Report on NSCAD to be delivered to minister Wednesday

Students and faculty await report on NSCAD's financial viability.

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Bulletin board in the NSCAD cafeteria, Granville campus. (Photo: Laura Oakley)

The atmosphere was quiet around campus at NSCAD University on Tuesday while both students and faculty wait to find out if they will remain independent or merge with Dalhousie University.

Former provincial deputy minister Howard Windsor is expected to hand over his report on NSCAD's financial viability to Marilyn More, Minister of Labour and Advanced Education, on Wednesday. Windsor was appointed in September to evaluate the school's financial situation and deliver a report at the end of November.

Kevin Finch, communications advisor for the Nova Scotia Department of Labour and Advanced Education, confirmed via telephone the report by Windsor will be delivered by Wednesday's deadline.

Finch said the department will decide whether to release the report to the public after they review it.

Students out of the loop

Tara Fleming, resource coordinator at SUNSCAD, the student union at NSCAD, says she knew nothing about the progress of the report. Fleming says they have not been told if they will be able to view the report or if it will be released to the public.

She says Windsor has been around campus, talking to faculty and students, and getting a feel for the school.

"I've heard from many students that he's the kind of guy you want to hate, but can't,"  Fleming says.

She says the atmosphere has mostly quieted back down on campus while students focus on their end of term projects.

A few students were eating lunch in the cafeteria area of the Granville Street campus. None were aware of the report being delivered on Wednesday or had heard of any official release of information from it.

"I wished I'd have know about the school's financial situation before I applied," said one student, who preferred her name not be used. She said she relocated from Edmonton to attend NSCAD.

A Tough Year

In September 2010, Tim O'Neill's government university review suggested drastic changes for many Nova Scotia universities. In this report, O'Neill suggested a NSCAD merger with Dalhousie, and a raise in tuition.

The NDP government appointed Windsor to evaluate NSCAD's financial viability shortly after it was reported the school is facing a $2.4 million shortfall this year.

Marilyn Smudlers, NSCAD director of communications, could not be reached for a comment on Tuesday.

 

Please note two corrections were made to this story: Kevin Finch said that the report would be handed over to the labour and advanced education department on Wednesday, not NSCAD administration. Also, he said the department would decide if they will release it to the public.

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