Dr. Gillian Siddall was installed today as the tenth President and Vice-Chancellor of Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) in a ceremony held at Reliance Theatre on the ECU campus.
In attendance were Lieutenant Governor Janet Austin, Deputy Minister Shannon Baskerville, senior staff from the US, Italian, French and British consulates, as well as members of the ECU community.
“We are honoured to install Dr. Gillian Siddall as our President today,” said ECU Chancellor Geoff Plant in his opening remarks. “Since arriving in September, she has already demonstrated her commitment to upholding our values and advancing the goals of the university. I look forward to seeing all the incredible things that our students, faculty and community will accomplish under her leadership.”
“I am deeply humbled to be recognized today, and grateful to be welcomed into the Emily Carr family as your new president,” said Dr. Siddall of the installation.
In her address, she spoke of the need for art, design and digital media research in helping address the problems facing today’s world.
“Students who choose to make art, design and digital media the focus of their university education bring a crucial set of skills and experience to identifying and solving problems, to challenging dominant ways of thinking, and bringing innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit to their engagement with their communities and with the world,” said Siddall. “An art and design university provides the learning environment for students and faculty to engage in this kind of critical work.”
Prior to Dr. Siddall’s current role at ECU, she most recently served as Vice-President Academic and Provost at the OCAD University. Previously, Dr. Siddall was Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities at Lakehead University. She has published extensively on the subject of musical improvisation, both within and outside a literary context.
An advocate of decolonization within post-secondary institutions, Dr. Siddall along with VP Academic and Provost Bonne Zabolotney are currently recruiting for five full-time Indigenous faculty to reinforce ECU’s commitment to indigenization. At OCAD, Dr. Siddall also co-led the Provost’s Taskforce on Indigenous Learning with Professor Bonnie Devine.
Dr. Siddall succeeded Dr. Ron Burnett as President and Vice-Chancellor last September 1, 2018.