The Board of Governors shapes NSCAD’s foundations while governing the university. These passionate, dedicated individuals have backgrounds in art education, administration, law, the non-profit sector, marketing, business development, and more. The Board consists of governors in council who are appointed by the province, stakeholder representatives, internally appointed students and faculty members, representatives from the Alumni Association, and governors at large.

“The school is small but so very mighty.  Its reputation, the achievements of its alumni and faculty, and the respect it garners internationally outshines most any other university in Canada.  And this by a school with a student body numbering less than 1,000!”

“It’s this strength that has allowed the university to withstand some very big challenges in the past few years, including pressure to affiliate with another university in the city.  But the NSCAD Board of Governors did its homework, and was able to prove that such a move would not only result in no cost savings for the university, but that its program offerings, its brand and reputation would be adversely affected.  The NSCAD Board of Governors proudly re-affirmed the university’s independence in 2014, and put an end to any further discussion about merger or affiliation. Further, by following NSCAD’s Framework for Sustainability (2012), NSCAD has turned the corner on the financial difficulties of the past and is on a sustainable course.”

– Jeff Somerville, Chair

Click here to read the NSCAD University Board By-Laws.



The Advancement Committee supports the NSCAD Board of Governors stewardship responsibilities relating to strategic planning and advancement, and provides active leadership in support of the Advancement Office’s efforts in such areas as fundraising and friend-raising.

The Audit & Risk Oversight Committee supports the NSCAD Board of Governors in the fulfillment of its stewardship responsibilities in the following areas: financial oversight, risk oversight, and monitoring the integrity of internal controls and management information systems.

The Financial & Physical Resources Committee supports the NSCAD Board of Governors in the fulfillment of its stewardship responsibilities in the following areas: oversight of NSCAD’s financial planning and policy framework including multi-year financial plans and annual budgets; monitoring NSCAD’s ongoing financial performance and needs; oversight of NSCAD’s investments; and oversight of NSCAD’s short and long-term plans for its physical facilities.

The Governance & Human Resources Committee supports the NSCAD Board of Governors in its efforts to continuously improve the effectiveness and efficiency of its governance of NSCAD and in the oversight of NSCAD’s management of its human resources.

Contact information:



Jeff Somerville

Chair, NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor At Large)

Ex-Officio Member of all Board standing committees

Jeff has an extensive and diverse business background.  As a leader with TD Bank Financial Group for 24 years, Jeff held a variety of senior positions including Senior Vice President Atlantic Region from 1992-1997 and Senior Vice President Commercial Banking, Ontario Region from 1997-1999.  In 2000, Jeff left the bank and he and his wife Angie returned to Nova Scotia.  Jeff was the President and CEO of Premiere Executive Suites from 2000 to 2003 during which time he was selected as one of Atlantic Canada’s top 50 CEO’s.

He was VP Business Development of the Nova Scotia Community College from 2003 to 2006 and from 2006 to 2012 he was a business consultant working with a variety of small to mid-sized businesses in Nova Scotia.  From 2012 to 2015, Jeff was a partner in the Halifax-based professional and executive search firm Venor Search Group.  He continues as an advisor to the firm.

Jeff is also an active community volunteer.  He served previously as both Chair of the Board of Laing House Foundation and Chair of the Board of Laing House Association.  He was Chair of the Board of the Halifax Chamber of Commerce and Treasurer and Board Member of the Offshore Technical Research Association of NS and Black Business Consulting.  He is also a member of the Sobey’s Pension Fund Investment Committee Board and the Advisory Board for Atlantic Signature Mortgage and Loans.

Dave van de Wetering

Vice Chair, NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor In Counsel)

Audit & Risk Oversight Committee

Dave grew up in Stratford, ON, completed a B. Comm at Mount Allison, and an MBA at Université Laval.  He moved to Halifax in 1998 with his company Ciena (Nortel at the time) to sell telecommunications infrastructure to Bell, but the fact that his Nova Scotian raised wife, Moira, wanted their two children Emma and Conor to grow up in Nova Scotia, was probably the deciding factor.

Over the years, Dave has been involved in many community organizations, including the United Way, Alzheimer’s, Habitat for Humanity NS, Canadian Parents for French, UNICEF Canada and Schmeelk Canada Foundation.

