Board briefs
November 6, 2012

The Board of Governors seeks to improve communication with you, our community stakeholders.  We will be providing regular Board Briefs to keep you informed on board activities. This is just one of many steps we are taking to keep you informed.  We invite you to approach any member of the Board to provide comments, express views or simply to say hi.


NSCAD’s Board of Governors is in the midst of change, with a new chair, new vice chair and a few new members all of whom serve on a voluntary basis.

Grant Machum, previously the vice-chair, now assumes the role of chair. Grant is a partner at the Atlantic law firm Stewart McKelvey. Originally from New Brunswick, he lives in Halifax with his wife Jane and four children. With interests in arts and culture and community, Grant also serves on the board for Telefilm Canada. 

“I think having NSCAD in Halifax makes the city different, more vibrant, more interesting, than any other city in Canada,” he says.  “NSCAD has so much potential and we need to make sure it’s strong and sustainable by focusing on the most important aspect--our students.  We need to position the university for their future.”

Julia Rivard (BDes 2003), the alumni representative, moves to the position of vice chair. Julia, the mother of three children, is a former Olympic athlete and an entrepreneur. She is currently a senior partner with Norex, a web design company in Halifax and just one of several companies she’s founded. 

The Board of Governors welcomed new members to the ranks at its meeting in September. Ross Cantwell is a developer and real estate consultant with a specialty in strategic planning. Elizabeth Currie is an experienced executive who has spent over 30 years as a leader in marketing and market research. Recently retired, her last position was as the chief operating officer of the Halifax-based Blue Ocean Contact Centre, provider of call centre outsourcing services. 

Both new members who like to see NSCAD’s profile in the community increase by connecting more with the world outside its doors.

“I think it’s a phenomenal institute and it can play an important role in the growth of our city,” says Ross. “Creativity is the key and that’s what NSCAD can offer.”

Also new to the board are: Dr. Marylin MacKay, a professor who teaches in Historical and Critical Studies and is also the chair of Academic Council; and student representatives Sarah Trower, the president of SUNSCAD, and Ashley Bedet, VP Finance for SUNSCAD.

Sustainability Plan

Over the last few years the Board of Governors had to deal with the downturn of the world economy.  Traditionally the operation of NSCAD was based on growth and increases in funding, but in recent years the Province has reduced available funding to NSCAD and other universities.  NSCAD was required to provide a plan for sustainability.  After seeking input from stakeholders, the Board developed a sustainability plan that sought to balance the impact of funding cutbacks.  The Framework for Sustainability was supported by all members of the Board including student and faculty representatives.  NSCAD is waiting for the Province to respond to the Framework.  Both the Acting President and members of the Board have met with stakeholders including FUNSCAD to discuss the Framework and to listen to any new proposals.

Presidential search update

The search for a new president is ongoing. The search committee (comprised of board members, faculty and student representation) has been building a position profile based on feedback from the community including you.  The committee has put out a Request for Proposals seeking a professional search firm. 

According to the committee’s timeline, the search will begin soon with a shortlist of candidates established by December; candidates interviewed in the New Year; and a person recommended for hire to the Board of Governors in April 2013. 

Committee chair Grant Machum says the committee is essentially on schedule, and still expects to have a new president at NSCAD by mid-May, when acting president Dr. Dan O’Brien’s one-year term expires. 

Besides Grant, other committee members include Karin Cope (faculty), Michael Donovan (board), Margaret Fountain (board), Steve Higgins (faculty), Jim Mills (board), David Murphy (alumni rep on the board), and Sarah Trower (SUNSCAD).  Please provide input to any member of the committee. 

Student Awards Reception

Kim Knoll, a member of the Board of Governors, will be a special guest at the Student Awards Reception, to be held Tuesday, Nov. 6 at the Anna Leonowens Gallery. 

The reception is a truly wonderful event, bringing donors and student award winners together. 

In 2009, Kim established a bursary fund for NSCAD students, the J. Dukelow Bursary, in memory of her parents, Jean and James Dukelow. This year, the fund supported six undergraduate and graduate students at NSCAD with awards of $500 each. 

NSCAD Alumni Reception in Toronto

Rob Dimitrieff (BFA 03), a member of the NSCAD Board of Governors, will host a reception for alumni in Toronto, happening on the eve of the Sobey Art Award Anniversary Gala. Acting President Dr. Dan O’Brien, Board Chair Grant Machum and Linda Hutchison, director of University Relations, will also be in attendance at the event. 

The alumni reception takes place Friday, Nov. 16, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen St. West. The reception celebrates the achievements of Eleanor King (BFA 2001), an alumna and director of the Anna Leonowens Gallery. Eleanor is one of five finalists for the Sobey Art Award; her work is on display as part of the Sobey Art Award Exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Toronto.  

The Sobey Art Award is Canada’s pre-eminent award for contemporary Canadian art and was created in 2002 by the Sobey Art Foundation. It is an annual prize given to an artist age 40 or under who has exhibited in a public or commercial art gallery within 18 months of being nominated. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the award. The $50,000 winner of this year’s award will be announced at the gala later in the evening.

On behalf of the Board, thank you.

Grant Machum
Chair of the Board of Governors