members are "qualified in other fields" and could be considered for positions "available in the art and design programs," which will remain intact.

The school was formerly known as the New York Restaurant School.

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