Niagara College Appoints a New President – the College’s V.P. of Student and External Relations, Sean Kennedy

Kennedy Will Be Niagara College’s Sixth President, Succeeding Long-Time President Dan Patterson

A News Release from Niagara College in Niagara, Ontario

Posted January 10th, 2020 on Niagara At Large

Niagara, Ontario – The Niagara College Board of Governors announced this January 10th  that it has selected Sean Kennedy, an experienced post-secondary leader with 20 years of experience leading teams in several areas of higher education, as Niagara College’s sixth president.

Niagara College has a new President, the Sixth in its history- Sean Kennedy

Currently Niagara College’s senior vice president, International, Kennedy has been a part of the College’s senior leadership team since 2006.

“Sean is student-focused, and embodies the Niagara College DNA – the welcoming, passionate and trailblazing qualities that set Niagara College apart and form the foundation of its success,” said John F.T. Scott, chair of the Niagara College Board of Governors.

Kennedy succeeds Dan Patterson, who announced in spring, 2019 that he would conclude his 25-year tenure as president. In July 2019, the Niagara College Board of Governors began its process to select a new president.

Sean Kennedy replaces now retired Niagara College president Dan Patterson

“Our recruitment process attracted exceptional candidates from across the country,” said Scott. “In the end it became very clear that Sean brings the ideal combination of energy, experience, vision and community connections that will help him lead Niagara College into the next chapter of its remarkable history.”

Kennedy joined Niagara College in 2006 as vice president, Student and External Relations and CEO of the Niagara College Foundation, a role in which he oversaw the College’s re-branding and implemented strategies to strengthen the College’s marketing, fundraising, enrolment, community engagement and government relations.

For the 2011-2012 academic year, Kennedy served as interim vice president, Academic, with responsibility for all academic operations of the College, including program quality, pathways and educational development.

Kennedy assumed his current role in 2014, overseeing the College’s global engagement and rapidly growing international activities, including international partnerships and student mobility, student recruitment and services, English Language programs, and overseas projects, campuses and training. In this role, Kennedy has led a multi-national team of more than 500 employees who have significantly extended the College’s profile and enriched the lives of students around the world.

Kennedy has also been a member of boards and agencies at the national, provincial and community levels.

Prior to joining Niagara College, Kennedy held leadership positions in student services, academic and International education at the University of Alberta and Red Deer College.

“It is an absolute privilege to be given the opportunity to lead Canada’s most dynamic college,” said Kennedy.  “Niagara College is successful because we dream big, we dare to lead, and we have an exceptionally dedicated team of faculty and staff, who share a commitment to the success of our students and our communities. Looking ahead to a period of significant opportunities and challenges, I will work tirelessly as president to nurture, encourage and leverage our shared values, and the defining characteristics that set Niagara College apart.”

Kennedy and his wife, Kerry, live in Fonthill and are the proud parents of two sons, Aidan and Neil.

Niagara College offers more than 130 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Part-Time Studies courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, distilling, horticulture and esthetics.   

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