The Opportunity

Halifax, NS
Education and Training
Full-time - Permanent

The Dean, Academic reports to the Vice-President (Academic & Research) and Provost. Their responsibilities include developing NSCAD's education offerings and current curriculum, fostering partnerships with the community and the institution, improving the student experience, and aligning goals with the University's Academic and Strategic Plans. The Dean enhances the faculty's capabilities by advocating for their vision, addressing their needs, and supporting their growth. In addition, the Dean formulates and executes strategic objectives and activities to further the goals of decolonization, equity, and sustainability. Furthermore, the Dean fosters constructive transformation and progress within NSCAD.

The Dean supports the successful administration of the University's academic programs, research, outreach, and support for educational goals while enhancing University life. This is achieved through close collaboration and consultation with Division Chairs and Graduate Program Directors. The Dean encourages excellence in research, professional practice, and teaching standards among the faculty.

The Ideal Candidate
As a highly competent educator and accomplished postsecondary academic administrator, you have demonstrated exceptional leadership abilities, a solid commitment to advocating for programs and faculty, expertise in designing and developing curricula, and extensive administrative experience. You effectively implement decolonization, sustainability, and social justice by integrating these fundamental ideas into academic programming, organizational culture, creative practice, and the student experience.

You possess a genuine compassion for people, demonstrating empathy and a solid dedication to providing guidance, mentorship, and coaching to individuals inside the University and throughout the organization. You possess exceptional communication skills, adeptness in problem-solving, and strong facilitation and negotiation abilities, which you utilize to cultivate a collaborative and respectful approach to reaching consensus. You possess extensive expertise in effectively supporting the development and oversight of operational budgets and strategizing toward capital spending goals. Additionally, you excel in fostering valuable and mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships through your outreach efforts.

The term of a Dean appointment is five years, subject to satisfactory performance, and is renewable upon the conclusion of the term. If you are interested in shaping the experiences of the next generation of creatives as part of a forward-looking academic institution, we would love to hear from you.

What you'll do


  • Academic leadership in aligning strategic initiatives, supporting procedures and policies, monitoring curricular development and standards, and ensuring the quality of students' learning experience.
  • Leading innovative and creative faculty with a deep commitment to supporting studio-based education with a lens of excellence and equity, diversity, sustainability, and inclusion.
  • Supporting operational accountability through curriculum planning, fiscal responsibility, including securing support for high quality teaching, research, creative and professional practices.
  • Demonstrating a willingness to listen and be accessible to and interact with students and faculty.
  • Developing a positive and respectful culture that respects the diversity of our community, and embraces, encourages and supports the contributions from our Indigenous, international, multilingual, and cross-cultural students, faculty, and staff.
  • Representing NSCAD on external committees and establishing external relationships with institutional community partners.
  • Developing and maintaining open, collaborative communication between and within program areas; supports and facilitates interdisciplinary and collaborative initiatives.
  • Promoting and ensuring strong recruitment, retention, development, support and recognition of student and faculty members alike.

To succeed in this position, it is essential that you have a deep level of knowledge and expertise in your specialized area within the creative sector. Your educational experience should have a strong foundation in a studio-based setting and be widely recognized as an authority in your subject or professional field. As the favoured candidate, your extensive experience in teaching, research, or professional achievements should ideally intersect with one or more of the University's program areas, allowing you to advance equitably effectively and creatively across fine arts, media arts, craft, and design.

What you'll need


While the Search Committee recognizes that no one candidate is likely to meet all qualifications in equal measure, those listed below are desirable and will be used to compare candidates.

  • A doctorate (or terminal degree) in a related creative discipline, with a solid record of success as a teacher and researcher;
  • An understanding of curricular development, review, and renewal;
  • Demonstrated leadership and interpersonal skills;
  • A critical thinker with the ability to thrive in a collaborative, diverse environment;
  • Effective strategic planner, with strong organization and process skills;
  • A solid record of building relationships with external and internal partners, with evidence of having built opportunities for potential sources of funding and support; and
  • Experience developing a culture of transparency, accountability, trust, and respect and support for shared governance.

Competencies and Personal Attributes

  • Creativity, empathy, and curiosity.
  • Commitment to decolonization, equity, sustainability, and social justice.
  • Sensitive to and understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, and ethnic backgrounds of faculty, staff, and students;
  • Exceptional communication skills, consensus-building, and advocacy, with the ability to be persuasive while speaking to different audiences.
  • The ability to take initiative, face challenges and to exercise accountability, integrity, flexibility, and wisdom.
  • The ability to work collegially and effectively within a unionized environment, building trusting relationships both internally and externally.
  • Diplomacy, tact, and conflict resolution skills with the aim of achieving results
  • The confidence to advocate for the Division, program, faculty, students and staff

A little bit about us

NSCAD University

NSCAD University and Halifax are in Mi'kma'ki, on the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi'kmaq Nation. NSCAD University is committed to reconciliation and to building respectful relationships with Indigenous peoples and with the African Nova Scotian communities that have been enriching this region for 400 years. As a small school with three urban campuses, and programs across a range of fine arts, craft, design, and media arts, NSCAD University is an incubator for talent and an active contributor to the arts scene in Canada's fastest-growing city. Since 1887, NSCAD has been a leader in visual arts education in Canada, with distinguished alumni building careers all over the world. This is an exciting time to join us, as we have recently welcomed a cohort of 10 BIPOC faculty members who bring valuable perspectives, ways of thinking, and lived experience to all of our work, and as we look forward to a consolidated waterfront campus in 2030.

Are you interested?

Work With Us

To apply, please submit your letter of intent, equity statement and CV through the Career Beacon portal. The review of applications will begin on January 15, 2024, and will continue until the position is filled. Please email any questions to [email protected]

As an institution committed to art, design, craft, and related scholarship, NSCAD University recognizes diversity's profound and essential value to the creation, reception and circulation of creative practices and discourse. NSCAD understands that valuing diverse creative practices and forms of knowledge is crucial to and enriches the institution's core mission and vision as an art and design university with a local and global scope.

As an employer committed to employment equity, we encourage applications from members of equity-seeking communities, including women, racialized and Indigenous persons, persons with disabilities, and persons of all sexual orientations and gender identities/expressions.

NSCAD is committed to providing an inclusive and barrier-free experience to applicants with accessibility needs. Accommodation requests can be made at any stage during the recruitment process. Do not hesitate to contact [email protected]

All qualified persons are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents of Canada will be given priority. While we thank all candidates for their interest, only those short-listed will be contacted.