Presidential Search

Message from the Board Chair


To the ECU Community,

On behalf of the Board of Governors of Emily Carr University of Art + Design, I am delighted to announce Dr. Gillian Siddall as our next President and Vice-Chancellor

Dr. Siddall most recently served as Vice-President Academic and Provost at OCAD U where she led the academic planning process. She holds an Honours BA and MA in English from the University of Guelph and a PhD in English from the University of Western Ontario.

Dr. Siddall began her career as a sessional lecturer at the University of Guelph, before accepting a tenure-track appointment at Lakehead University in 1998. There she went on to become the founding Director of the teaching and learning centre, and then Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities. Her research area is Canadian literature, and she has published extensively on the subject of musical improvisation, both within and outside a literary context. 

Her experience, along with her personal connection to the arts as a jazz vocalist and choral singer, make her well-suited to understand the specialized nature of art and design education. She is an advocate of Indigenization and decolonization within the university sector, and co-led the Provost’s Taskforce on Indigenous Learning at OCAD U with Professor Bonnie Devine.

This appointment marks the culmination of a year-long search by ECU’s Presidential Search Committee, a 14-member body that comprised representatives from across the University, and included students, faculty, staff, alumni and a member of the Indigenous community at ECU.

As the University begins writing its next chapter, the committee resoundingly believes that Dr. Siddall has the qualities, experience and track record to harness the best ideas from the ECU community and the leadership skills to put them into action.

Dr. Siddall succeeds Dr. Ron Burnett, who has served as ECU’s President since 1996. Dr. Burnett will be stepping down from the position on July 31, 2018. Dr. Siddall’s term commences September 1, 2018.  Michael Clifford, VP, Finance + Administration, and Bonne Zabolotney, VP Academic + Provost, have agreed to serve as Co-Interim Presidents from August 1 until Dr. Siddall’s arrival.

Best regards, 

Kim Peacock
Chair, Board of Governors 
Emily Carr University of Art + Design


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We want to hear from you!

The recruitment process is officially underway for Emily Carr's next President + Vice-Chancellor, and the search committee wants to hear from you!

If you were not able to attend the Community Forum, we offer this online avenue to provide your thoughts around qualification, experience and background that will help define the candidate role profile.

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