After conducting a national search, it turns out Okanagan College didn’t have to look very far to find a new Central Okanagan regional dean.
Phil Ashman, a 15-year college veteran and current associate dean of science, technology and health, will take on the role later this month, and according to the college, will bring a wealth of internal experience and community connections to the position.
Ashman joined Okanagan College in 2002, first as a professor in network and telecommunications engineering. He spent eight years in an instructional role before becoming department chairman in 2010. Three years later, he joined the college’s leadership team as associate dean of science, technology and health, a position he has held for the last four years.
Prior to joining Okanagan College, Ashman spent eight years working in information technology at the University of Northern British Columbia and the Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg.
He holds a Master of Science in IT network infrastructure and design as well as a Bachelor of Science in computer engineering.
“Phil has been an asset to Okanagan College in every role he has taken on during his progressive career,” said Charlotte Kushner, vice-president of students at the college. “He was a valued and innovative professor and went on to do an impressive job as chair of the department. When he moved into administration he was successful in providing leadership through relationship-building. Phil’s passion for the College and his ability to move projects forward through collaboration will be a huge asset in his new role.”
Outside of his position at Okanagan College Ashman has been actively involved in the Okanagan tech community.
He represented the college as a board member for the Okanagan Research and Innovation Centre and spent three years as a technical lead on the Okanagan High-Speed Broadband Initiative. He has established strong working relationships with community and industry partners such as Accelerate Okanagan, the City of Kelowna, the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, as well as the Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC and has facilitated learning opportunities for students throughout the region, said the college in a release.
“What interests me most about this new position is the opportunity to build on the successful partnerships Okanagan College has developed with so many valued community organizations in the Central Okanagan,” said Ashman. “I am excited to take on this new challenge and feel privileged to have had the opportunity to work with so many talented colleagues and to help manage the unprecedented growth in the Science, Technology and Health portfolio.”
Ashman will begin his new role as Regional Dean on Sept. 18.