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Board reappoints President Ana Serrano for second term

Photo of a woman with long black hair with some grey, wearing a silver chunky necklace and a black top

OCAD University’s Board of Governors Chair Lanita Layton is pleased to announce that the Board unanimously voted to reappoint Ana Serrano for a second five-year term at its June 17 meeting.

Serrano’s reappointment as President and Vice-Chancellor, effective July 1, 2025, comes after a review process led by Board Chair Layton, which involved confidential consultations with members of the University community, including Board members, senior leaders and external partners.

“President Serrano provided the leadership necessary to lead OCAD U during the pandemic with its resulting challenges and disruptions,” says Board Chair Layton. “She also led the University in developing a roadmap that will ensure the institution’s long-term financial sustainability while enhancing the student experience. She has strengthened existing partnerships and forged new ones across multiple stakeholders to further position OCAD U as Canada’s leading art and design university.”

President Serrano joined the University on July 1, 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic was in full swing. She led the institution with transparency and forged meaningful connections between stakeholder groups while developing protocols for managing the facilities and operations during the pandemic, and ensuring the health and safety of the community when the University gradually reopened its doors.

Along with Caroline Langill, Vice-President, Academic and Provost, President Serrano co-chaired the development of the University’s new Academic and Strategic Plan, 2022-2028. Positioning OCAD U as an institution and community of bold, curious and compassionate artists, designers and scholars, this integrated plan provides a clear direction and focus for the University to drive impact as a leader in art and design education.

She has spearheaded initiatives to successfully secure several million-dollar investments, including more than $1.7 million from the Government of Canada’s Future Skills to create the cooperative platform, and close to $4 million from the Public Health Agency of Canada for the Mindful Campus initiative. She initiated a review of the University’s fundraising efforts, which have seen a steady increase in these revenues.

Under her leadership, the University successfully launched several initiatives that facilitate and nurture the growth and success of the next-generation of artists, designers and scholars as they tackle some of the most complex challenges of our time. These include:

  • OCAD U LiVE, the first 24/7 digital streaming on-demand channel at a University that has evolved into a vibrant studio and production house, offering students paid experiential learning opportunities in video and film content creation;
  • The Cultural Policy Hub, a national bilingual platform that is building communities of practice among diverse stakeholders to support the development of cultural policy in the country; and
  • The Global Centre for Climate Action, a research centre where art, design and creative practice are coming together to imagine new approaches to sustainability, climate justice and decolonization.

“I am honoured to continue to serve OCAD U as we approach our 150th anniversary and pave the way for another 150 years,” says President Serrano. “I am grateful to be a part of such a wonderful community of joyful, curious and compassionate artists, designers and digital media makers who are truly making a difference in our society and in our communities.”