TORONTO, May 23, 2019 /CNW/ – Centennial College has selected Dr. Craig Stephenson, Vice President, Student and Community Engagement, to serve as Centennial’s seventh President and CEO, succeeding Ann Buller, who is retiring after 15 years at the helm. Dr. Stephenson will begin his new role on August 26.
“Centennial College’s next president and CEO is a dynamic educator and leader who also happens to be a colleague and a familiar face. The selection committee found the candidate who not only reflected Centennial’s future vision as set out in our new Book of Commitments strategic plan, but who also has the capabilities to implement that vision,” says Scott Allison, Chair of the college’s Board of Governors.
Originally hired as Centennial’s Dean of Students in 2008, Stephenson immediately set to work on establishing leading-edge developmental advising for students, as well as a powerful career services model. Of vital importance to students, he led new mental health initiatives and became an exemplar of “silver service” quality, innovation, design and evaluation.
Born into a working-class family in rural northern England, Stephenson was the first in his family to go to post-secondary school. Advised to “aim low” due to England’s classism, he was dissuaded from applying to the country’s best universities despite having exceptional grades. Stephenson went on to earn a first-class honours degree in history at Warwick University in Coventry.
Stephenson completed his doctorate and taught social history at the University of Warwick, while serving as a Resident Coordinator, overseeing the well being of first-year students. Having studied and worked on campuses in England, South Carolina and California – and on an ocean-going ship touring the world – Stephenson has forged a reputation as an education pioneer over the past three decades.
As a former international student himself and later, an International House Associate Dean, a senior member of the Semester at Sea student life team and architect of an international student services operation, Stephenson is a passionate advocate of global citizenship and internationalization.
A fan of the “pop-in” – to quote Jerry Seinfeld – he likes to drop in to see people face-to-face when able. Through his long and varied involvement in the post-secondary sector, Stephenson never lets a day pass by without finding a way to enhance the student experience. Stephenson is an avid cyclist, residing in Whitchurch-Stouffville with his partner Parna and their 7-year old son.