Aoife Mac Namara has been appointed president of NSCAD University in Halifax. Her appointment is effective August 4, 2019.
Mac Namara fills a leadership role left by the departure of Dianne Taylor-Gearing, who started at NSCAD University in 2014 and announced in recent months that she had decided to depart after her five-year term was up.
Mac Namara was most recently dean of Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology in Burnaby. She was appointed there in 2015, following time as dean, Faculty of Visual Art and Material Practice at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver.
Mac Namara was born in Nova Scotia, where NSCAD University is located, and has worked in London, UK, at University of the Arts and Middlesex University.
“I am extraordinarily honoured to serve as the next President of NSCAD University,” Mac Namara said in a release. “As someone who has lived and worked abroad, I can speak to NSCAD’s prominent global reputation as a significant contributor to contemporary visual art and material culture. I am excited to work with our entire university community to build on this legacy, share our incredible stories, and identify even more opportunities to contribute to Nova Scotia’s cultural, economic and environmental future.”
NSCAD is a 132-year-old art school that has suffered some financial setbacks in recent years. But Board of governors chair Louise Ann Comeau states in this week’s release that the school is now in “a stable financial position” with “year-on-year growth in student enrolment.”
In recent issues affecting the school, NSCAD experienced its first faculty strike in decades this winter, and it has also pulled out of a provincial plan to create a waterfront arts hub with the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia. The province is going ahead with a new waterfront facility featuring the AGNS only.