Dr. Robert Luke appointed Vice-President, Research & Innovation  

Photo of Dr. Robert Luke
Thursday, August 4, 2016 - 4:00am

OCAD University has appointed Dr. Robert Luke as Vice-President, Research & Innovation, effective August 29, 2016. Reporting to and working closely with the President as a member of the executive team, Luke is responsible for the strategic leadership, implementation and expansion of the university's research and research-creation capacity, including its research infrastructure and the development of academic business and incubation initiatives.

With over 15 years of experience working in progressive and growth-oriented academic environments, Luke is a recognized leader in research, innovation and research administration. He currently holds the role of Vice-President, Research and Innovation at George Brown College, where he created a nationally recognized applied research department that has raised over $80 million in funding support from government and industry sources. George Brown College was named top research college in Canada by Research InfoSource last year for its achievements in funding and partnerships. During his time there, Luke also oversaw the department responsible for e-learning and teaching innovation.

“With his ability to engage partners and his consensus-building approach, Dr. Luke will be an asset to OCAD University's growing research portfolio, supporting an increasing number of undergraduate and graduate students and faculty in research, creative activities, innovation and entrepreneurship. I am delighted to have Dr. Luke join us as the university's Vice-President, Research & Innovation,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University.

Luke holds a BA from the University of Northern British Columbia, an MA from Queen's University, as well as a PhD from the University of Toronto. He maintains an active research program in human-centred design of technology, accessibility and health systems for patient empowerment. In 2012, he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for contributions to Canadian education and innovation.




Dr. Sara Diamond speaks at discoverability event

Monday, January 11, 2016 - 6:45pm

OCAD University president Dr. Sara Diamond spoke as an expert panelist at En route to the Discoverability Summit: Content in the Age of Abundance. The Vancouver event on December 1 was one of two sessions leading up to the Discoverability Summit taking place in Toronto, May 10 and 11, 2016. Video of the discussion is available online.

Hosted by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), the Discoverability Summit will examine ways in which we access media and how broadcasters and media creators can make their content more easily available to consumers.  

The Vancouver event was moderated by Nora Young, host and creator of Spark on CBC Radio, and featured Tony Chapman, Founder and CEO of Tony Chapman Reactions as the keynote speaker.

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Dr. Sara Diamond addresses art, design and the connected world at Toronto Board of Trade

Dr. Diamond at a podium addressing Board of Trade audience
Monday, November 23, 2015 - 3:15pm

OCAD University President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Sara Diamond addressed a capacity crowd of business leaders, government representatives and other stakeholders at the Toronto Region Board of Trade. Her topic was Art and design in the connected world.

In her talk, Dr. Diamond discussed various ways creativity and imagination contribute to the skills and strategies necessary for success in a connected world. “There are three vectors through which our world is increasingly connected,” Diamond noted: “the Internet of Things, the exponential growth of and reliance on data and the globalization of culture.”

Dealing in turn with each of those three subjects, Diamond shared examples of exciting work being done by OCAD U faculty and alumni. These included art- and design-driven innovations in fields such as health care and wellness, entertainment, gaming, urban planning, communication and energy production.

Diamond concluded by briefly introducing attendees to OCAD U’s Ignite Imagination private and public fundraising campaign, and by taking several questions from audience members.

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BMO Financial Group establishes renewable scholarship

Wednesday, September 23, 2015 - 4:00am

BMO Financial Group is expanding its support of OCAD University students with a $300,000 endowed scholarship. The BMO Financial Group Awards, valued at more than $3,500 each, will be given annually to full-time students enrolling in their first year at OCAD University. Recipients will be chosen based on academic merit with preference given to students who demonstrate community involvement.

The scholarships will be renewed based on the students’ academic standing and fulltime enrolment.

“We are grateful to BMO Financial Group for establishing these renewable scholarships which will have a tremendous positive impact on the student experience,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-chancellor. “The recipients will benefit from stable financial support right through to graduation.”

BMO Financial Group has been a champion of OCAD University for over 25 years, generously supporting student talent, signature events and special projects. This latest contribution will allow more students to pursue their passion for careers in art, design and digital media.

