Professor Anthony Jones is resigning as rector of the Royal College of Art. Jones will step down this summer.
His premature departure has been forced by his son’s long-standing illness. Jones will move back to the US, from where he joined the RCA in 1992 for what was initially a five-year contract.
Chairman of the RCA Council Sir Michael Butler says everyone at the RCA shares his “sadness” at the news. Butler praises Jones’ “dedicated” direction, saying the college “has consolidated its distinguished reputation”.
Jones himself says: “It is with great regret that I have resigned.”
A successor as rector will be decided on jointly by the RCA’s senate and council, says an RCA spokeswoman. The council will meet at the end of January to decide on the mechanism and timetable for the appointment.
Speculation is already centring on pro-rector Professor Christopher Frayling, known to have been shortlisted three years ago. Frayling is currently unavailable to comment.
Meanwhile, the RCA is going ahead with 1.1m plans to extend its library, having secured further funding of 50 000 from the Wolfson Foundation.
The RCA has already received 250 000 from the Library Funding Council and obtained planning permission for the second floor extension, designed by architect Wright & Wright.
According to Frayling, “our library has always been our Achilles heel”. It is not, he adds, big enough for a college gearing up to be a major force in research.