KCAI Names Tony Jones President

Kansas City Art Institute makes Interim President Tony Jones the college’s permanent leader.

After serving as Kansas City Art Institute’s interim president for less than a year, Tony Jones has been named the college’s 24th president. He will lead KCAI through June 30, 2017, with the possibility of a contract extension.

Under Jones’ leadership over the past six months, KCAI has completed a major renovation in the Richard J. Stern Ceramics Building, hosted Studio Nong, a Chinese artist residency program on campus and announced a $25 million donation to the school, believed to be one of the largest ever to an American art college. New projects include the creation of an innovative high-tech studio for 3D printing and rapid-prototyping, new studio space for the sculpture department and restoration of the historic Vanderslice Hall, the college’s administrative building, which is on the National Historic Registry—all to be completed by mid-summer 2016.

“Of the presidents I’ve served under, Tony is, by far, the most charismatic and unifying leader,” says Pat McCown, chairman of the board of trustees. “He has galvanized the staff, faculty and students. He’s been well received by the community and has built confidence with our partners.”

Tony Jones

Trustees saw the opportunity to secure a leader achieving positive results and offer consistency and stability. Jones’ candidacy for the position was unanimously supported.

“I’m very proud to have been asked to serve the KCAI Board, our faculty and staff, and students, and to work in this great city and great college,” Jones says. “It’s a true treasure, a place with a wonderful past, a terrific future, and great friends to help take us there.”

Born in Great Britain, Jones is an internationally known arts administrator, broadcaster, educator, exhibition curator and historian of art, architecture and design, and a consultant on higher education and the arts. Conferred the title Commander of the British Empire by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth in 2003, Jones holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from Tulane University in New Orleans, six honorary doctorates and an array of international honors.