Cheryl Jensen has been named the eighth president of Algonquin College, the chair of the college’s board of governors announced Thursday.
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James McIntosh, chair of Algonquin College's Board of Governors presents new president Cheryl Jensen with an Algonquin sweatshirt.
Jensen comes to Algonquin from Mohawk College in Hamilton, where she had been the vice-president, academic for the last five years. She had been with the college in various other positions since 1983.
Once introduced by James McIntosh, chair of the college’s board of directors, Ms. Jensen said she had admired Algonquin from afar, calling it a “pioneer in applied knowledge and a standard for Canadian colleges.”
Ms. Jensen said she wants to strengthen the college’s position as a leader in digital technology.
“To remain in front, we have to continue to evolve and explore new opportunities in the digital domain,” she said.
Ms. Jensen said her first job will be to meet as many people inside and outside the Algonquin community and do a lot of listening. These conversations, she said, will help ensure the college’s focus remains on the power of education, giving students more options, flexibility and choices in the programs they pursue.
College board member Mark Sutcliffe said finding the right candidate was not an easy task. He said the board hired Boyden, an executive search firm, to assist in the four-month process.
Mr. Sutcliffe said the board was looking for a critical thinker and effective communicator who understood the economic situation of the college and had a key understanding of how to work with unionized labour. He said it was also looking for someone who had a real passion for teaching and learning.
Ms. Jensen called her three children her inspiration, and proof of the power of education, noting they couldn’t be at the announcement because they are all “gainfully employed.”
Polytechnics Canada also welcomed Ms. Jensen to its board of directors, an appointment that automatically comes with being Algonquin president.
“I look forward to working with Ms. Jensen along with all our other Board members to continue to raise the profile of polytechnic education in Canada," Anne Sado, chair of its board of directors said in a statement.
Ms. Jensen’s first day will be Aug. 25.