In his role as senior vice-president academic and chief learning officer at College of the North Atlantic since June of 2016, Radford has been to every campus at least once.
Even though he was based in Stephenville, Radford has spent a lot of time on the road and said in his new role as president he doesn’t intend for that to change.
“I wish College of North Atlantic could afford a helicopter,” he joked, referring to the large geography between campuses in this province.
There’s also the 18-hour flight to the campus in Qatar.
Radford said, as the government’s public college, College of the North Atlantic will certainly be following the modernization plan outlined earlier this year in The Way Forward and announced at the College Headquarters in Stephenville.
He said the Modernization Plan laid out some of the things the college will be doing as it moves forward.
“It’s a lot of work but the bottom line is that we have a bright future here at College of the North Atlantic,” Radford said.
He said the college needs to be student-focused and provide top training that it has become known for.
Radford said while the president’s position is based in Stephenville, the college has people and operations from Port aux Basques to Happy Valley-Goose Bay and one of its strengths is that it is people-focused.
He said as president its necessary to get to these campuses, no matter what size, as they are all equally important.
“They’re all part of the fabric of the communities in which they are located,” Radford said. “My job is to keep up the quality of programs and serve the province as a whole.”
As of the announcement on Wednesday of his appointment as president, he replaces Elizabeth Kidd who had served in an acting capacity and who returns to her position as vice-president, corporate services.
The college was without a permanent president since the provincial government chose not to renew the contract of former president and chief executive officer Anne Marie Vaughan back in July of 2016.
She was first replaced in an acting capacity by Bob Gardiner, who was assistant deputy minister (Post-Secondary Education) with the Department of Advanced Education and Skills at the time.
According to a prepared press release from government, Radford’s appointment was recommended through the Independent Appointments Commission, which was established to create a merit-based process for appointments to agencies, boards and commissions to ensure the process for appointing individuals to agencies, boards and commissions is open and transparent.
Al Hawkins, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Labour, said Radford brings a wealth of skills and experience to the position of president and he expects he will continue the work of implementing the College of the North Atlantic’s Modernization Plan.