Media release: Over a year ago, the Board of Governors of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD) fired the President, Dr. Aoife Mac Namara. The President had been in her post for less than a year. There was no consultation with the University community and there are still no answers.
Letter: FUNSCAD, the faculty and technicians’ union at NSCAD, is calling on the Nova Scotia government to create a public inquiry, or similar measure, to require the full release of information and communications related to the firing of president Mac Namara, including matters related to real estate leading up to, during, and after, her tenure.
Media release: The Faculty Union of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (FUNSCAD) are very concerned by the information revealed in the Globe and Mail ( June 7, 2021) on the ongoing lack of transparency over the firing of the previous president and the Board of Governors’ plans for the school’s future.
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.