While the calendar tells us that January is the beginning of the year, for many of us in academia, September is our fresh start. The sketchbooks are clean and bright and those white pages beckon to be covered in creativity. Classes begin and we scan the room looking for familiar faces.
At NSCAD, this is the time when we see folks looking bewildered and lost, gazing at that map beside the elevator as if it’s an Escher drawing. At least that’s what I’ve heard, because I’m new here too, NSCAD University’s 21st President effective August 4, 2014.
I’ve been having lots of meetings and introductions to help get up to speed. I’ve sat down with Board Chair Grant Machum, several members of the Board of Governors, the executive of SUNSCAD and members of the NSCAD Alumni Association at their annual general meeting. I even had an interview with Don Connolly on CBC’s Information Morning; I hope my excitement about being here came through! I do hope to get acquainted with everyone here at NSCAD in the days and weeks to come. Please don’t feel shy about coming by and saying hello; just poke your head in if you see my door open or arrange a time with Stephanie Willan.
You may run into me during Orientation Week; SUNSCAD has a full slate of activities planned to welcome new and returning students and I’m delighted to be a part of it. Some of the highlights include: airport pick-up on Saturday, Aug. 30 and Sunday, Aug. 31 and a student orientation presentation and campus tours on Tuesday, Sept. 2. Later in the week, there’s a Halifax Gallery Tour and the Granville Block Party, both taking place on Saturday, Sept. 6. (Click for the full list of activities.)
This feels like the start of a very special academic year at NSCAD, thanks in large part to Margaret and David Fountain and their $3-million investment in NSCAD. This gives us a much-needed boost of confidence—not to mention the funds—to go forward and make improvements on our old and character-filled downtown campus. Get ready to hear a lot more about this in the weeks to come.
A big welcome to Dr. Ann Barbara Graff, also new to NSCAD. Dr. Graff is NSCAD’s new Dean and you can find her office on the third floor (Duke), Academic Affairs and Research.
As I wrap my first blog post as President 21, I’d like to say thank you to Dr. Daniel O’Brien for his tremendous contribution to NSCAD over the past two years. Thanks to him also for starting this blog as a way of keeping in touch with the NSCAD community near and far. I commit to continuing the communication and use it as one of the ways to get to know me as we move our university forward together.
Professor Dianne Taylor-Gearing