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Dr. Ron Common announces retirement. Again

He has served as college president for 16 years
20170126 Dr Ron Common KA
Dr. Ron Common file photo. Kenneth Armstrong/SooToday

Sault College has announced that after 16 years as president, Dr. Ron Common will retire on Aug. 31, 2023.

Throughout his 55 years as an academic, Dr. Common has published more than 100 articles in academic journals as well as three books, and was named to the Order of Ontario in 2014 for his “outstanding contributions and achievements in education.”

This is not the first time Dr. Common announced his retirement. In 2013, he postponed those plans in order to complete a number of projects underway at the college. At that time, the board requested a one-year delay.

Full text of a news release issued by Sault College follows:

Dr. Ron Common, Sault College’s longest serving president, is retiring from the college after the completion of his current term on Aug. 31, 2023. Dr. Common is retiring after a 55-year career as an educator, including 16 years at Sault College.

“On behalf of the Board of Governors we would like to celebrate Dr. Ron Common’s achievements, which are a direct result of sharing an inspiring vision, commitment to our community and putting our students at the centre of everything,” said Shauna Hynna, chair, Sault College Board of Governors. “We thank Ron for his exceptional leadership over the last 16 years. He has and continues to inspire others to think and learn differently. We want to recognize Ron for being a true champion of equity, accessibility, diversity and Inclusion that will continue to positively impact our community and beyond for years to come.”

Dr. Common will leave behind a legacy of strong leadership, transformation and innovation. Under his leadership, some of Sault College’s achievements include:
    •    building critical infrastructure and revitalizing the college with more than 120 million dollars in capital construction
    •    growing student enrolment dramatically with the second highest overall enrollment in our history this year, and the highest last year with a large influx of international and Indigenous students
    •    navigating the challenges of a global pandemic with innovation and flexibility
    •    steadfast commitment to Indigenous education strengthening the college’s ongoing efforts towards truth and reconciliation
    •    creation of various new programs, including the Bachelor of Engineering – Mechatronics degree program offered in partnership with Humber College and the college’s stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BScN) and Practical Registered Nurse to BScN programs
    •    Innovative collaborations with various stakeholders and community partners to advance programming and align educational goals with the evolving needs of industry
    •    Being the recipient of numerous awards, including being nationally recognized as the Gold Recipient of Colleges and Institutes Canada’s (CiCan) Indigenous Education Excellence Award (2016-17) and the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Award (2021-22)
    •    creating an invitational student learning environment leading to consistently positive student satisfaction ratings

“I am truly honoured to have served Sault College for the past 16 years. During my time, I have been fortunate to be surrounded by an extraordinary group of people who all have a common goal of fulfilling the dreams of our students. This has been an amazing and exciting journey,” said Dr. Ron Common, president, Sault College. “Over the years, our college has transformed and grown and I am so proud of everything we have achieved together. I look forward to watching as Sault College continues on this incredible path.”

Prior to his Sault College appointment, Dr. Common was formerly an assistant professor of Education at Queen’s University, full professor of Graduate Studies in Education at Brock University, full professor and director of Native and Northern Education at Memorial University, full professor and dean of education at Brandon University, and full professor and dean of education at Nipissing University. Dr. Common is a widely published academic with over 100 articles in academic journals and three books. In his career, he worked extensively in Africa and in First Nations education throughout Canada. He received the Order of Ontario in 2014 for his “outstanding contributions and achievements in education.”

The search for Dr. Common’s replacement will begin in the near future.