Glasgow School of Art announces Ann Priest as new Chair of the Board of Governors

Ann Priest has been appointed Chair of the Board of Governors at The Glasgow School of Art following an extensive and rigorous search process, and election by staff and students, it has been announced.

Ann Priest is an experienced Non-Executive Director, who has been a lay member of Glasgow Caledonian University’s Court and a Trustee and Board member for of Glasgow Caledonian New York College for the last six years. She was previously on the Boards of Nottingham Contemporary and Nottingham Creative Quarter Company.

She has over 30-years’ experience in Higher Education most recently as Pro-Vice Chancellor at Nottingham Trent University and Dean at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London (UAL), and of working with the small businesses in both the fashion sector and the wider creative industries.

As Chair of the Board of Governors, Ann Priest will be responsible for the Board’s leadership and effectiveness, and its role in overseeing the GSA’s strategic direction, supporting the School to achieve the ambitions outlined in its new Strategic Plan: 2022 – 2027.

Speaking of her appointment, Ann said:

“I am delighted to have been elected Chair of The Glasgow School of Art Board of Governors and to be leading the Board, supporting Professor Penny Macbeth and her colleagues as the School builds on its strengths, heritage, and distinctive position in UK higher education as one of the world’s leading institutions for art, design, and architecture.

“I firmly believe in the transformational impact of creative education and research for the individual, society, and the economy. This impact is so evident at the GSA, from its UK-leading position in internationally significant and world leading research and practice to the successes of its graduates, many of whom come from some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities, with the GSA recognised as a leader in widening participation.

“The importance of The Glasgow School of Art to Glasgow and Scotland, and the educational, cultural, and civic contribution it makes cannot be overstated. I look forward to working with the Board supporting the School in its commitment to the future, to building strong relationships with all our stakeholders, and ensuring that the GSA continues to be an amazing and inspirational place to be part of and to partner with”.

Professor Penny Macbeth, Director of The Glasgow School of Art, said

“On behalf of everyone at The Glasgow School of Art I would like to welcome and congratulate Ann on her election as Chair of our Board of Governors.

“Ann will lead our Board at a key moment as we implement our new strategic plan, rebuilding the solid foundations that will sustain and develop both our local and global standing and reach alongside our commitment to the highest levels of student and staff experience.  Her knowledge and understanding of art schools and the contribution they make across all aspects of our lives will add richness and value to the already diverse skills and experience of our Board”.

Chair of the Chair Election Committee, Dr Graham Sharp, said:

“The members of the Chair Election Committee are genuinely pleased that this process has concluded so well, and very much look forward to working with the new Chair.

“The process that we worked through was both interesting and rigorous, and ultimately gave every member of the GSA community an opportunity to influence the future leadership of the Board of Governors.

“We were impressed by the scale of the response, which reflected the respect and affection which the GSA enjoys, and we’d like to thank all those who showed an interest in this role and engaged with us so enthusiastically at the various stages of the process. I’d also like to thank the members of the Committee for their time and diligence, and our professional advisors for their support throughout.

“It only remains to congratulate Ann and wish her great success in her role over the coming years.”

Ann Priest has been appointed for an initial period of four years.

Photo credit: Kirsty Anderson