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Glasgow School of Art Director Tom Inns to Step Down

Above: Professor Tom Inns.
Above: Professor Tom Inns.

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND—Professor Tom Inns will resign as director of the Glasgow School of Art after five years leading the institution. The announcement was made on the school’s press site. Professors Irene McAra-McWilliam and Ken Neil will lead the school the school on an interim basis until a new director is appointed by the school’s Board of Governors.

“On behalf of the GSA Board and all at the school, I would like to wish Tom all the very best for the future,” board chair Muriel Gray said. “He has had the most challenging tenure at the helm of the GSA and we are truly grateful for all his enormous commitment and hard work—especially over the course of the past few months.”

During Inns’ tenure, the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building suffered two devastating fires: the first in May 2014 and the second in June 2018. In the months since the second fire, the school has faced criticism from neighborhood businesses and residents over the prolonged effort to repair the building. The Scottish parliament found “systemic failings” in a review of the school’s stewardship of the historic world-renowned structure.

In 2014, Inns oversaw the opening of the Reid Building, which houses the School of Design, and secured funding for the Stow Building redevelopment, which will host new studios and workshops for the School of Art when it opens in June 2019. Inns also opened the school’s Highlands Campus and increased its participation in international activities and recruitment of students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

“Glasgow School of Art is an exceptional place, in stepping down, I will miss the creative energy of staff and students enormously, and I wish them all well as the institution approaches its 175th birthday in 2020,” Inns said. “Since the fire in June 2018, just months before the building was to be handed back to GSA, we’ve worked tirelessly to stabilize the building as quickly as possible to minimize disruption to our local community and to reopen our own campus for the new academic year.”

“The Board of Governors is now developing plans to rebuild the Mackintosh Building. I have led GSA through the challenges of fire recovery twice and a restoration of the Mackintosh Building, whilst simultaneously extending GSA’s global reputation, delivering growth, opening up opportunities for disadvantaged students and transforming other parts of GSA’s estate. It is now time for a new director to work with the board to deliver the future vision for GSA.”

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November 5, 2018