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January 24, 2014

January 24, 2014

CEO on the Move

This week, I visited the great Rob MacIsaac, President of Mohawk College, and the members of his executive team on Rob’s second-to-last day in the office. As reported previously, Rob is leaving Mohawk to take on the role of CEO of Hamilton Health Sciences. My visit was well-timed, as I was able to enjoy Chris Turner’s presentation on sustainability, renewable energy and clean technology. Chris Turner is Canada’s authoritative voice on sustainability, and was at Mohawk as part of Mohawk Talks, a series of keynote presentations open to both students and the community. The College successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 24%, beating not only its 20% target, but reaching it six years ahead of schedule despite the growth of the campus facilities and an increasing student population.  Mohawk’s Sustainability Office posts information on their environmental sustainability initiatives on the website and publishes a monthly newsletter to both inform and engage staff and students.

From Mohawk, I travelled to Humber College to meet with President Chris Whitaker and some of his team. Situated in northwest Toronto adjacent to the Humber River and 100 acres of parkland, the Humber North Campus is home to more than 19,000 full-time students, and facilities include residences for 1,000 students, a library, an indoor pool and sauna, athletics facilities, a fully functioning spa and The Arboretum, a beautiful 100-acre park. I visited the School of Media Studies and Information Technology; the School of Hospitality, Recreation and Tourism; the School of Applied Technology; and the College’s great Collaboratory room.

On Friday, January 24, I participated in the Partners in Research’s Virtual Researcher On Call (VROC) Advisory Board meeting.  VROC connects students with academic researchers through videoconferencing, with a goal of encouraging and inspiring students to continue in science, technology, engineering and math studies. Contact VROC to learn more about their research and educational programs.

Stay tuned for next week’s report on the Skills for the Future Barbados Conference 2014: “Build, Innovate, Transform” where I will give a keynote presentation and take part in a panel discussion. I have dress shoes in my carry-on luggage this time, so I will not be wearing the less-than-fashionable running shoes at the podium! You can also follow the Conference on Twitter or Facebook.


We continue to explore areas of mutual interest and potential collaboration with various organizations on your behalf.  This week, I spoke with:

  • Dr. Robert Thirsk, Vice-President, Public, Government and Institute Affairs Portfolio, Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).  CIHR is Canada’s federal funding agency for health research, and provides leadership and support to more than 12,600 health researchers and trainees across Canada.
  • Paul Davidson, President and CEO, Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC). AUCC is ACCC’s sister organization, representing 97 public and private not-for-profit universities and university degree-level colleges. An ACCC/AUCC presidents committee will meet later this month to explore transferability and other possible college-university collaborations.
  • Marc Brazeau, President and Chief Executive Officer, Automotive Industries Association of Canada (AIA).  The AIA is a national association representing the automotive aftermarket industry in Canada, composed of companies that manufacture, distribute, retail and install automotive replacement parts, accessories, tools and equipment.  It is a $19.4 billion industry employing over 420,000 people.
  • Michael Black of Deloitte regarding CANARIE’s new strategic plan.  ACCC was asked to provide feedback as a result of the number of colleges have benefited from the CANARIE infrastructure and network.
  • Kim Allen, CEO, Engineers Canada.  Engineers Canada is the national organization of the provincial and territorial associations that regulate the practice of engineering and license Canada’s more than 260,000 professional engineers.

Canadian Immigrant Integration Program

The Canadian Immigrant Integration Program (CIIP) held its annual Focal Point Partner (FPP) Workshop on January 20, 2014.  Forty partners attended in Ottawa and fifteen joined via webcast. Participants included representatives from federal and provincial governments, sector councils, colleges, immigrant serving organizations, and former CIIP clients. The inclusive and interactive workshop provided partners with the opportunity to share best practices, learn about relevant Citizenship and Immigration Canada policies and programs, hear about the experiences of former CIIP clients, and brainstorm about future programming.

College Visits

ACCC’s Vice President of International Partnerships, Paul Brennan, recently visited three member institutions in Quebec.

At Collège Shawinigan, his tour included the National Center for Electrochemistry and Environmental Technologies (Centre national en électrochimie et en technologies environnementales)  and their Centre virtuel d’immersion clinique, a simulated healthcare centre with lifelike mannequins giving students hands-on experience.

Paul met with Cégep de Trois-Rivières’ Director General Raymond Robert Tremblay and Denis Rousseau, Director of International Cooperation and Development to discuss how to increase international student recruitment in the region.

The Comité International Mauricien de l’éducation (CIME) is a committee representing the colleges, the Université de Québec à Trois-Rivières, two school boards, Emploi Québec and the Conférence régionale des élus de la Mauricie.  Paul was invited to speak at CIME’s meeting about a more focused and coordinated international marketing approach.

Paul rounded out the day with a visit to Collège Laflèche, where he met with Director General Julie Anne Trottier, who is also CIME’s chair, and Sylvie Lemay, Continuing Education and International Development Coordinator, to discuss the College’s interest in projects in Latin America.


Congratulations to Bob Carrington, on his appointment as Interim President at Mohawk College, replacing Rob MacIsaac, effective February 1.  Bob is currently associate vice-president, facilities and property development, and previously held the positions of acting vice president of student services; senior vice president, corporate services; and acting vice-president, corporate services.

Congratulations to Peter Lawlor, who joined the Keyano College faculty as the new Dean of the Trades and Heavy Industrial school on January 13.  Peter previously spent 13 years at NAIT, most recently as Dean, School of Trades, has a bachelor of Education with distinction and is completing his masters through Cape Breton University.  Peter also holds an apprenticeship and trade certificate with an inter-provincial seal in carpentry.

Let’s Talk Energy Week

Get in on the energy conversation! From February 21 – 28, 2014 ACCC is proud to be part of Canada’s first ever national energy awareness week. Let’s Talk Energy Week – IT’S ON! invites Canadians to explore and discuss the vital role energy plays in all aspects of our lives.

Visit for more information.

Contest/Call for Talent: Transformations – ACCC Art Showcase 2014

ACCC launched a call for talent, inviting students from its member institutions to submit a piece of art to embellish the ACCC Secretariat office space located in Ottawa. We are looking for unique pieces that are visually interesting and could include technical drawings, illustrations, paintings, sculptures, photos and textiles that best represent the talent within your institution. The selected pieces will be showcased in the ACCC offices, on the website and in our publications. Visit the ACCC website for additional information.

Eureka! Moment

Kudos to St. Lawrence College President and Chief Executive Officer Glenn Vollebregt who has been attending two different classes per month to get a student’s perspective on things, his “Go-to-Class” initiative. Last year, he took “a bit of heat”, participating in live fire training alongside the firefighting students at the Loyalist Fire Training Centre.  Recently, Glenn and Senior Vice-President of Advancement, Student and External Affairs Gordon MacDougall took part in a day of training with pre-service firefighter students, and it was a somewhat “chilling” experience.  They joined students in ice water rescue training; learning the basics of pulling themselves and an instructor from a glacial hole in the city harbour.  While Glenn described the experience as “phenomenal”, I would rather watch the video or follow his adventures on Twitter.

Did You Know?

Portage College’s plans to build the country’s first Pipeline Training Centre in Boyle, Alberta, are moving forward.  The College is strategically positioned to respond to the need to build a Training Centre for workforce development in light of the recommended approval for the Northern Gateway Pipeline.  The Pipeline Training Centre will feature patented simulation technologies, boots-on-the-ground training and a closed loop pipeline that simulates oil spills using non-toxic materials to give students and working professionals an opportunity to develop important spill response and technical skills.

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