Alan MacPherson

Treasurer, NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor At Large)

Financial & Physical Resources Committee (Chair)

Alan MacPherson is an owner and President of Duron Atlantic, one of the region’s most diverse multi-trade contractors for concrete restorations, waterproofing membranes, and floor coatings.  Prior to Duron, Alan worked in senior management positions at Killam Properties, Shannex Incorporated, Deliotte, Lennox Industries and as an independent business consultant.

Alan serves on the Board of Directors for Ronald McDonald House and volunteers as an Advisor for Entrepreneurs’ Forum.  He has served as an Advisor at Dalhousie University’s Faculty of Engineering as Editorial Board Member with DialoguePlus, and on the Finance Committee with Engineers Nova Scotia.  Alan is a Professional Engineer and holds an MBA from York University.

Sean Kelly

Secretary, NSCAD Board of Governors (Governor In Counsel)

Advancement Committee

Governance & Human Resources Committee

Sean practices labour and employment law at the firm Stewart McKelvey and works with employers across a wide variety of industries.  He holds a law degree from Dalhousie University, a masters degree from in labour studies from McMaster University and a bachelor of arts (honours) from Mount Allison University.  Before becoming a lawyer, he worked for a number of years coaching and running sailing programs throughout Canada.  He enjoys travelling and surfing.

Prof. Dianne Taylor-Gearing

President, NSCAD University

Ex-Officio Member of all Board Standing Committees

Dianne serves as the President of NSCAD University, beginning her term on August 4, 2014.

She has a storied career as an art educator, fashion designer and administrator, with substantial experience working in independent arts institutions in the UK, US and Canada, including Alberta College of Art and Design and University for the Creative Arts.

She is passionate about student achievement, and driven by a strong sense of social responsibility.

Cameron Jantzen

Alumni Member, NSCAD Board of Governors

Governance & Human Resources Committee

Cameron is an award-winning Creative Director and Owner at Rarebird, formed in 2014.  He began his design career in London, UK in 2002 and graduated from NSCAD BDes (hons) in 2003.  He also received a BCom from UVic in 2000 with a specialization in Entrepreneurship.  With his background, Rarebird focuses on brand strategy and design primarily for owner/operator businesses with two to 50 employees.

Cameron volunteers with community building and place-making projects, such as Common Roots Urban Farm, Switch Open Street Sundays, and Deacon/Windcrest and École St. Catherine’s School street paintings.  Cameron lives in Halifax with his wife and two kids (not the goat kind), aged 6 and 10.

Elizabeth Currie

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor At Large

Advancement Committee (Chair)

Elizabeth is an experienced executive who has spent over 30 years as a leader in the contact centre industry, retiring in 2011 as COO of Halifax-based Blue Ocean Contact Centre.  She is a former Certified Market Research Professional and member of numerous industry associations.

She has been an advisor to the Ecology Action Centre, the Sacred Heart School, and the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.

Elizabeth has three children and lives in Halifax and Mahone Bay with her husband Rob Grant.

Faten Alshazly

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor In Counsel

Advancement Committee

Faten is the Principal and Chief Creative Officer of WeUsThem Inc., a full service agency with a client roster that boasts the likes of Telus, Kaplan International, The Kempinski Group, Xerox, Equifax, Stanfields and Pratt & Whitney to name a few.  Faten is one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Arts and Communications, named 1 of 5 Women of Inspiration by Canadian Immigrant Magazine, and a Woman of Excellence by the Canadian Progress Club.

Her leadership has brought home a Webby, a Gold Davey, a CANNES Lions and an Advertising Age nod for WeUsThem.  As part of her work in the community, she has been a director on the board of the Mental Health Foundation.  Faten occasionally teaches at the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University and the School of Design at NSCAD University along with mentoring students through to professional careers post graduation.

Gary Edwards

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor At Large

Financial & Physical Resources Committee

Gary is a musician, a lawyer and a sailor.  A native Haligonian, he holds degrees in Business and Law from Saint Mary’s and Dalhousie Universities.  For 20 years, Gary traveled extensively throughout North America and Europe with the musical acts The Hopping Penguins and Big Rude Jake. After getting off the road, Gary worked in film and teaching while raising his three children and continuing to pursue live music performance.

