NIC President takes sabbatical to learn from North Island communities

NIC President John Bowman will take a sabbatical leave this summer to study how the college can better meet the needs of North Island organizations and communities.

NIC’s Board of Governors approved the sabbatical at its March 9 board meeting in Campbell River.

“I’m excited to research opportunities for even greater synergy between NIC and the local priorities and initiatives of other organizations,” said Bowman. “NIC works closely with many organizations in the region. I hope this project identifies new approaches to working together locally and across communities.”

His four-month leave runs from May 1 to August 31. It will allow him to focus significant time on better understanding the economic and educational needs of local governments, First Nations, school districts, key partner organizations and agencies across the region.

Bowman will meet individually with 70 to 80 community and organization leaders from the Comox Valley, Campbell River, Port Alberni, Ucluelet, Tofino and Mt. Waddington regions to obtain their comments, ideas and advice on how NIC can be a more effective partner and collaborator.

The leave also enables Bowman to learn more about how NIC can support long-term projects across the North Island.

“John’s choice of sabbatical shows his dedication to education and our communities,” said NIC Board Chair Derek Lamb. “NIC serves a large geographic area, with many points of contact between NIC and local organizations, and it can be difficult to nurture relationships across the region on a day-to-day basis. His research will build on the connections created by local advisory and learning councils to better support our communities.”

The project also directly addresses seven of NIC’s strategic goals identified in its five-year strategic plan (NIC Plan 2020). The study will determine how NIC can better fulfill its mandate to support economic and community development through more extensive and effective cooperation with other entities.

Lisa Domae, NIC’s Vice President, Learning and Students, will serve as NIC’s Acting President during his leave. Bowman returns September 1, 2017 to continue his regular duties as NIC President.

“Lisa has many years of experience in NIC’s senior leadership team and knows the college and the community well,” said Lamb. “I am confident NIC is in excellent hands during John’s sabbatical.”

Bowman has served as NIC President since August 2013. He is known for his collaborative approach and leadership in providing access to post-secondary education across wide geographic areas. Before arriving at NIC, he served as President of the College of New Caledonia in Prince George for seven years.

He will present his findings and recommendations to the Board of Governors and college community when he returns this fall.

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