Academic Director


In 2001, Finning International Inc. gifted land in the False Creek Flats to British Columbia’s leading post-secondary institutions: University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU), Emily Carr University of Art + Design (ECU) and British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). This gift resulted in the creation of the Great Northern Way Campus Trust (“Trust”), pursuant to which the four post-secondary institutions are beneficiaries, and a company, Great Northern Way Campus Ltd. (“GNWC”), to manage its assets, land and income. The four post-secondary institutions are equal shareholders of GNWC.

The vision for GNWC was to transform the lands into a vibrant urban campus community of creators, entrepreneurs, and educators. This would include a world-class Centre for Digital Media, a new campus for Emily Carr University of Art + Design, public spaces, university-oriented live/work residences, artist studios, and workspaces for industry professionals. With a $40.5M grant from the BC government, GNWC had the start-up capital to establish a master’s program in Digital Media and a World Centre for Digital Media. The Centre for Digital Media (CDM) opened its doors in 2007, with the first cohort graduating from the Master of Digital Media (MDM) graduate degree program in 2009. The MDM is now an internationally recognized, research-informed and industry relevant 16-month program with an emphasis on experiential learning.

The Master of Digital Media program is accredited by all four partners with SFU holding the Management Services Agreement to deliver academic programs at the CDM. Faculty who are teaching in the program are employees of SFU, while the 15 staff who oversee academic program delivery, real estate and property management, and administration and finance are employees of GNWC.


The incumbent Director of the MDM program will be retiring later this year, and GNWC is conducting a national search to recruit an Academic Director who will be responsible for overseeing the academic, business and operational affairs of GNWC. The Academic Director will oversee staff, through a senior management team, and faculty of the MDM Program.

The initial focus of the role will be to review and streamline the organizational structure and management of academic services to ensure there is strong fiscal management. A key priority for the Academic Director will be to develop a strategy on how to evolve the content of the existing programs and to identify new programming that will meet the emerging needs of industry and the community and result in jobs for graduating students. This will include developing an operational plan, budget and financial projections for the academic programs.


A strategic and innovative thinker, the Academic Director will work collaboratively with the Board and the four partner institutions and provide direction for implementing a strategic plan that aligns with GNWCs new vision and will achieve long-term sustainability. The Academic Director will provide strong leadership and be responsible for strategic planning, academic programming and delivery, financial and administrative management, stakeholder relations, and operational management.

The Academic Director will be responsible for recommending new programs, overseeing and managing academic content and curriculum design, and ensuring academic quality assurance and improvement. They will be a proven relationship builder who can identify and foster strategic alliances and partnerships with industry and work collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, promote cultural awareness of Indigenous issues, demonstrating commitment to diversity, inclusion, and decolonization.

The Academic Director will have a combination of academic leadership experience and experience in the digital media sector. This will include a terminal degree in a relevant discipline; senior academic leadership as a Director or Department Head; experience developing an academic vision and creating and implementing new academic programs; solid business and financial acumen; and a proven ability to work within complex governance and reporting structures. An authentic, inspiring and people-focused leader, the Academic Director will have a track record of building a highly effective team, the ability to lead and manage change, a cultural awareness of Indigenous issues and a demonstrated commitment to diversity, inclusion and decolonization.

GNWC respectfully acknowledges that the land on which the Centre for Digital Media campus is located is the traditional and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples, specifically the shared traditional territories of the Səl̓ ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and xʷ məθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) First Nations.

Thank you to all candidates who apply. GNWC encourages applications regardless of race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, political belief, religion, marital status, family status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, gender, gender identity, or age. GNWC values equity and diversity in the workplace, and the positive impact that it has on the team. Upon receiving an interview, you may request accommodation for any accessibility needs.

To apply for this role, please click the link below. We sincerely thank you for your interest in this opportunity and will only contact those under consideration for the role.