Currently Gary works in the governance and administration of a few private foundations, including the Colonel Harland Sanders Charities.  As well, he is deeply involved in the coaching and training of young hockey prospects.  Gary splits his time between homes in Toronto and on Tancook Island, Nova Scotia with his wife, Jennifer Lynn Dick, a choreographer and dance scholar.  His principal band, The Hopping Penguins, continues in its 35th year.

Gordon Whittaker

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor In Counsel

Audit & Risk Oversight Committee

Advancement Committee

Gordon brings over 25 years of experience in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors to the board, having held senior positions in sales, marketing, operations and business development. He has an MBA from UBC and a BA Commerce from Queen’s University.

A Haligonian since 1996, Gordon is actively involved in city building, serving on the Board of Management for the Downtown Halifax Business Commission, the Strategic Urban Partnership and the Halifax Chamber of Commerce as a member of both the Municipal and Provincial Affairs committees.

Gordon’s interest in NSCAD University stems from his belief that NSCAD is a pillar of the community and significantly contributes to the city and province’s cultural identity, diversity and depth.

Greg Bambury

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor At Large

Governance & Human Resources Committee

Greg is Vice President of Human Resources, Communication and Marketing for Medavie Inc., Medavie Blue Cross and Medavie Emergency Medical Services. Prior to joining Medavie Greg was the Atlantic Account Director for Towers Watson, and the senior executive for Supply Management, Refinery Business Services and Human Resources for Irving Oil.

Greg holds a Master of Science (Management), Master Business Administration, and a BA in Sociology as well as several HR related professional designations.

Jeff Burns

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor At Large

Audit & Risk Oversight Committee

Jeff is Director and Team Leader for CIBC Commercial Banking, grew up in Bedford, NS and after a few years away, lives there again.  He is an alumnus of Dalhousie University, where he obtained a Bachelor of Management degree and an MBA.  Upon graduation, he moved to Toronto to work for CIBC, returning to Nova Scotia in 2006.  He and wife Diana are the proud parents of two young daughters.

Jeff is pleased to be joining the NSCAD Board of Governors as Governor At Large.  He is passionate about the arts and NSCAD’s role as a cultural leader.  As an active member of the community, he also serves on the board for the Dartmouth Adult Service Centre (DASC) and participates through CIBC in fundraising for United Way and Run for the Cure.

Joanne Hames

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor At Large

Kassidy Bernard

Student Member, NSCAD Board of Governors

Advancement Committee

Kassidy is President of the student union (SUNSCAD) for the 2018-19 academic year.

Louise-Anne Comeau

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor At Large

Audit & Risk Oversight Committee (Chair)

Louise-Anne is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of CM Advisory. She has an extensive track record of building new businesses and brands, such as Sotheby’s, Bombardier, Coca-Cola, Swarovski and various hotel developments.  Often called upon for guidance and advice, Louise-Anne has spoken on topics including corporate growth, global consumption trends, the importance of unique branding, and is a recognized expert in the business of creativity.

Maggie Marwah

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor At Large

Marco Chiarot

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor At Large

Peri McFarlane

Student Member, NSCAD Board of Governors

Financial & Physical Resources Committee

Peri is a NSCAD student who serves as the VP Finance for SUNSCAD for the 2018-19 academic year.

Rory MacDonald

NSCAD Faculty, NSCAD Board of Governors

Audit & Risk Oversight Committee

Rory is interested in the many roles for ceramics within the practice of craft, design and art, concentrating on the development of new public audiences and spaces for contemporary ceramics.  Central to his research is the exploration of what constitutes public craft.  Current work explores the contradictions of temporality in ceramic art.  He has developed site-specific firing and new techniques for glaze applications to architecture and public space.

Rory received his MFA from Alfred University (1999) and is currently Associate Professor of Ceramics at NSCAD University.  He has served as Chair of Craft and Head of Ceramics Department and is currently Chair of Senate and Faculty Forum.

Ross Cantwell

NSCAD Board of Governors – Governor At Large

Financial & Physical Resources Committee

Ross is a real estate consultant and developer with more than 25 years of experience. As a consultant he provides strategic advice to both the public and private sector on portfolio strategy, asset valuation and development approvals.

