North Island College’s new president John Bowman

North Island College’s new president John Bowman

New NIC head man focuses on the positive

New NIC president John Bowman just started his new position a few weeks ago, and he says his main aim is to build on the college’s successes

  • Oct. 17, 2013 6:00 a.m.

COMOX VALLEY — North Island College (NIC) will continue to grow its health-care and trades programs, international education, pathways to other post-secondary institutions and physical space for students.

The college’s new president John Bowman just started his new position a few weeks ago, and he says his main aim is to build on the college’s successes.

“North Island College is a very successful institution and an institution that’s of great importance to the region, to all of our communities,” says Bowman, pointing out the college has already made progress in many areas.

“So, really my vision is to continue to support and encourage the success the college has been having over the last number of years, and there’s certainly new opportunities that are going to present that we’re going to pursue.”

Bowman was president and CEO of the College of New Caledonia, which also has a selection of regional campuses, for seven years before he came to NIC to replace retiring president Jan Lindsay. Bowman has worked in the post-secondary system for 22 years.

Bowman notes the two new hospital projects, here and in Campbell River, are a driver for the college to increase its health sciences programming, “so that’s going to be a big priority.” Trades programs will also continue to expand in the coming years, he adds, noting the much-discussed skilled trades worker shortage.

NIC’s international education program is another area he plans to expand in the future.

“We’re excited about the potential for international, both to bring students here, as well as to send our students overseas to gain international experience and learn about the world at large,” says Bowman, noting the program is relatively small, but it’s growing, and it’s financially self supporting.

Bowman will also continue to build on agreements with other institutions established by Lindsay, such as the University of Victoria Dual Admission and Guaranteed Admission programs.

Government funding is an ongoing challenge, says Bowman.

“I think the biggest challenge we face is that the needs are far greater than the resources we currently have or that, frankly, we can realistically expect to secure in the short term,” says Bowman.

“So, we’re under pressure from communities to do more and under the current fiscal environment our real capacity is shrinking so that puts pressure on us to be innovative and to find new ways to be more efficient and more effective — and we’re doing that.”

Securing special funding through contracts with other organizations and other sources is something Bowman plans to continue to focus on.

Though tuition rates have risen each year for a number of years, Bowman points out NIC’s tuition rates are still low compared to other institutions.

“No one wants to see tuition rates increase,” he says. “The thing that people need to know is that a collage education in particular, and college tuition rates, it’s the best value anywhere in terms of the benefit.”

Bowman notes another challenge for the college is a lack of space, especially at the Comox Valley campus.

“Here, we are basically bursting at the seams. We don’t have enough space, and we’re utilizing portable classrooms,” explains Bowman.

“One of our major capital priorities is to replace those portable classrooms with a new building — the teaching and learning centre building here on the Comox Valley campus is a big priority.

“We’d like to see it happen within the next three years, which I think is a realistic time frame.”

 

Renee Andore is a reporter with Black Press

 

 

Just Posted

EJ Dunn principal Darrin Olson, left, and Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Councils Richard Samuel, right, present Trey Kyte, second from left, with his Grades 2-3 Spring Festival 2021 winning poster. With them are Kytes fellow banner painters Liam Horbatch, Sybil Purwins and Macen Avery. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
SD70’s biennial First Nations spring festival goes virtual for 2021

Alberni Valley schools showcase Indigenous learnings from past year

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Coroners’ inquest into 2016 death of Port Alberni teen rescheduled for June 21

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure after spending time in jail cell

CELEBRATING IN STYLE
Members of the 2021 Alberni District Secondary School graduating class pose for a photo at McLean Mill National Historic Site on June 12. Graduates held their prom on Saturday, although things looked a little different due to COVID-19. See more on page A10. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Port Alberni 2021 grads celebrate prom with car cruise

Special event held at McLean Mill National Historic Site

The Port Alberni Bombers are one of the newest teams in the VIJHL. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Port Alberni Bombers to host first ID camp for roster spots

Roster spots for the Junior B team will be filled at the conclusion of the camp

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

A still image from security camera video recorded June 8 shows an individual lighting trash on fire in the doorway of 19+ Cannabis Store on Victoria Crescent. RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue are investigating numerous fires set in downtown Nanaimo in the past three months. (Photo submitted)
‘It’s out of control’: More than 20 fires set in downtown Nanaimo in past 3 months

Authorities asking business owners to keep dumpsters locked

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Most Read