President, NSCAD University


NSCAD University gratefully acknowledges its place in Mi’kma’ki, on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq Nation. The University is a beacon to those who seek to know the world as it is and to create what it might be. As one of Canada’s oldest independent cultural institutions – shaping art, design and craft since 1887 – it is a community informed by the past, engaged in the present and looking to the future, all with the intention of making a positive impact in our ever-changing world. Today, NSCAD is seeking a President to lead this storied institution into its next chapter.

Also known as the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, NSCAD has long been first to introduce programs and ways of approaching art-making that continue to shape artists, designers and craftspeople in Canada and internationally. It is a small institution with a deep commitment to arts, culture and community engagement. Undergraduate and graduate students thrive in an environment rich in studio and critical studies – an environment that encourages what it means to be an artist, a curator, a researcher. Through active inquiry, members of the NSCAD community identify, define and approach the complexities of our world to challenge conventional thinking. This immersive, rigorous and supportive academic community celebrates the creative contributions of all its members.

At a pivotal point in NSCAD’s history, the next presidential term will see the University lay the foundations through strategic planning and facilities renewal to respond to an important question: How does art school make positive contributions to society through art, craft and design? The next President will lead NSCAD in its pursuit of excellence in teaching, artistic creation, research and service to the broader community. They will create a collegial atmosphere that promotes transparency, integrity and the highest standard of ethical behaviour. While highly effective in managing the institution’s operations, they will also be an ambassador and the external face of NSCAD and lead initiatives to engage with artistic and research partners, government, donors, industry, media, and the community more broadly. They will advance NSCAD’s reputation and profile.

Reporting to the Board of Governors, the successful candidate will be able to evidence significant strategic leadership and the ability to create a shared vision and strategic plan within a complex organization and governance structure. They will have financial acumen as well as experience and strength in team building, fundraising and project management, particularly in leading large building projects. They will have excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to inspire and build positive relationships with students, full and part-time faculty, staff, administrative leaders and the Board of Governors. As such, experience dealing with multiple stakeholders and an ability to represent NSCAD at every level are critical to success.

It is important that the next President has a deep understanding, appreciation and commitment to fine art, craft and design with a studio-based practice or academic portfolio in a discipline relevant to NSCAD. A doctorate or equivalent terminal degree and a solid understanding of provincial, national and international post-secondary education landscapes are essential.

Of critical importance, the next President must be passionate about and committed to equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI), anti-racism and decolonization. They should demonstrate a track record of success in moving forward these agendas in meaningful and impactful ways. They should be able to point to success in building inclusive communities of diverse faculty, students and staff in which people feel welcome and respected. They will need a clear commitment to, and ideally also have experience in, indigenization, decolonization, and truth and reconciliation.

An executive search is being undertaken by NSCAD’s search partner, Perrett Laver. Perrett Laver will support the University in identifying a diverse field of qualified candidates and in the assessment of candidates against the selection criteria. Applications should consist of a full curriculum vitae and cover letter that explains how the candidate meets the selection criteria listed in the appointment details, which can be found at quoting reference number 5080. Interested candidates are asked to submit applications by Friday, June 18th, 2021.

NSCAD regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. As such, the University encourages applications from women, persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, members of visible minorities, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. At NSCAD, you will have the opportunity to work across disciplines and collaborate with an international community of scholars and a diverse student body, situated in a rapidly growing city that has been termed a “hub of innovation.” All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadian and permanent residents will be given priority.

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