At NSCAD University, we believe in fostering a supportive and inclusive community where everyone can thrive academically, professionally, and personally. Our commitment to maintaining a fair, respectful, and transparent environment led to the establishment of the Office of the University Ombudsperson.
What is the Office of the Ombudsperson?
The NSCAD University Office of the Ombudsperson is an independent, impartial, and confidential resource available to all members of the university community – students, faculty, staff, and administrators. We are here to ensure that your voice is heard and that any concerns, conflicts, or challenges you may encounter are addressed in a fair and equitable manner.
As an impartial and neutral party, the Ombudsperson is here to:
- Listen: We provide a safe space for you to express your concerns and issues openly, without fear of retaliation. We take the time to listen carefully to your perspective.
- Assist: We help you understand university policies and procedures, offering guidance on the best course of action to address your concerns.
- Mediate: When conflicts arise, we facilitate discussions and mediate between parties to find amicable solutions that consider the interests of all involved.
- Investigate: In cases where informal resolution isn’t possible, we conduct impartial investigations, ensuring a fair process for all parties.
- Advocate for Fairness: We advocate for fair treatment and uphold the principles of equity and justice within the NSCAD University community.
Confidentiality is at the core of our service. We do not disclose the content of your visit without your explicit permission, unless required by law or if there is an imminent risk of harm. This commitment to confidentiality allows you to speak freely and seek assistance without fear.
When to Contact the Ombudsperson
Feel free to reach out to the Ombudsperson when you:
- Encounter difficulties with university policies, procedures, or decisions.
- Experience conflicts with peers, faculty, staff, or administrators.
- Have questions about your rights and responsibilities within the university community.
- Need a neutral perspective on a sensitive matter.
How to Reach Us
Contacting the Ombudsperson is easy and hassle-free. You can schedule an appointment by email. Walk-in appointments are also available, although scheduling in advance is recommended to ensure availability.
Contact the Ombudsperson Office today to ensure your voice is heard and your rights are respected.
The NSCAD University Ombudsperson Office is dedicated to maintaining an atmosphere of respect, fairness, and open communication. Our goal is to support the well-being and success of every member of the university community. Together, we can create a positive and inclusive environment where challenges are addressed and solutions are found.
Remember, we are here to listen, assist, and advocate for you. Your concerns matter, and your feedback helps us improve the university experience for everyone.
Meet the Ombudsperson
Jude Gerrard was born in Sheet Harbour and is a member of the Millbrook First Nation. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Finance/HR) degree from St. Mary’s University, a Bachelor of Education degree from Acadia University, and is in the process of completing his Master of Education in Equity and Social Justice degree at Acadia. He has worked for several federal departments including the RCMP, Correctional Services Canada, and Veteran’s Affairs. He has also worked for many departments within the Nova Scotia public service, including Education and Early Childhood Education, (where he helped established Treaty Education in Nova Scotia) Communities Culture and Heritage, and the Office of Equity and Anti-Racism Initiatives, where he helped with Canada’s first Equity and Anti-racism legislation. Jude has worked at a number of post-secondary institutions in Nova Scotia and served on the National Indigenous Education Advisory Committee for Colleges and Institutions Canada. He has been a speaker at national and international conferences on systemic oppression and racial identity. He has trained with international equity leaders in Cultural Proficiency, Cultural Humility, and was the first Canadian to be trained as a facilitator in Beyond Diversity2, Courageous Conversations about Race, and received an Award of Recognition from the Pacific Educational Group for his work in reducing the achievement gap for First Nation and African Canadian students. Most recently he received his Certified Diversity Executive designation from the Institute for Diversity Certification in Indianapolis, Indiana and was the first Mi’kmaq employee to be awarded the NS Premier’s Award of Excellence. Gerrard also has an active artistic practice, and his painted drums are on display in collections across Canada, the United States, and Italy.