The Opportunity

Halifax, NS
Education and Training
Full-time - Permanent

NSCAD University is located in Kjipuktuk, the district of Sipekne'katik, Mi'kma'ki, which since time immemorial, has been the unceded traditional territory and ancestral homelands of the Mi'kmaq Nation. We pay respect to the historic and contemporary Mi'kmaw artists who have, over millennia, created unique artforms and designs, and through generations, passed down ways of being, knowing, and doing that are valued and respected.

NSCAD University is committed to forging a relationship based on reciprocity as we move forward together in a good way, based on the foundational aspirations in our collective treaties, dating back to 1725. In Nova Scotia, we recognize we are all Treaty People.
About NSCAD University
Founded in 1887, NSCAD University is one of only four Canadian art-and-design schools in Canada. As Canada's first independent degree-granting art school, NSCAD University has offered undergraduate and graduate degrees for over 30 years. NSCAD University, formerly the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, is an internationally recognized centre for studying, practicing, and teaching visual arts. Today, NSCAD offers graduate and undergraduate degrees in fine and media arts, craft, design, art history and critical studies, as well as an ambitious array of Extended Studies courses. NSCAD alumni are among Canada's most highly regarded artists, gallery directors, designers, curators, and art educators - they are well-represented in arts organizations around the globe.

The University relies on delivering its programs on faculty attached to various divisions: Craft, Design, Fine Arts, Foundation Studies, Media Arts, Art History and Contemporary Culture, and Graduate Studies. Because of the small size of the institution, a small faculty complement works in each of these areas. Over 800 students are distributed over the degrees offered, and 41.5 full-time faculty members are responsible for educating them. Students benefit from hands-on studio learning in small classrooms and have access to fabrication shops and studios for both traditional and digital creation. Alongside a diverse and supportive team of instructors and peers, students gain employable skills.

As NSCAD University continues to drive impact as an art and design education leader, it seeks its next Dean, Students to support the Office of Academic Affairs and Research, and lead the Office of Student Experience

The Role

The Dean of Students at NSCAD University reports directly to the Vice-President (Academic & Research) and Provost. This leadership role involves the strategic implementation of enrollment management, retention, and engagement initiatives. The primary focus is on overseeing policies, programs, and services within the Office of Student Experience (OSE), encompassing the Office of Opportunity and Belonging, the Office of the Registrar, and the Office of Admissions.

What you'll do


  • Strategic Leadership; Provide strategic oversight of student affairs, including recruitment, admissions, programs, services, facilities, procedures, and administration. Collaborate with the Dean, Academic, and Senior Leadership Team to implement a Strategic Enrolment Management Plan and international student recruitment strategy.
  • Student Support Services: Direct and coordinate the OSE offices, ensuring students have access to vital resources, such as personal counseling, financial advising, professional referrals, international student advising, disability support, housing assistance, and career exploration resources.
  • Office of the Registrar Oversight: Take accountability for maintaining, advising on, and implementing academic programs, regulations, policies, and procedures. Manage the retention and maintenance of academic records, ensure data integrity, coordinate the annual timetable, and oversee the registration cycle.
  • Institutional Leadership: Contribute to solidifying NSCAD's position as a leader in Canada's creative community. Serve as an ex-officio member of Senate and participate in various Senate committees, influencing key decision-making processes.

What you'll need


The Ideal Candidate
As an ideal candidate, you hold extensive experience as a strategic leader in a post-secondary setting. You possess leadership experience and a graduate degree in a relevant discipline. Specifically, you have supervised personnel in the provision of student services and programming, in addition to administering intricate records, systems, and databases. Furthermore, you possess expertise in the development and execution of effective enrollment management strategies.

The ideal candidate will have demonstrated ability to establish high-functioning relationships with diverse groups as a genuine collaborator. In addition, you have experience leading diverse functions and are adept at motivating and developing teams.

You possess a comprehensive understanding of the intricacies and extensive reach of student affairs and registrarial operations. Leveraging your expertise in leadership and change management, you will effectively channel and support the team's strengths and build on new opportunities. Work experience with a diverse student body and a dedication to promoting equity, diversity, inclusion, and Indigenous reconciliation on campus are both traits that you exemplify. You consistently recognize novel prospects to propel the institution forward due to your keen awareness of emergent postsecondary trends and technologies, as well as your innovative, solution-focused, and forward-thinking nature.

To be successful in this role, 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 and adeptness in problem-solving, facilitation and negotiation, which you utilize to cultivate a collaborative and respectful approachs to reaching consensus. You possess extensive expertise in effectively supporting the development and oversight of operational budgets. Additionally, you excel in fostering valuable and mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships through your outreach efforts.

The Dean, Students appointment is a permanent position, subject to satisfactory performance and annual review. If you are interested in shaping the experiences of the next generation of creatives as part of a forward-looking academic institution, we'd love to hear from you.

Qualifications and Experience

  • 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 graduate degree is required, in Education or a related discipline.
  • Minimum seven (7) years' experience working in student affairs, student life or student services including development and management of programs.
  • Strong leadership and interpersonal skills, consultative, creative and student-focussed.
  • A critical thinker with the ability to thrive in a collaborative, diverse environment.
  • An understanding of the current landscape and challenges facing today's student learners in post-secondary education.
  • Demonstrated skills in team building, consultative leadership, and conflict management.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, accessibility, anti-racism, and
  • decolonization policies, practices, and initiatives along with experience in advancing these principles.


  • Creativity, empathy, and curiosity.
  • 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 with a service focus.
  • Facilitative style combined with decisiveness and the ability to explain decision rationale.

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

Please email any questions to Human Resources ([email protected]). To apply, please submit your letter of intent, equity statement and CV through the Career Beacon portal. We will begin reviewing applications February 23, 2024, and will continue until the position is filled.

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. Don't hesitate to contact the Office of Human Resources for more.

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.