Media Release: Lord Vallance concludes historic decade as Royal Conservatoire of Scotland chair

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LORD Vallance of Tummel will today step down as chair of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s board of governors after ten years.

During his tenure as chair of Scotland’s national conservatoire, the institution went through a number of historic developments including name change from RSAMD in 2011 to the positioning of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in the global top ten of performing arts education institutions in 2016.

During his time as chair, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland also undertook a successful bid for conservatoire-level funding, as well as the development and opening of a second Royal Conservatoire campus, the award-winning Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks.

In October, Lord Vallance was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Royal Conservatoire in recognition of his outstanding leadership and contribution.

He is to be succeeded by Nick Kuenssberg OBE.

Mr Kuenssberg brings to the role extensive experience in international business leadership in both the private and public sectors as well as his knowledge of the arts and higher education sectors.

Professor Jeffrey Sharkey, principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, said: “On behalf of the entire staff and student community of this special place, I want to thank Lord Vallance warmly for his outstanding and thoughtful chairing of the board of governors and for overseeing so many of the important milestones in our recent history.

“I’d also like to thank him personally for welcoming me as principal and for his guidance during our time together at RCS.

“I am also delighted to welcome Nick Kuenssberg as our new chair and look forward very much to an exciting new chapter in the story of Scotland’s world-leading performing arts institution.”

Mr Kuenssberg is currently chair of three private companies – a 150 year-old technical textiles business which he took into employee ownership and two young software companies.

He also chairs Social Investment Scotland, one of Scotland’s leading responsible finance institutions and is an honorary professor at the University of Glasgow and member of the strategic advisory board of the Adam Smith Business School, a business angel and mentor.

Previously, he was chair of the Glasgow School of Art, a director of Coats Viyella, Scottish Power and Standard Life amongst other companies, chair of IoD Scotland, Scottish Networks International, Scotland The Brand and ScotlandIS, a director of the Scottish Legal Aid Board, the Scottish Employment Protection Agency and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education UK and a visiting professor at the University of Strathclyde.

Awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Glasgow for services to higher education, he also served on the boards of the Citizen’s Theatre, Pitlochry Festival Theatre and the Scottish International Piano Competition.

Commenting on his new role at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Nick Kuenssberg said: “These are exciting and challenging times for the RCS with an exceptional platform of success built over recent years.

“There remains, however, much to be done to consolidate the position and ensure that the institutional and financial situations match the aspirations of our top-class student body.

“I very much look forward to working with Principal Jeff Sharkey and his outstanding staff to achieve this and the ambitious widening access agenda.”

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