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Alan Dunlop mounts bid for Glasgow School of Art School chair

September 27 2021

Alan Dunlop mounts bid for Glasgow School of Art School chair

Architect Alan Dunlop has mounted a bid to become chairman of the Glasgow School of Art on a reform ticket after claiming that the institution has 'lost respect'.

An alumnus and tutor at the school Dunlop is bidding to succeed Muriel Gray in the role of a lightning rod for those disillusioned by recent events; including two catastrophic fires and legal action lodged by a group of students contesting a failure to provide adequate tuition.

Speaking to The Herald Dunlop said: "I'm asking architects and other friends if they might support me, as I thought they'd like to see a 'distinguished' alumnus but also an architect, teacher and artist as chair. Raising a litany of complaints against the institution Dunlop continued:

"They take criticism as a personal insult, they're living off past reputation. They don't communicate. Their PR and messaging are terrible. They treat their students as cash cows and they don't listen to independent reports.

"They don't treat their neighbours with respect. There's no leadership. The building burnt down in 2018 after over 150 years of occupancy. Now they're facing legal action from the students. They've lost the respect of other schools. And they've dropped substantially in the university rankings."

A GSA spokesperson said the school had been in communication with Dunlop and offered to meet to discuss these issues but were declined.

To address these concerns Dunlop is assessing options to become chair of the board, promoting a radical change in direction for the organisation which has been helmed by Gray for the past eight years.

The GSA will initiate the process to hold an election for a new chair in the coming weeks. 


Georwell 84
#1 Posted by Georwell 84 on 27 Sep 2021 at 14:53 PM
If this results in some movement toward restoration of the Art School most people would be interested in this change.
Its been 3 years and all we have had is silence form the GSA, GCC and the Scottish Government.
If a building like this in Edinburgh was being ignored there would be an uproar.
#2 Posted by David on 27 Sep 2021 at 16:48 PM
I sincerely hope that he does not succeed with his bid to become chairman. He has called for the Mackintosh building to be completely demolished and a new building constructed is its place. Hardly what the school or city needs to rebuild one of its most iconic structures.
#3 Posted by Bemused_Citizen on 28 Sep 2021 at 08:39 AM
#4 Posted by modernish on 28 Sep 2021 at 08:53 AM
Thanks Goodness, up the hill on Renfrew Street is an ideal springing point for a bridge to Ireland. According to an 'industry insider', "having that little bit of elevation for a starty might even reduce the costs from unfathomable to simply eye-watering..."
PS - Dear Urban Realm, given the Art School's unfortunate record with fires recently perhaps using the term 'lightning rod' is tempting fate a bit too much, or adding insult to injury.
#5 Posted by Norweegie on 28 Sep 2021 at 09:22 AM
Mr Dunlops declaration of intention, I’d argue is good because it brings the discussion on the future direction of the Art school into the open, and he does seem to provoke a rather marmite reaction, which I would hope result in a broader and deeper discussion than is usual.

Personally I’m not convinced on his suitability based on his past comments regarding the Mack building, but I would agree with his assertions on the running of the school. The gradual removal of the technicians who were once at the core of the running of the building probably played a not insignificant factor in the fires in the first place.

Undoubtably Mr Dunlop will be reading some of the comments here and perhaps he may elaborate a little on his intentions?
#6 Posted by Chris on 28 Sep 2021 at 10:09 AM
Sure. As long as he doesn’t try to foist a hubristic modern interpretation on the Mack.
Neil C
#7 Posted by Neil C on 28 Sep 2021 at 10:11 AM
#8 Posted by John on 28 Sep 2021 at 11:16 AM
Lets hope not
Robin B's Discount
#9 Posted by Robin B's Discount on 28 Sep 2021 at 12:49 PM
What next for Mr Dunlop and his never ending fame hungry maneuvers? Looking forward to seeing him on Big Brother, or maybe a celebrity boxing match?
The Bairn
#10 Posted by The Bairn on 28 Sep 2021 at 14:51 PM
Crikey does this guy never give up...?
Never known so much self-generated publicity since the infamous imcident between Richard Branson and Pamela Anderson and a certain 5th member was left dangling for the tabloid photographer to report!
Come back Muriel all is forgiven....err maybe not!!
Someone send him a new notepad to use pronto...
#11 Posted by Ken on 28 Sep 2021 at 16:42 PM

*For everyone out with the Glasgow scribble scene.

Billy Platinum
#12 Posted by Billy Platinum on 28 Sep 2021 at 23:44 PM
He seems a great candidate for the role, he is certainly far more qualified for the role than Muriel Gray.

When people with low qualifications like Muriel Gray get high roles it just stinks of cronyism, Alan Dunlop has good credentials.

Before anyone accuses anyone posting positive things about him of actually being him (like sometimes happens about other things) I only heard of him from after seeing his drawings appear on this site.
#13 Posted by RJB on 29 Sep 2021 at 13:41 PM
Great thats he's putting himself forward and trying to create some change at the GSA. I think Gordon Gibb would be another great candidate for the role.
Brian Sewell
#14 Posted by Brian Sewell on 30 Sep 2021 at 08:00 AM
So, some would believe that a guy who seriously proposed a bridge to Ireland, and who proposed a modernist makeover of the art school building would be a good choice of a GSA chair? Seriously?

John Glenday
#15 Posted by John Glenday on 30 Sep 2021 at 10:02 AM
Can we please keep discussions centred on the role of chair and the school. Any remarks straying into personal attacks will be removed.

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