President's Office

  • President's Message

    Creating new ideas and new cultural practices

    Building innovation for the future

    Linking learning, teaching + research

    Connecting to community

    To experiment and play and critique and make and then to turn creative work into art or product or process, that is the essence of the engagement of students with our community of staff and faculty. 

    Our academic programs in art, design and media are designed to be flexible and to provide students with many different pathways to learning and research. We are focused on empowering our students to gain the knowledge they need to succeed in the world around us. 

    We are here to serve our communities of interest from the cultural sector to government to industry. We connect ideas and action, new knowledge and change, new media and all forms of artistic expression with the central goal of creating and sustaining an inclusive culture based on humanistic ideas and diverse viewpoints. 

    Creativity is dependent on ideas and critical thinking. We nurture multidisciplinary learning and research and student engagement to make sure that everyone in our community realizes their full potential. Our mission is to educate the best artists, designers and media practitioners in the world. Our new campus is the physical representation of that goal and will allow students of all ages, all disciplines and viewpoints to succeed in their chosen profession and to achieve excellence in a supportive and exciting environment.

    - Dr. Ron Burnett, C.M., O.B.C., Chevalier, RCA

  • Biography + Links

    Dr. Ron Burnett, C.M., O.B.C., Chevalier, RCA
    President + Vice-Chancellor

    website | @ronburnett | LinkedIn

    Dr. Ron Burnett has been President + Vice-Chancellor of Emily Carr University of Art + Design since 1996. In 2013, Dr. Burnett received the Order of Canada and in 2015, he received the Order of British Columbia. He was awarded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government in 2010 and received the International Digital Media and Arts Association Outstanding Leadership Award. He received his BA, MA and PhD from McGill University in the areas of media arts, communications and cultural studies. Dr. Burnett began his career as a post-secondary professor and administrator at Vanier College in Montreal where he founded the Creative Arts Department. He went on to work at LaTrobe University in Melbourne, Australia and then became the Director of the Graduate Program in Communications at McGill University.

    In a career spanning forty years, Dr. Burnett has published three books; book chapters and reviews; over 150 articles; as well as two monographs. Internationally known for his work in media and distance education, he served on an “eminent persons panel” at UNESCO in Paris to advise on the development of Internet resources for the Third World. He is currently the Chair of the BC Association of Institutes and Universities (BCAIU) and a member of the Executive Committee and Board of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design. He is a member of the Learning Development Institute Board, the BCNet Board, and was formerly the Board Chair of the Knowledge Network.

    In 2012, Dr. Burnett received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Media in honour of his significant contributions and achievements and in 2002, he received the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal for service to Canada and Canadians. He was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Art in 2003 and was voted Educator of the Year by the Canadian New Media Association in 2005. Dr. Burnett is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate Program in Film and Video at York University, Toronto. He is the William Evans Fellow at the University of Otago in New Zealand and is a Burda Scholar at Ben Gurion University, Israel.

    Wikipedia page | Emily Carr President Ron Burnett on his knighthood, parents, and the ideal school

    Q&A with Ron Burnett | Order of British Columbia | B.C. Academic to get French honours | How Images Think

  • Previous Leadership

    Institution Name History

    Emily Carr University of Art + Design 2008 - to present day
    Emily Carr Institute of Art + Design 1994 - 2008
    Emily Carr College of Art + Design 1981 - 1994
    Emily Carr College of Art 1978 - 1981
    Vancouver School of Art 1933 - 1977
    Vancouver School of Decorative and Applied Art 1925 - 1933


    1996 - 2018
    Ron Burnett
    President + Vice-Chancellor

    1986 - 1995
    Alan Barkley

    1985 - 1986
    Nini Baird (Director, Outreach Programs) & Terrence Johnson (Director, Fine Art)
    Interim Co-Principals

    1972 - 1985
    Robin Mayor

    1970 - 1972
    Don Stewart
    Acting Principal

    1952 - 1970
    Fred Amess

    1926 - 1952
    Charles H. Scott

    1925 - 1926
    G. Thornton Sharp
    Acting Principal VSDAA