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New CNC president settles in to the job

New College of New Caledonia president Dr. Dennis Johnson had his first day on the job October 1. Bill Phillips photo

Dr. Dennis Johnson isn’t about to make any radical changes at the College of New Caledonia.

The new president took over running the institution October 1 and is looking forward to getting down to work.

“The goal is to keep on the community college model and mandate,” he said. “Access is important to me. The community college is a transformative type institution. It’s getting access for people who might otherwise not engage … I’ll be working towards improving and increasing access.”

One of his first tasks, over the next year, will be to work with the staff and board to develop a new strategic plan for the college, so that will provide a place for him, and others, to guide the future of the college.

He comes to CNC from Saskatchewan Polytechnic where he was Provost and Vice President Academic and Vice President Strategy and Business Development and will bring that experience and expertise to the college.

“Business development is one of those things that means different things to different people,” he said. “We had a strategic approach, evidence-informed approach, whether it was high-level strategic planning or operational decision-making. It was all about doing the due diligence and not making uninformed decisions.”

He grew up in Vernon and worked in Kamloops for about 10 years, so moving back to B.C. was something that he wanted to do. He will visiting all of CNC’s campuses over the next month.

Johnson is a former resident and educator in British Columbia, and holds a Ph.D. Educational Administration from University of Saskatchewan, Master of Education, Post-Secondary Studies from Memorial University of Newfoundland and a Bachelor of Education, Adult Education from Brock University.

CNC underwent an extensive search for a new president, said board chair Gil Mayfair. A firm was hired to conduct the search and then 14-member committee consisting of board members, faculty, and union members made the actual decision.

“We’re extremely happy to have him join our institution,” said Gil Mayfair, CNC board chair. “Dennis’ depth, breadth of experience, background in trades, were important do us.”

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