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Discord at the AA over head’s re-appointment

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Three past presidents of the Architectural Association have voiced concern in the run up to the re-appointment, on a new contract, of the school’s head Brett Steele

Last Friday Steele and the Architectural Association (AA) council agreed new terms of appointment, formally recognising him as both ‘director of school’ and ‘director of association’.

However past presidents Marina Adams, Michael Foster and Michael Pearson, plus 11 other signatories, have called a special general meeting on 3 March with the aim of debating the appointment.

A flurry of anonymous articles in AA student publications have also criticised the move, claiming the contract decision was taken without the school community and members’ full consultation.

In a letter to the school community, AA president Alex Lifschutz, said: ‘Although redrafted to be more logical, the duties and responsibilities in Brett’s new contract are the same as they were in his previous contract.

‘Rather than consulting first about alternative possibilities for the strategic leadership of the AA and its various parts and leaving the director’s post open, the council preferred to sign a new contract with Brett that reflects his current duties and then to begin a discussion across the school and the AA.’

The school’s validation by the RIBA is fast approaching with students set to meet the external moderators this Friday (18 February).

AA Secretary Kathleen Formosa explained: ‘We would like to hear from any stakeholder what they would propose as a way forward for the organisation, which has doubled in size over the past five years.

‘[Brett Steele] has received the overwhelmingly positive endorsement of the school community. I’m sorry that there are people there who feel that way [but] there have been plenty of opportunities for students to attend open councils meetings and call up our office and no one has done this.’

AA students were reluctant to openly discuss their concerns.



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