Q&A with President Sara Diamond

As 2017 comes to an end, what are some of OCAD U highlights that come to mind?

Let us take time to reflect on our many exciting and memorable successes in 2017. To name a few:

  • The opening of OCAD U’s new flagship public gallery, Onsite, with its inaugural exhibitions raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000 - 2015), and For This Land: Inside Elemental and the grand opening events, were definitely high points in 2017. In addition to the inaugural exhibition, Onsite will allow Canadians and other visitors to access the rich history of Canadian art, design and new media that has been inaccessible to the general public, until now. To date, more than 8,000 visitors have toured the gallery, including OCAD U classes, other university and college classes, elementary school and high school classes, prospective donors, government officials and other OCAD U guests.

 

  • OCAD U has begun the implementation of our new Academic Plan, OCAD U: Transformative Student Experience. This plan guides priorities over the next five years. The Strategic Mandate Agreement that the university signed with the provincial government builds on the plan to integrate Indigenous knowledge and culture and decolonization, strengthen the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers and engage with more STEM curriculum in partnership with UOIT (University of Ontario Institute of Technology). OCAD University signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Agreement with OCADFA this year that will strengthen the implementation of the Academic Plan. It will enable interdisciplinary collaboration, reduce studio faculty workload and improve sessional salaries.

 

  • OCAD University’s new strategic plan, Strategic Directions 2017-2022 was just passed by our board. The plan is guided by the University’s new vision and mission statements and recent planning documents. Thank you to all who participated and provided their input at the consultation sessions. Strategic Directions will be accompanied by a five year implementation plan and multi-year forecast. 

 

  • This year’s Project 31 fundraising auction was another tremendous success, raising more than $200,000 in support of OCAD U students. I am grateful to the alumni and faculty members who donated works to the auction and designated the proceeds to a wide range of support: scholarships, bursaries for students in financial need and initiatives that enhance the student experience, such as opportunities to study abroad, guest speakers, specialized workshops, leading-edge technology, and more.

 

  • A new internal program, GradLink was launched and OCAD U received 20 applications from faculty. This program will provide faculty members with a graduate-level RA for the winter term. OCAD U’s SSHRC Insight Development Grant application success rate was on par with the national success rate of 33 per cent.

 

And challenges?

  • I know that units throughout the campus are managing through budget cuts this year and that has had impacts in a number of areas. While we continue to deal with a challenging financial forecast, our application acceptance numbers were good this year and with your help we can manage efficiently and deliver a great education. We are lobbying for provincial and federal government funding to enhance our operating budget and research delivery capacity.

 

What does 2018 have in store for OCAD U?

  • Thanks to Ignite Imagination and our transformational fundraising efforts, the campaign has raised a phenomenal $65 million and is currently seizing on new opportunities. A new phase for our campaign will be launched in the spring, which will raise funds to further provide the infrastructure necessary for outstanding art, design and media education, practice and research.

 

  • OCAD U will welcome Barry Ace, a band member of M’Chigeeng First Nation, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, as the winter 2018 Nigig Visiting Artist-in-Residence, from January 9 to February 6, 2018. Barry served for a number of years on our Aboriginal Educational Council and is a talented artist, curator and dancer.  OCAD U is very fortunate to offer The Nigig Visiting Artist Residency Program hosted by the Indigenous Visual Culture Program at OCAD U, supported through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development targeted Initiative Fund. It provides an opportunity for an Indigenous artist to visit the university for a three-to-four week period to focus on a short-term project and explore – in a collaborative environment – issues impacting their work. In alignment with OCAD University's deep commitment to be inclusive of Indigenous culture and knowledge, the visiting artist engages and interacts with students and faculty in the capacity of mentorship, critique, lecture and a public workshop/demonstration.

 

  • OCAD U can look forward to the realization of many exciting developments, including our Creative City Campus renewal and new build, and the Campus for the Connected World on the waterfront. This, in addition to OCAD U’s future presence in Great Gulf’s Mirvish+Gehry project comes at an opportune time. As our university works towards creating a 21st century, healthy, accessible and creative learning environment with studio-based, experiential and collaborative learning, we also look forward to utilizing new facilities that will provide additional lecture space and house initiatives specific to innovation training and design thinking.

 

Holiday Wishes

Dear colleagues,

Heartfelt thanks to all, for contributing to the many successes described above and for your flexibility and resilience.

We may be one of the smallest universities in Ontario, but we are fortunate to have a strong, active and engaged community that keeps us moving forward in our complex and challenging world. The new year holds many great opportunities for OCAD University. I wish you all an invigorating and joyous holiday season, and much happiness, success and great health in 2018.

Warm Regards,

President Sara Diamond

Date: 
Monday, December 11, 2017 - 11:42am
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Q&A with President Sara Diamond
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Q&A with President Sara Diamond
Q&A with President Sara Diamond
Monday December 11th, 2017

Q&A with President Sara Diamond

As 2017 comes to an end, what are some of OCAD U highlights that come to mind?

