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Director of The Glasgow School of Art News

Professor McAra-McWilliam appointed at the Mac ; GSA Scotland, UK

26 Nov 2018

Professor McAra-McWilliam appointed Director of The Glasgow School of Art

The Board of The Glasgow School of Art has announced today, 26 November 2018, that it has appointed Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam as Director of The Glasgow School of Art.

Glasgow School of Art Director Professor McAra-McWilliam:
Glasgow School of Art Director Professor McAra-McWilliam
photo : Paul Campbell

New Director of The Glasgow School of Art News

The appointment will initially be for one year and the GSA will in due course undertake a full candidate search.

Since 16th October, Professor McAra-McWilliam and Professor Ken Neil have been acting as joint interim Directors and the Board wishes to thank Professor Neil for undertaking this role.

Irene McAra-McWilliam joined the GSA in 2005 as Head of School of Design which flourished under her leadership and expanded to include the Institute of Design Innovation. She was awarded an OBE in the 2016 New Year’s Honours in recognition of her work in Higher Education, Innovation and Design, and in that year was appointed Deputy Director (Innovation). She established the GSA’s Highland Campus at Altyre and created The Innovation School as the GSA’s fifth academic school, reflecting our growth in learning, teaching and research in this new area of creative practice.

Speaking on her appointment Professor McAra-McWilliam said:

“I’m honoured to have been appointed as Director of The Glasgow School of Art. Although we’ve recently had to deal with a very challenging period, I’m confident that we have the soul and spirit to move ahead, aware of just what a successful and innovative art school we are.

Together, we can build on our long history of creativity and innovation as one of the world’s finest art schools. Together, we’ll focus on the future, re-engage with our diverse communities, and re-energise the GSA with the rebuild of the Mackintosh building and our proud history and heritage at its core”.

The Board wishes Professor Irene McAra-McWilliam every success in her new role and is confident that the GSA will continue to be a successful, independent and internationally highly esteemed art school under her leadership.

Irene McAra-McWilliam biography

Irene has worked at the Glasgow School of Art since 2005. Her experience included 18 years in the Netherlands where she was the Design Research Director for Philips Electronics in the Netherlands working on design-led innovation including European Commission funded projects.

She was appointed Deputy Director (Innovation) at GSA in 2016. She developed our Highland Campus in Moray which opened in 2016, created the Innovation School which was launched in 2017, and is responsible for educational innovation at GSA, including the future use of the Mackintosh building for our students, including wider access students in Glasgow and Scotland, our Mackintosh research community, and our national and international research partners.

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