BMO Financial Group:

Established in 1817, BMO Financial Group is a highly diversified financial services provider based in North America. With total assets of approximately $672 billion as of July 31, 2015, and more than 47,000 employees, BMO provides a broad range of retail banking, wealth management and investment banking products and services to more than 12 million customers and conducts business through three operating groups: Personal and Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and BMO Capital Markets.

Art and Design in the Connected World - Dr. Sara Diamond

Friday, November 20, 2015 - 5:00pm to 6:30pm

Toronto Region Board of Trade welcomes you to join Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor of OCAD University, as she discusses how creativity and artistic imagination contribute to the skills and strategies our Toronto region business community needs to excel in the connected world.

Effectively harnessing the skills of our designers, artists and digital inventors is important for the increasingly connected Toronto region. From healthcare, to entertainment, to manufacturing, design can provide a competitive advantage and act as a key differentiator for business.

Venue & Address: 
Toronto Region Board of Trade Downtown Centre 1 First Canadian Place, 4th Floor Toronto, ON
Individual ticket - Member $79.00 Individual ticket - Non-Member $99.00 Table of 8 - Member $632.00 Table of 8 - Non-Member $792.00

GradEx100 draws record 41,000 to OCAD University

Monday, May 4, 2015 - 4:00am

It was an exhibition that exceeded all expectations: The 100th edition of the university’s graduate exhibition drew an estimated 41,000 visitors, a 64% increase over last year, making it one of the city’s largest free art and design exhibitions.

Some 900 students from 14 undergraduate and six graduate programs displayed their thesis works, including smartphone apps, wearable technology, ad campaigns, sculpture, textiles, digital painting and everything in between. The top student from each program received an OCAD University medal. 

President Sara Diamond stated, “I spent many days immersed in the exhibition and had the pleasure of touring government and private sector partners through the show. We all agreed that the quality, maturity and relevance of the students’ work is remarkable. They will have a powerful influence on the world."

Saturday night the inaugural Alumni of Influence awards were presented to accomplished alumni for their achievements and service to the community:

  • Legacy – Painter Doris McCarthy (AOCA, 1930)
  • Distinguished Alumni – Designer Donna Cummings (AOCA, 1967)
  • Distinguished Educator – Professor Allan J. Ryan, Ph.D. (AOCA, Advertising, 1967)
  • World Builder – Photographer Christine Germano (AOCA, 1994)
  • Trailblazer – Illustrator Gracia Lam (BDes, Illustration, 2009)

​“The range and depth of talent displayed this year reflects the scope of programs and experiences students gain at OCAD University,” said Dr. Diamond. “Our alumni award recipients noted that their years here prepared them for their careers ahead by grounding them in interdisciplinary skills and discipline while giving them a unique frame of reference for their creativity. They represent a bridge between our past and current unique excellence in delivering studio-based education.”

In his opening night remarks, illustrator Gary Taxali, an alumnus and faculty member, recalled his own graduate exhibition. “I’ve worked for every major magazine and have shown in top galleries, but I’ve never had thousands of people come to one of my openings like they do for GradEx every year. When I was a student it was one of the greatest experiences of my life and it kick started my art career.” Taxali designed this year’s GradEx poster and donated proceeds from the sale of limited edition prints to the university.

OCAD University’s annual Graduate Exhibition is generously supported by Presenting Sponsor Mercedes-Benz Financial Services. Other sponsors include: C.A. Delaney Capital Management Ltd., First Capital Realty, Borden Ladner Gervais LLP, CP24 (Media Sponsor), NOW (Media Sponsor) and Steam Whistle (Event Sponsor).

This event has been financially assisted by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund, a program of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation.

Statement from President Diamond on It's Never Okay: An Action Plan to Stop Sexual Violence and Harassment

Tuesday, March 10, 2015 - 4:00am

As president of OCAD University, I applaud Premier Wynne’s Action Plan on Sexual Violence. This plan will target behaviours and cultures in our elementary and secondary schools, courts, police forces, workplaces, universities and colleges.

Please read the Action Plan and take a moment to view a powerful video that is part of the Province’s multi-media implementation campaign.

