Update from the Presidential Search Committee

Dear NSCAD community,

The Presidential Search Committee, working with executive search firm Perrett Laver, is committed to providing the NSCAD community with progress updates throughout the search process. Stage 1 – the consultation process – is now complete.

During mid- April/May 2021, Perrett Laver conducted online engagement forums with internal NSCAD stakeholder groups and targeted meetings with external stakeholders. The firm invited more than 150 participants to share thoughts on the key opportunities and challenges for NSCAD, as well as the key qualities they would like to see in the next president. More than 50 took up the invitation and participated online or by phone.

Perrett Laver also solicited email feedback from retired faculty and board of governors, and encouraged the broader NSCAD community to send comments either through email or the Presidential Search Committee web page.

Situational themes from the engagement activities include:

  • NSCAD is more than ever open to change and shift in culture
  • NSCAD can be ahead of the curve with equity, diversity and inclusion and take current initiatives to the next level
  • There is significant potential for fundraising and advancement to improve NSCAD’s financial sustainability
  • NSCAD had a difficult year with pandemic, leadership changes, criticism of board of governors, and fatigue from online learning
  • Faculty have concerns about impact of infrastructure and other changes on course and program offerings
  • There is broad desire for more diverse leadership and better public response to social justice issues

Stakeholders’ feedback on the desired characteristics of the individual to serve as the next president include:

  • Significant academic credibility through post-secondary sector experience and a PhD
  • An artistic/creative background with a practice/understanding of studio-based fine art, craft or design
  • Strategic and visionary leadership that can build trust, effective relationships and support for NSCAD’s priorities
  • Strong management and administration skills and experience
  • Deep experience in external relations including community engagement, fundraising and advancement
  • Experience championing diversity, anti-racism, anti-oppression, decolonization

Perrett Laver developed a position profile based on this feedback, and a public advertisement for the position is now being promoted.

Throughout June, the firm will develop a long list of prospective candidates for the Presidential Search Committee’s consideration. We will continue to share updates on the committee’s work, and the NSCAD community is welcome to provide input to the committee at any point in the process via the committee’s web page.


Jim Horwich, Presidential Search Committee Chair

NSCAD Board of Governors