There is something rotten in the state of NSCAD, and the rot is centered at the top. It is a Necrotizing fasciitis that takes root and grows in the dark, and the time has come to shine some sunlight upon the problem.
Dr. Julia Wright: University presidents cannot effectively lead academic institutions if they are made precarious by boards that overreach or can be significantly driven by the focuses and assumptions of their day-jobs, rather than by academic expertise and the urgent needs of our classrooms, our labs and studios, our libraries, and our province—the whole province, in all its rich complexity and diversity.
Charles Reeve and Samir Gandesha: “While we hear much lately about the interlocking dangers of “cancel culture” versus “free speech,” NSCAD’s example shows that the real threat to universities is corporatization, as long-term decreases in public funding destabilize faculty and students by driving universities into the arms of donors with self-serving agendas.”
Fighting systemic racism takes more than words, and the board’s statement only illustrates the extent to which it is disconnected from realities on the ground, say critics of the NSCAD Board of Governors, which stays put despite losing the confidence of most of those it aims to govern.
Students don’t tend to care a whole lot when university presidents retire or move on. But they got angry when the NSCAD Board of Governors (BOG) abruptly fired president Dr. Aoife Mac Namara, widely considered the first NSCAD president to take the occurrence of systemic racism at the school seriously.
PSA: Friends of NSCAD is hosting a rally to #FireTheNSCADBoard and #ReinstateAoife! This action will be held in protest of NSCAD’s Board of Governors whose irresponsible leadership and lack of oversight have steered the University into further uncertainty during an unprecedented global pandemic.
Neither alumnae, students, faculty or staff think firing popular NSCAD president Aoife Mac Namara was the right thing to do. However, members of the NSCAD Board of Directors, corporate types mostly, with no real connection to the arts community, fired her anyways, for reasons they never divulged.
The following letter to the editor, about the firing of NSCAD president Aoife Mac Namara by its board of directors, was published in the Chronicle Herald on Friday July 31, and then, after mere hours, abruptly taken down again.
On Tuesday July 21, join us for a day of action to fire the NSCAD Board and reinstate Aoife!
PSA: Friends of NSCAD, a longstanding group of faculty, staff students, alumni and concerned citizens, have initiated a petition demanding the immediate reinstatement of abruptly fired NSCAD president Aoife Mac Namara.