OCAD University has strong policies against sexual harassment and violence. In the fall I issued a message highlighting policies, procedures and support for those who have been affected by sexual violence. Please take a moment to learn about these resources available to our community.

Nonetheless we are in the process of revisiting these policies in collaboration with students, with a special focus on ensuring safety for women, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans members of our community. We are looking at ways in which we can increase prevention and awareness of sexual violence on and off campus and support those who have been affected by such violence.

Deanne Fisher, our Associate Vice-President, Students, is a member of the Council of Ontario Universities’ Reference Group on Sexual Violence, which will support the action plan by reviewing policies and sharing best practices within the university sector in Ontario. Emily Rourke, Director of Campaigns and Outreach for the OCAD Student Union, has been actively involved in the discussions with the Premier on these issues and will co-lead, with the AVP Students, the development of the OCAD University strategy.







Statement from President Diamond on Prevention and Response to Sexual Violence

Friday, November 28, 2014 - 5:00am

Recent media reports have brought attention to the issue of sexual violence, particularly on college and university campuses. I want to take this opportunity to assure our community that I take this issue very seriously and that we have well-developed policies and procedures in place to respond to incidents of sexual assault, as well as resources to support survivors.

We have three policies that provide options and recourse to those who have experienced sexual violence:

  • The Response to Violent and Threatening Behaviour Policy outlines OCAD University’s obligations with respect to any situation involving violence or threat of violence and applies to all students, faculty, staff, volunteers and visitors.  Through that policy, OCAD U has a highly trained team of professionals who assess risk of violence expediently and take appropriate action.  All situations involving violence or risk of violence should be reported to Security & Emergency Services.
  • The Non-academic Misconduct Policy defines sexual assault as an offence and applies to situations involving students. Complaints under this policy are directed to our Associate Vice-President, Students.
  • The Respectful Work & Learning Environment Policy is inclusive of sexual assault and applies to students, staff and faculty. Complaints under this policy are directed to the Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives.I want to ensure that our students, staff and faculty understand the range of options and resources available to them should they require support following an assault or have safety needs while on campus.

Information & Resources

  • Security & Emergency Services
    Our Security & Emergency Services team is responsible for the safety of all members of the community and will work with students, staff and faculty to develop safety plans for anyone who feels they may be at risk. Specific services include:
    • Guardly Safe Campus™
      The Guardly Safe Campus program puts a personal duress button onto the smartphones of OCAD U students, staff and faculty for free, providing the fastest way to connect to campus security when reporting an emergency. Register for this free service.
    • WalkSafe Program
      The WalkSafe Program provides students, faculty and staff with a personal security escort. Please contact Campus Security at least 10 minutes prior to your departure and Security personnel will escort you to the Grange underground parking facility or a nearby bus stop/subway station.
    • Emergency and Non-emergency Service
      To reach Security & Emergency Services in an emergency, phone 416-977-6000 Ext. 511 (or use any of the red phones on campus, or simply dial 511 from any office or hallway phone).
      For non-emergency service, please dial 416-977-6000 Ext. 366.
    • Sexual Assault Reporting
      OCAD U Security & Emergency Services works in partnership with the relevant municipal police services to assist members of our community who would like to report an incident to the police for investigation.
  • Health and Wellness Centre
    Confidential counselling for students who are or know someone who is a survivor of sexual violence or who have experienced abusive relationships is available through our Health & Wellness Centre. To see a counsellor, please walk-in during business hours Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or call the Centre at 416-977-6000 Ext. 260 to book an appointment. For more information visit the Sexual Assault Support web page.
  • Office of Diversity, Equity and Sustainability Initiatives (ODESI)
    The role of ODESI is to foster an educational and employment environment that respects, supports and values all students, staff, and faculty.  ODESI administers the university's human rights complaint process (see the OCAD U Respectful Work & Learning Environment Policy) to address discrimination, harassment and bullying, including sexual and gender-based harassment on campus and online.  Sexual harassment means unwelcome sexual attention directed at an individual by someone whose conduct or comments are, or should reasonably be known to be, offensive, inappropriate, intimidating, hostile, and unwelcome. At any time, individuals can contact ODESI to confidentially ask a question, raise a concern or seek assistance on how to address an issue.

