Editorial – new faces in academia

A couple of interesting appointments in the higher education world over the last week, one rather unexpected and one slightly more predictable (and very welcome).

Angus

Last Friday, Central Saint Martins announced Professor Jeremy Till has its new head, replacing Jane Rapley, who is retiring.

With a strong track-record in academic administration and research, Till is still something of a leftfield choice at CSM due to his background exclusively in architecture – he is currently dean of the School of Architecture and the Built Environment at the University of Westminster.

Although CSM runs a RIBA-validated BA course in architecture, it is not generally associated with this subject.

Nigel Carrington, rector of University of Arts London was keen to stress however that Till has not been appointed to put a special focus on architecture at CSM, but is being brought in because ‘he’s an academic leader working in a creative environment’.

Carrington also points out that CSM’s move to King’s Cross, carried out on Rapley’s watch – will ‘provide the platform for us to build on opportunities for interdisciplinery work’.

Meanwhile over at the Royal College of Art, the final piece has been put into place for the very welcome reinstation of the interiors MA, with the news that Ab Rogers is to head up the course.

Interiors at the RCA was killed off back in 2005 when it was merged into the architecture course, and its reinstatement announced in 2009, although it took a number of academic restructures at the RCA before if finally found a home in dean Alex de Rijke’s School of Architecture.

With projects for clients as diverse as Tate Modern and Little Chef under his belt, Rogers’ track record in innovation and commercial sensitivity make him a great choice to lead the revitalised course.

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