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New pres looks to build on Cambrian's successes

By: Heidi Ulrichsen - Sudbury Northern Life

 | Apr 30, 2014 - 2:55 PM |
 Bill Best has been named Cambrian College's new president. Supplied photo.

Bill Best has been named Cambrian College's new president. Supplied photo.

First task to create new five-year strategic plan

The newly appointed president of Cambrian College said he's looking forward to planning the college's future.

With Cambrian's strategic plan expiring this year, Bill Best said one of his his first tasks when he starts his new job August 5 will be to consult with the college community.


From there, he'll work with other senior administrators to create a new five-year strategic plan for the years 2015-2020.

Overall, Cambrian already seems to be on the right path, he said.

“It looks like there's a really strong core of innovation,” Best said.

“The faculty have received good reviews in the student experience, and the students seem very pleased with what they're experiencing at Cambrian. So really, it's a matter of building on
those successes.”

He said it's a “real benefit” for an incoming president to be involved in a strategic planning exercise, as “you get to start fresh while engaging the college community.”

Best, who has 20 years of experience in the college sector, comes to Cambrian from the New Brunswick Community College in Fredericton, where he's currently the vice-president of finance and administration.

When the college was formed four years ago through the merger of six community colleges, Best was the interim CEO.

“The board is pleased to welcome Bill Best to Cambrian College and to the Sudbury community,” said Eric Kohtakangas, chair of Cambrian's board of governors, in a press release.

“Bill brings a wealth of public and private sector experience to the role. He has a strong academic background, is a seasoned senior administrator, and has a sound business acumen.

“Under his guidance, we are confident that Cambrian will be well positioned for future growth as we approach our 50th year in the Ontario college system.”

When he arrives on campus this summer, Best will become the college's third president in a little over a year.

Sylvia Barnard, who led the college for 11 years, retired last June. She was briefly replaced by Peter Lawlor, who stepped down in October for personal reasons after just three months on the job.

Sonia Del Missier, the college's vice-president, academic, stepped up as the interim president as Cambrian searched for a new president.

Best was one of the original candidates short-listed to replace Barnard. Although he didn't get the job during the first round of hiring, he said he's “very pleased” he got another chance.

He said he thinks Sudbury will be a good fit for his family — including his wife, Fay, and their three kids, aged nine, 14 and 16 — who enjoy outdoor activities such as riding dirt bikes at ATVs.

“New Brunswick is very similar in terms of the layout of the environment,” Best said. “We don't have super-large Toronto-like cities. I was very much was looking for that experience for my family to be continued.”
Heidi Ulrichsen

Heidi Ulrichsen

Staff Writer

@heidi_ulrichsen

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