Angus Graeme will step down as president of Selkirk College next year.
The college announced Friday that Graeme’s term had been extended one year to May 2022.
That will bring an end to what will be an 11-year run for Graeme as the college’s president, and 30 years since he first started teaching at Selkirk as a Forest Technology instructor.
“I just love my job, and I’ve loved all my jobs I’ve done at the college,” said Graeme on Monday. “But by next spring it will be 30 years, and I have some other areas of work I’d like to pursue before my best-before date.”
President contracts are usually tied to five-year terms. Graeme said his current term was set to end in April, but he wanted to stay on one more year to see the college through the COVID-19 pandemic.
That return to normal appears to be likely after Advance Education Minister Anne Kang said Monday colleges and universities should prepare for on-campus learning in the fall.
“One more year will just give us that time to make sure our next change of course will be in progress and it will be through the worst of the pandemic,” said Graeme.
Selkirk has undergone plenty of changes under Graeme.
Since 2011, the college opened the Applied Research and Innovation Centre in Castlegar, and completed a $23-million renovation to the Silver King campus in Nelson. It also increased domestic and international enrolment, added programs such as the Rural Pre-Medicine Program and in 2019 published its Indigenization Plan.
Despite that, Graeme thinks it’s time the college had a fresh perspective. The extra year, he said, will also help Selkirk’s board of governors find a replacement.
“Sometimes you can become maybe a little bit closed off or oblivious to what opportunities are out there for a college like Selkirk,” he said.
“So that might come from someone within the organization or it might be somebody from another province, but I wanted to give the board enough time that they can do a really good search so they can get that right fit.”
The 57-year-old Nelson resident said he’s still pondering his next move, but is considering work for non-profit organizations.
Right now his focus is on the college, which he said is nearing the end of a tumultuous year for faculty who scrambled to finish the winter 2020 semester at the start of the lockdown and then had to rethink instruction ahead of last fall’s semester.
“It’s just an incredible undertaking. I’d just like to see that brought full circle.”
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