Kent State fashion school director ‘no longer serving’ in position on eve of annual show

Morgan McGrath, Reporter

In the week leading up to its Annual Fashion Show, the School of Fashion sent out an email stating that Louise Valentine “is no longer serving” as its director.

Louise Valentine, who was hired in September 2019, “is no longer serving” as the School of Fashion director

In the email, sent on April 18 to fashion school students, Noel Palomo-Lovinski, the associate director, said “Dr. Louise Valentine is no longer serving as the School of Fashion director… We will most certainly miss her!” Valentine also held the Peg’s Foundation Endowed Leadership Chair in the school.

Palomo-Lovinski said the school was trying to find a replacement for Valentine. Since then, Valentine’s profile page on the university website was removed and Marie Bukowski, associate dean of the College of the Arts, was identified as the acting director. Valentine’s listing still appears in the university’s directory information.

Officials at the school referred KentWired’s inquiries about the reason for Valentine’s departure to Eric Mansfield, the university’s communications and marketing assistant vice president, who said, “[t]he university does not comment on personnel matters.”

Valentine was hired in September 2019 from the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Scotland.

“We are thrilled to have Louise join as our new fashion school director,” said John Crawford-Spinelli, dean of the College of the Arts, in a university press release at the time. “She brings exceptional experience in research, innovation and design.”

Valentine holds a doctoral degree in design from the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. She is also an author and editor of “Prototype: Design and Craft in the 21st Century,” “Past, Present & Future Craft Practice” and “New Craft Future Voices.”’

“Kent State’s Fashion School has an excellent reputation and is establishing itself as one of the very best in the world, based on an outstanding student experience and research that transforms people’s lives through the arts,” Valentine said when she was hired. “I very much look forward to leading the Fashion School in its next stage of development.”

KentWired staff reached out to Valentine for comment via her Kent email; there has been no reply as of April 28.

Morgan McGrath is a reporter. Contact her at [email protected].