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Sir James Dyson to Succeed Sir Terence Conran as Provost of the Royal College of Art

15 December 2010 ­ – Sir James Dyson, the engineer entrepreneur, is to succeed Sir Terence Conran as Provost of the Royal College of Art. The Head of the College, the Provost presides over meetings of the Court and confers degrees at Convocation. Sir James will take up the post on 1 August 2011, when Sir Terence officially retires from the role.

Sir James Dyson
Sir James Dyson

Sir James Dyson, whose term of appointment is five years, is widely acclaimed as one of the world's most successful and influential design entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, his report for the Conservative Party, Ingenious Britain, called on the Government to re-awaken Britain's innate creativity and competitive spirit. A graduate from the Royal College of Art and a Member of Council since 1998, Sir James has long been a generous supporter of the College, and his educational charity, The James Dyson Foundation, has a close relationship with the RCA.

Dr Paul Thompson, Rector of the Royal College of Art said, 'Sir James Dyson embodies all of the RCA's ideals. A powerful advocate, he has both the international stature and experience of the College's affairs to equip him in his new role as Provost. This is a particularly exciting time for the RCA and Sir James will play a crucial role in the institution­-wide strategic plan we are currently implementing. His intimate knowledge of, and passion for, the College will help engage the entire community in realising our ambitious expansion programme over the next five years.'

He added, 'I would like to express our deep appreciation to Sir Terence Conran, who is stepping down as Provost. We have greatly benefited from his support and service as Provost over the past six years.'

Sir James Dyson said, 'I discovered engineering here under the guidance of Tony Hunt and have enjoyed watching the RCA¹s output ever since. Thanks to Terence Conran¹s ambition and foresight, the College will continue to grow. The UK needs to rediscover its talent for making things. At the RCA the efforts of engineers, designers and scientists converge. I look forward to a period of inventiveness, productivity, and collaboration of brilliant
minds.'

Sir Terence Conran said, 'The Royal College of Art is a unique institution and truly one of the world's elite art and design universities. Its continued success is key to the economic revitalisation of our country, and I say to our politicians, ignore the creativity and innovation of our talented young students at your peril.

'I feel greatly privileged to have been involved with the College for the past 25 years and the last six as Provost, which I have thoroughly enjoyed. It is with sadness that I step down from this role but I'm delighted with the appointment of James Dyson, who I am certain will be an inspirational Provost, and he is certainly the best successor I could think of. He incorporates all the qualities that the RCA can strive for ­ – original design, innovation and entrepreneurialism.'