Office Location: 115 McCaul St., Level 2

For more information please contact Amanda Hotrum, Director, Diversity, Equity & Sustainability Initiatives at 416-977-6000 Ext. 4860.

In an emergency on campus the OCAD University community is encouraged to call Campus Security at 511 first to help efficiently direct emergency response teams to the emergency location. Always call 911 in an emergency off campus. To reach Toronto Police Services in a non-emergency or to report a crime, call   416-808-2222.

Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice Chancellor, OCAD University

OCAD U Student Forum

Ideas, Thoughts on Your Student Experience At OCAD U?
Wednesday, November 5, 2014 - 6:00pm to 7:45pm

Ideas, thoughts on your experience at OCAD U? Come share them with Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U President and Vice Chancellor, and members of the senior administration at the fall student forum! Your feedback is crucial so please, come and share it.

Venue & Address: 
Room 284, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto


An early model of the three Mirvish+Gehry towers, Courtesy of Gehry International, Inc.
Peter Kofman, Vladimir Spicanovic, Dr. Sara Diamond, David Mirvish and Craig Webb, Photo: Martin Iskander
Another early model of the three Mirvish+Gehry towers, Courtesy of Gehry International, Inc.

Picture a vibrant new gallery space and learning centre in the heart of Toronto’s cultural core that will bring OCAD University to the world. That’s a hope for the future for the OCAD U campus, and on February 14 Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor announced the name of the 25,000-square-foot facility: the Princess of Wales Centre for Visual Arts at OCAD University.

It’s appropriate this announcement was made on Valentine’s Day, because of the passions it’s awakening in everyone involved and connected to it. The use of the name was approved in a letter of permission sent on behalf of the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry: “Their Royal Highnesses are extremely grateful to you for raising this matter,” read the letter, “since Toronto always held a very special place in their mother, Diana, Princess of Wales’s heart.”

The new arts-dedicated facility will honour a legacy that associates the creative and socially transformative components of art with the Princess of Wales’s dedication to young people, intergenerational exchange and social concerns such as violence, poverty and HIV education. These themes resonate in contemporary art practice and OCAD U’s engagement with contemporary ethics and art in the social sphere. 

“There are very special moments as a leader when your heart both leaps with excitement and warms with profound gratitude,” said Dr. Sara Diamond, OCAD U’s president at today’s announcement. “The day that David Mirvish called me and shared his hope that OCAD U would become his partner in the creation of a transformative King Street development with world-renowned architect Frank Gehry was such a life moment.”

The facility, part of the Mirvish+Gehry Toronto initiative, is slated to be built at the north east corner of King and Duncan streets in downtown Toronto. The plan proposes a myriad of opportunities for Toronto and international public to engage with the legacy that OCAD U represents.

Like the Sharp Centre for Design designed for OCAD U by Alsop Architects and Robbie/Young + Wright Architects Inc., the Mirvish + Gehry development will be visually unique. Craig Webb, one of Frank Gehry’s partners described the vision as three towers, each with its own identity, emerging from a cloud-like podium structure onto the Toronto skyline.

“Our goal is to define ourselves and our ambitions,” said David Mirvish, who compared the community spirit of the project to that of NYC’s 92nd Street Y, Manhattan’s renowned cultural community hub. “We’re building a neighbourhood that will serve the whole city, and we’re hoping the core of the gallery can be free to the public.” 

"This space will be about more than places to see and experience art,” said Vladimir Spicanovic, OCAD U’s Dean of Arts. “It will also be a place to study, curate and create artboth for OCAD U students and for the public.”

Imagine a space where you can:

  • See OCAD U’s permanent collection of more than 6,000 prints, paintings, sculptures, textiles and photographs by more than 250 notable Canadian artists
  • View exhibitions by curatorial students
  • Attend performances and the president’s lecture series in a 254-seat theatre-in-the-round
  • Access OCAD U’s expansive collections by master printmakers and archive of artists’ books
  • Study and research criticism, curatorial practice, art history, printmaking and publications
  • Produce publications in a hands-on studio for layout, editing, bookbinding and print-on-demand bookmaking

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