Now that the new academic year is well underway with the inevitable whirl of start-up activities behind us I thought I would take to my blog to bring you up to date on recent happenings.
First, here’s a recap of September’s special events. My office has been involved in the following events: Welcome event for new students; welcome reception for new international students; faculty and staff long service ceremony; external meetings with the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents, Association of Atlantic Universities, MOU meeting with NS University Presidents and the Provincial Government.
I also attended the announcement of the finalists for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia’s Masterworks Art Award—congratulations to the three finalists: Steve Higgins, NSCAD part-time faculty, for his sculpture, Beyond the Terminating Vista; Jason Buxton, NSCAD alumnus, for his feature film Blackbird; and 2b Theatre for the play When It Rains. You will recall that NSCAD professor Kim Morgan was the winner of this prestigious award last year.
I also attended two major fund- and friend-raising event. The first, ROAR: An Art Auction for NSCAD, was entirely organized by our dedicated folks in University Relations. I will not repeat the details on the event, as you have already received full debriefings from communications, except to say this was a premier event which exceeded our expectations in every way. All around it was a great evening for NSCAD. Thanks again to the folks in University Relations, the artists and the cast of volunteers who gave generously of their time and talent to showcase the university.
The second event was also special—a dining and design extravaganza called Dine By Design East. This event, which encompassed both public viewings and a gala evening, selected NSCAD as the benefactor for the event in memory of Amber Harkins, the former creative director at Metro Guide Publishing. NSCAD’s room “Unravelled” was curated by recent NSCAD graduate Heath Simpson and featured the President’s Dinnerware Collection, a set of eight different place settings made by eight prominent NSCAD ceramics alumni. For the gala, NSCAD was paired with the restaurant Gio and chef David Woodley; Gio served “unravelled” versions of comfort food staples—wieners and beans, peanut butter and jam sandwiches, grilled cheese and Neapolitan dessert— as you’ve never tasted them before. Spectacular! The food was served on small ceramic tasting dishes that Heath and friends made especially for the evening.
You will know from previous blog posts that we are still awaiting the final completion of the Affiliation Study. Since I wrote last we have finally come to terms with the consulting firm on the work remaining to be done. The completion date is January 31. The space study is complete and will be reviewed by the Board of Governors at a special meeting to be held in early November.
Also on the planning front, the Strategic Planning Committee under the lead of Vice Chair Julia Rivard Dexter has selected the firm Novita, a very experienced group with loads of experience working in the arts and culture fields, to lead the process. Early planning is underway and you should expect more detailed information on the approach which will be used. Briefly, the approach will contain numerous opportunities for input and advice from our various stakeholder groups as we attempt to fashion our future vision together. All combined, we have a very busy fall planned so stay tuned.
On the staffing front I am happy to report that our Academic Dean Dr. Christine Holzer Hunt has returned from sick leave and is easing back to full duties. Welcome back Christine. Jason Blackburn, with the Office of Research Services, remains out on sick leave as does Linda Hutchison, director of University Relations, who only recently became ill. We wish Jason and Linda speedy recoveries.
Finally, we have been advised recently that Fran Cameron, Senior Secretary for Governance will be retiring at the end of October. While her announcement came as a surprise I am sure everyone will join me in wishing Fran, a major player at NSCAD, our very best wishes.