Ross is a former CPA and has a Masters Degree in Real Estate from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He was the founding President of the Nova Scotia Nature Trust, and serves as the President of the Housing Trust of Nova Scotia.  In addition to his consulting work, Ross manages a portfolio of apartment buildings and is active in new real estate developments.

Rudi Meyer

NSCAD Faculty, NSCAD Board of Governors

Governance & Human Resources Committee

Financial & Physical Resources Committee

Associate Professor Dr. Rudi Meyer has alternated his time between teaching in universities and working as a designer and consultant since 1984.  His current research interests are communication design theory and history.

Professor Meyer has a Diploma in Art and Design from Musée des beaux arts de Montreal; BFA, NSCAD; BA, McGill; MA, Toronto; Ph.D. McGill.

Siobhan Cleary

Alumni Member, NSCAD Board of Governors

Advancement Committee

Siobhan is a NSCAD design grad and the founder of Spectacle Design. As President and Creative Director, her blend of fine art training and belief in a design-driven approach to communications shows in Spectacle Group’s award-winning brands, packaging, and marketing materials.

  • Mrs. Margaret Fountain
  • Mr. Michael Donovan
  • Dr. Tom Forrestall
  • Mr. Charles Fowler
  • Dr. Robert Geraghty
  • Ms. Charlotte Wilson-Hammond
  • Dr. David Silcox
  • Ms. Gillian McCain
  • Ms. Deborah McLean
  • Mr. Gregory Silver
  • Mr. Van Penick
  • Mr. Grant Machum
  • Mr. Rob Cameron
  • Mr. Ian Austen
  • Ms. Kim Knoll
  • Mr. Frank Anderson
  • Mr. Paul Goodman
  • Dr. David Murphy


Ann-Barbara Graff

VP Academic & Research

(Secretary to Senate)

Adrian Fish

Chair, Media Arts Division

Anna Sprague

NSCAD Faculty

Anne Masterson

Academic Affairs Officer, Office of Academic Affairs & Research

Cameron Jantzen

Alumni Member, NSCAD Board of Governors

Christopher Kaltenbach

Interim Chair, Design Division

Darrell Varga

Chair, Art History & Contemporary Culture Division

Dianne Taylor-Gearing

President, NSCAD University

Gary Markle

Chair, Craft Division

Gemma Leslie

VP Academic, SUNSCAD

James Barmby

Associate VP, Student Experience & Registrar

Jan Peacock

Vice Chair, Faculty Forum

Jane Milton

Member at Large

Kassidy Bernard

President, SUNSCAD

Marilyn McKay

Interim Chair, Foundation Studies Division

Mathew Reichertz

Chair, Fine Arts Division

President, FUNSCAD

Michael LeBlanc

Member at Large

Rebecca Hannon

Member at Large

Rebecca Young

Director of Library Services (University Librarian)

Rory MacDonald

Chair, Faculty Forum

Rudi Meyer

NSCAD Faculty

Sharon Johnson-Legere

VP Finance & Administration


Advancement Committee
  • August 24, 2017
  • October 12, 2017
  • December 19, 2017
  • March 6, 2018
  • April 5, 2018
  • May 24, 2018
Audit & Risk Oversight Committee
  • August 29, 2017
  • October 19, 2017
  • December 12, 2017
  • February 22, 2018
  • April 19, 2018
  • June 15, 2018
Board of Governors
  • September 21, 2017  + AGM
  • November 23, 2017
  • February 15, 2018
  • March 29, 2018
  • May 10, 2018
  • June 28, 2018
  • September 20, 2018  + AGM
Financial & Physical Resources Committee
  • September 7, 2017
  • November 7, 2017
  • February 8, 2018
  • March 20, 2018
  • April 10, 2018
  • June 14, 2018
Governance & Human Resources Committee
  • September 12, 2017
  • October 26, 2017
  • January 16, 2018
  • March 1, 2018
  • April 26, 2018
  • May 29, 2018
  • September 11, 2017
  • October 2, 2017
  • October 23, 2017
  • November 27, 2017
  • January 8, 2018
  • January 29, 2018
  • February 26, 2018
  • March 19, 2018
  • April 9, 2018