As many of you will know, the Witt and Conway libraries have been closed this summer as part of a substantial set of moves in the East Wing. All the libraries are now together in the lower floors of the building; the Witt, Conway and other photographic collections (please see a more detailed report on page 8). Simultaneously we have been able to create spaces on the mezzanine floor for the Research Forum, a development which will benefit the whole Institute. This will give us a new seminar room, a room for visiting scholars and attachments to the Research Forum and an administrative office. The Development Department comes back into the heart of the Institute with two rooms on the ground floor, alongside offices for Facilities and Estates, the student union and a faculty office. Colleagues in the Libraries and in the Estates Department deserve our particular congratulations on the smooth commission of this complex project, which was made possible by an award from the Higher Education Funding Council’s SRIF fund and a generous grant from the Wolfson Foundation. Simultaneously, the project to upgrade the Print Study Room, supported by the DCMS Wolfson fund, is moving towards completion. We are very grateful to the Wolfson Foundation for all this support.

All institutions see regular changes of personnel, and while it is always a pleasure to welcome new colleagues, it is sad to say goodbye to those who leave. Our warm thanks and good wishes are due to colleagues who have left us over the past six months. Amongst those who have joined us, alumni will be delighted, I am sure, to learn of two new appointments to our Development team – David Whitaker our first full time Alumni Relations Manager and Helen Zimmer, our new Research Manager. David and Helen will, in their respective roles, be taking forward the excellent work carried out by Ursula Rimbotti, and helping to build a dynamic alumni organisation.

Dr Joanna Woodall’s term of office as Deputy Director and Head of Studies came to an end in July. The three years of her tenure fell at an exceptional time in the history of the Institute; and she made a significant contribution as the Institute moved through a complex process of change. I would like to express my very warm thanks to her, and to welcome her successor, Professor Christopher Green, to the role.

This Autumn will see further changes in other key parts of our organisation. In November this year Sir Adam Butler will retire as Chairman of the Samuel Courtauld Trust and as a Director on the Courtauld Institute’s Governing Board. Sir Adam has played a key role in the Gallery’s and Institute’s history over many years. We owe him more than can be said in few words, and, for the moment, I will simply thank him sincerely for all that he has done. We are very pleased that Sir Christopher MacLaren has agreed to take on his role.

Finally, we are very pleased to announce that our first ever Halls of Residence for students in the Strand has recently opened its doors, providing accommodation for more than twenty students.

Dr. Deborah Swallow