Director retires as writ is dropped

October 14, 2005

The director of an art and design college has retired after a storm over a colleague who left to join a rival institution, writes Jessica Shepherd.

Vaughan Grylls, who has been at the helm of the Kent Institute of Art and Design (Kiad) for nearly ten years, will return to practising as an artist full time.

Professor Grylls' retirement comes after a writ against one of the college's former staff, Don Gray, was dropped.

Mr Gray left the institute's architecture department to set up a rival architecture school at Kent University in March. He handed in his notice and was dismissed two weeks later.

Kiad pursued him for £300,000 damages for allegedly misusing their database of addresses, telephone numbers, salaries and grades of staff for his next job.

Professor Grylls said that when he retired he would continue to take pride in Kiad, which has been given degree-awarding powers and has merged with the Surrey Institute of Art and Design.

The institution, now known as University College for the Creative Arts at Canterbury, Epsom, Farnham, Maidstone and Rochester, is seeking to become a fully fledged university of the arts.

Professor Grylls said: "I have utter confidence that I am leaving the new university college in very safe hands and that, as a consequence, the future of specialist university-level education in the creative arts is now very much assured.

"I shall watch the development of the university college into a new university for the creative arts with interest and pride."

The rival institutions confirmed that the writ had been dropped and said they had "resolved their differences".

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