01/06/2012 01:18 EST | Updated 03/07/2012 05:12 EST

Academic to help Nova Scotia College of Art and Design boost finances

HALIFAX - An academic and former university president has been tapped to help oversee the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design's plan to improve its finances.

The provincial government has appointed Daniel O'Brien to help the 125-year-old financially strapped university.

O'Brien was president at St. Thomas University in Fredericton for 16 years and the acting president of Saint Mary's University's Atlantic School of Theology last year.

The art school is expected to deliver a fiscal plan to the government by March 31 on how it plans to become fiscally sustainable.

A report released last month said the university was in serious financial trouble and needed to look at collaborative arrangements with other schools, including a possible merger.

It is the oldest independent school in Canada granting fine arts degrees and has an enrolment of about 1,000 students.