Jim Hamilton, B.C.’s longest-serving post-secondary president, has agreed to extend his contract as Okanagan College president until Jan. 29, 2021.
Hamilton, a resident of Vernon, has been the president of Okanagan College since late 2004 when he was tasked with overseeing the transition of the college from Okanagan University College to Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan.
His history with the college goes back to 1980, when he began his career as an English professor there. He also spent eight years as a regional principal.
“We’re very pleased Jim has agreed to continue his role until early 2021,” said Chris Derickson, chair of Okanagan College’s board of governors.
“There are several strategic initiatives that will benefit from his considerable expertise and insight. The board also asked him to complete work on the college’s Indigenization strategy and lead the development of a new strategic plan for the college. The college has prospered under his leadership and will continue to do so.”
In 2016, Hamilton was recognized by Colleges and Institutes Canada with a distinguished service award for his work in promoting excellence in post-secondary education for many years. Hamilton has served on numerous boards, including as chairman of the B.C. Council for International Education, the Asia Pacific Gateway Skills Table, the British Columbia Council for Admissions and Transfer and the Irving K. Barber British Columbia Scholarship Society.
Since opening its doors as the new Okanagan College in 2005, OC has grown by more than 70 per cent to become one of B.C.’s largest post-secondary colleges. It also has the distinction of being the only college in B.C. that has met, or exceeded, government enrolment targets every year for the past 14 years.
“For all the growth, the thing that gives me greatest satisfaction is the increase in higher learning opportunities that Okanagan College has been able to provide for the region’s students,” said Hamilton.
“Along with our partner institution UBCO, we have been able to distinguish ourselves as a collaborative engine of economic and social development for the communities we serve and the province as a whole.
Hamilton said he intends to retire when his contract ends in 2021.