After 10 years at the helm, Sylvia Barnard announced on Sept. 27 that as of next June, she will be stepping down as president of Cambrian College.
“Education has been my passion for the past 35 years, and my 10 years at Cambrian have certainly been professionally and personally rewarding,” said Barnard in a statement released by the school. “Over the past decade, our region and our College have been met with tremendous challenge and opportunity. I want to thank all of my Cambrian family and our partners for working to strengthen and reinvent Cambrian as a twenty-first century college.
“Moving forward, I am confident that Cambrian can continue to be an economic driver in the North and a leading postsecondary institution.”
As the college's fourth president in its 45-year history, Barnard is credited in a media release with ushering College into the new millennium and ensuring that its programs and services reflect the changing needs of students and employers.
Roger Emdin, chair of the school's board of governors, credited Barnard with having a vision that has enabled and will continue to enable Cambrian to grow as a post-secondary institution.
“Cambrian’s graduates are recognized by industry and the public sector as some of the strongest in Canada,” said Emdin. “(And) under Sylvia’s tenure, Cambrian also recorded the highest graduate satisfaction rate among English-language colleges in Ontario. She led a team through some trying times, but it was her vision and drive that contributed to so many successes.”
Besides helping forge new local, domestic, and international partnerships for Cambrian, a release from the school credits her with helping in the development of distinctive program areas in health sciences, technology, creative arts, and the skilled trades; placing an enhanced focus on Aboriginal, first-generation, international, and adult learners; helping ensure the opening of the 16,400 square-foot Xstrata Nickel Sustainable Energy Centre in 2012; and with working to create more flexible learning options through online and part-time program offerings and college-university agreements
The process of selecting a new president will begin immediately, Cambrian said.
Barnard retires as of June 30, 2013.