The Kansas City Art Institute has named Tony Jones its 24th president.
Jones has served as interim president of the art institute since December. He is contracted to lead the school through June 30, 2017, with the possibility of an extension.
KCAI officials said the board of trustees selected Jones, in part, because of his “proven leadership, strategic vision and ability to unite staff, faculty and students.”
In the time that Jones has been at the helm, the arts college has completed a major renovation in the Richard J. Stern Ceramics Building, hosted a Chinese artist residency program on campus and announced a $25 million donation to the school. The donation is believed to be one of the largest ever to an American art college.
“Of the presidents I’ve served under, Tony is, by far, the most charismatic and unifying leader,” Pat McCown, chairman of the board of trustees, said in a statement. McCown said Jones has “galvanized the staff, faculty and students. He’s been well received by the community.”
Several other new projects are under way at the midtown campus, including creation of an innovative high-tech studio for 3-D printing and rapid prototyping, new studio space for the sculpture department and restoration of the college’s historic administration building.
All are scheduled for completion by midsummer 2016.
Jones previously was chancellor and president emeritus of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.