In the few weeks since I’ve started in my role at NSCAD, I’ve appreciated the opportunity to meet several members of our community and I look forward to meeting many more of you in the coming weeks. Given that the realities of COVID-19 have delayed my arrival, most of my engagements have been virtual, but what comes through clearly is the degree to which everyone cares passionately about NSCAD, its vision and mission, and the central focus of ensuring student success.
I come into this role with great enthusiasm. NSCAD is so highly regarded as Canada’s most storied art school and one of the most renowned in the world. As news spread about my interim appointment, I heard so many positive, affirming messages from colleagues and leaders throughout the post-secondary sector, particularly those who involved in making and teaching art, design and craft. While I’ve always held NSCAD in the highest regard, I continue to be reminded of how truly admired and respected this university is!
I am excited to work with my colleagues in administration, faculty and staff as we plan for the coming fall semester, and I’m equally eager to listen and learn from all members of our community as we advance priorities such as student recruitment, engagement and diversity and inclusion initiatives.
I’ve recently observed such dedication and collegiality at the July 20 Senate meeting, where the focus on maintaining academic excellence during this unique time was plainly evident, even as most post-secondary institutions shift modes of learning and raise tuitions. That NSCAD has been able to freeze tuition rates for the coming year is a testament to the university’s foundational strength and focus on long term sustainability.
I believe that through commitments to engagement, diversity and inclusion, and proactive approaches towards integrated digital learning, we will continue to deliver the level of innovation and excellence for which NSCAD is known.
Together, and with confidence, we can continue to build on NSCAD’s successes towards a vibrant future for our students and our university; one that creates a more diverse, inclusive and accountable institution and culture. I thank you for your continued focus on our students, for your innovative ideas, your patience, and kind consideration for one another as we navigate forwards.
My door is open, virtually! I welcome your positive ideas and contributions and thank you for your support.
Sarah McKinnon, PhD.