Let us take time to reflect on our many exciting and memorable successes in 2017. To name a few:

  • The opening of OCAD U’s new flagship public gallery, Onsite, with its inaugural exhibitions raise a flag: works from the Indigenous Art Collection (2000 - 2015), and For This Land: Inside Elemental and the grand opening events, were definitely high points in 2017. In addition to the inaugural exhibition, Onsite will allow Canadians and other visitors to access the rich history of Canadian art, design and new media that has been inaccessible to the general public, until now. To date, more than 8,000 visitors have toured the gallery, including OCAD U classes, other university and college classes, elementary school and high school classes, prospective donors, government officials and other OCAD U guests.

 

  • OCAD U has begun the implementation of our new Academic Plan, OCAD U: Transformative Student Experience. This plan guides priorities over the next five years. The Strategic Mandate Agreement that the university signed with the provincial government builds on the plan to integrate Indigenous knowledge and culture and decolonization, strengthen the Centre for Emerging Artists and Designers and engage with more STEM curriculum in partnership with UOIT (University of Ontario Institute of Technology). OCAD University signed a groundbreaking Memorandum of Agreement with OCADFA this year that will strengthen the implementation of the Academic Plan. It will enable interdisciplinary collaboration, reduce studio faculty workload and improve sessional salaries.

 

  • OCAD University’s new strategic plan, Strategic Directions 2017-2022 was just passed by our board. The plan is guided by the University’s new vision and mission statements and recent planning documents. Thank you to all who participated and provided their input at the consultation sessions. Strategic Directions will be accompanied by a five year implementation plan and multi-year forecast. 

 

  • This year’s Project 31 fundraising auction was another tremendous success, raising more than $200,000 in support of OCAD U students. I am grateful to the alumni and faculty members who donated works to the auction and designated the proceeds to a wide range of support: scholarships, bursaries for students in financial need and initiatives that enhance the student experience, such as opportunities to study abroad, guest speakers, specialized workshops, leading-edge technology, and more.

 

  • A new internal program, GradLink was launched and OCAD U received 20 applications from faculty. This program will provide faculty members with a graduate-level RA for the winter term. OCAD U’s SSHRC Insight Development Grant application success rate was on par with the national success rate of 33 per cent.

 

And challenges?

  • I know that units throughout the campus are managing through budget cuts this year and that has had impacts in a number of areas. While we continue to deal with a challenging financial forecast, our application acceptance numbers were good this year and with your help we can manage efficiently and deliver a great education. We are lobbying for provincial and federal government funding to enhance our operating budget and research delivery capacity.

 

What does 2018 have in store for OCAD U?

  • Thanks to Ignite Imagination and our transformational fundraising efforts, the campaign has raised a phenomenal $65 million and is currently seizing on new opportunities. A new phase for our campaign will be launched in the spring, which will raise funds to further provide the infrastructure necessary for outstanding art, design and media education, practice and research.

 

  • OCAD U will welcome Barry Ace, a band member of M’Chigeeng First Nation, Manitoulin Island, Ontario, as the winter 2018 Nigig Visiting Artist-in-Residence, from January 9 to February 6, 2018. Barry served for a number of years on our Aboriginal Educational Council and is a talented artist, curator and dancer.  OCAD U is very fortunate to offer The Nigig Visiting Artist Residency Program hosted by the Indigenous Visual Culture Program at OCAD U, supported through the Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development targeted Initiative Fund. It provides an opportunity for an Indigenous artist to visit the university for a three-to-four week period to focus on a short-term project and explore – in a collaborative environment – issues impacting their work. In alignment with OCAD University's deep commitment to be inclusive of Indigenous culture and knowledge, the visiting artist engages and interacts with students and faculty in the capacity of mentorship, critique, lecture and a public workshop/demonstration.

 

  • OCAD U can look forward to the realization of many exciting developments, including our Creative City Campus renewal and new build, and the Campus for the Connected World on the waterfront. This, in addition to OCAD U’s future presence in Great Gulf’s Mirvish+Gehry project comes at an opportune time. As our university works towards creating a 21st century, healthy, accessible and creative learning environment with studio-based, experiential and collaborative learning, we also look forward to utilizing new facilities that will provide additional lecture space and house initiatives specific to innovation training and design thinking.

 

Holiday Wishes

Dear colleagues,

Heartfelt thanks to all, for contributing to the many successes described above and for your flexibility and resilience.

We may be one of the smallest universities in Ontario, but we are fortunate to have a strong, active and engaged community that keeps us moving forward in our complex and challenging world. The new year holds many great opportunities for OCAD University. I wish you all an invigorating and joyous holiday season, and much happiness, success and great health in 2018.

Warm Regards,

President Sara Diamond

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