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Presidential Search

It is an exciting, if daunting, time for OCAD University as we commence our search for our next President and Vice-Chancellor.

Dr. Diamond, the only President and Vice Chancellor OCAD University has known, will complete her third term at the end of the 2019/2020 academic year.

On your behalf, I’d like to not only acknowledge and thank her but also salute her for her outstanding dedication to and leadership of our University.

As well, I’d like to extend appreciation to Dr. Diamond for her continuing commitment to the implementation of our ambitious academic plan and to her work in leading the University's capacity building projects with government, donors and industry partners.

I look forward to working with her on both.

Over the coming months, the University’s Board of Governors and the Presidential Search Committee will be conducting a comprehensive recruitment process for a new President for a 5-year term to begin on July 1, 2020. OCAD University has retained Boyden, a global executive search firm, to assist the Committee with this important mandate.

Before we officially launch the search, Boyden will be conducting an online survey for members of the OCAD University community to share their input regarding the President and Vice-Chancellor profile. The comments and feedback will go to Boyden consultants only and will be kept anonymous, with aggregated responses provided in confidence to OCAD U’s Presidential Search Committee.

In addition to the online survey, Boyden will undertake individual consultation meetings with student, alumni, faculty, staff, Board and Senate representatives, and OCAD U’s academic and administrative leaders as well as key external stakeholders and partners.  In addition, several open sessions will be provided by individual appointment for other interested members of our University community.

If you would prefer to share your input directly with Boyden, please email Nick Chambers ( or Jessa Chupik (

On behalf of the Board of Governors and OCAD University, thank you for your contribution. Please know your participation in our search process will make a material difference in its success.

Thank you, Miigwetch

Jaime Watt
Chair, Board of Governors
OCAD University


Search process and timelines

OCAD University’s search for its next President and Vice-Chancellor is being undertaken in accordance with the Policy on the Appointment and Reappointment of President, found here. The key stages of the search and associated timeline are outlined below:

Presidential Search Process Timeline

Mid-February 2019

Launch community consultation, to include key stakeholder meetings and online survey


Establish presidential search webpage for ongoing communication regarding the search

March 18, 2019

Board to finalize search committee membership

April-May 2019

Search Committee to review community input and finalize candidate profile, advertisements

May 2019

Launch public search and post position 

Late summer - Fall 2019

Candidate shortlisting, interviewing, and vetting 

Late Fall 2019

Recommendation of candidate for Board approval 

July 1, 2020

New presidential appointment to begin 

Meet the search consultants

Jessa Chupik

Jessa Jessa is a Toronto-based Partner with Boyden and an accomplished executive search consultant with a track record of hundreds of successful placements, primarily in the public and not-for-profit sectors, having recruited across Canada’s top universities and colleges, governments, and NGOs. She is distinguished by her exceptional insights in building high-performing teams, strategic recruiting, and talent management. Jessa is a champion of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all of its forms and partners with organizations committed to having a demonstrable and positive social impact.

Jessa has spent the last thirteen years recruiting in the public and not-for-profit sectors. Previously, Jessa was a Senior Consultant with two executive search firms focusing primarily on searches in higher education. She has also held senior human resources roles in the Government of Nunavut, Ryerson University, and the BC Public Service. She has worked on over 380 executive searches.

At Ryerson University, as the Strategic Lead, Recruitment, Retention, Immigration and Employment Equity, Jessa was the leader of the two highly innovative HR programs, focused on career development for all employees (Career Conversations) as well as the award-winning HR program for faculty and staff who are going through gender transition at a post-secondary institution. In her role with the Government of Nunavut, she focused on the government’s commitment to developing a public service that is representative of the population of Nunavut as stipulated in Article 23 of the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. The objective of Article 23 is to increase Inuit participation in government employment in the Nunavut Settlement Area to a representative level (85% of the territorial workforce). She developed and implemented ‘Restricted Competitions for Inuit’ which significantly increased the number of Inuit employees in the government.

Jessa holds an Honours BA in Indigenous Studies (now the Chanie Wenjack School for Indigenous Studies) and a Master of Arts degree in Indigenous Studies and Canadian Studies both from Trent University. Jessa studied for a Ph.D. (ABD) in the Department of History at McMaster University. She published several articles in the field of history of medicine and disability. Jessa is a woman with a physical disability.

Nick Chambers

Nick Nick is a Toronto-based Partner with Boyden’s Social Impact and Academic practices. He has recently conducted executive recruitments for York University, McMaster University, Queen’s University, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Centre, and Toronto Grace Health System.

Nick brings to the Social Impact practice a wealth of experience in consulting, organization development, stakeholder consultation, leadership development, not-for-profit board governance, facilitation, and coaching. Previously, Nick was a Partner with a leading consultancy in the workplace learning and performance improvement industry.

Nick served on the Board of the Ontario Trillium Foundation for six years. While Chairing the Granting Liaison Committee he helped champion a major strategic initiative aimed at helping align the Foundation’s granting with the Canadian Index of Wellbeing and making the grant application process more equitable and inclusive.

Nick is a long-standing member of the selection panel of CivicAction's DiverseCity Fellowship, an innovative leadership development program for emerging city builders from across Southern Ontario.

Nick served on the Board of the Canadian Club of Toronto for nine years, including a term as President. He took particular interest in strengthening the Club's governance practices and diversifying its programming.

Nick earned a Bachelor of Kinesiology from McMaster University, a degree which provided an excellent foundation for a lifelong interest in the factors that promote human performance.

Get involved - community consultation

Summary of Consultation with OCAD University Community

Engagement with the OCAD University community in the search process is essential to its success. Input will be sought on such issues as:

  • the key opportunities and challenges facing OCAD University over the next ten years
  • the leadership style, qualities and experience we should be seeking
  • candidate nominations or networking sources

The opportunity will be provided for all members of the OCAD U community to share their ideas through a confidential online survey. All comments and feedback will go to Boyden consultants only and will be kept anonymous, with aggregated responses provided in confidence to OCAD U’s presidential search committee.

Further community input will be sought through individual meetings, calls and drop-in sessions with search consultant Nick Chambers of Boyden. Such meetings will be scheduled with a range of stakeholders, including student, faculty, staff, and alumni representatives, as well as governance leaders from the Aboriginal Education Council, Senate and Board of Governors, and key external stakeholders in the post-secondary, government, business, and arts and culture sectors.

Your feedback

Help us create an ideal candidate profile for the President and Vice Chancellor of OCAD University by participating in this confidential survey.

Please contact Jessa Chupik, at or 416-309-2358 or text 416-606-9093, if you’d prefer an alternative format or have specific questions.