His birth certificate says William, but he will quickly ask you to call him Bill. Tall, with a slim build, Cambrian College President Bill Best looks as comfortable in a suit and tie as in hiking boots and jeans. He navigates through crowds with an easy smile and quiet confidence, and like a true Maritimer, is an eager and effortless orator. His smile broadens whenever he speaks of his wife and three children.
Best hails from Nova Scotia, but spent more than 20 years living and working in New Brunswick in postsecondary education in a variety of leadership roles, most recently at the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) in Fredericton. He has held the positions of Interim President and CEO (2009), Vice President Finance and Administration, Vice President Academic and Student Development (2010-14), Dean and Professor. Best led the amalgamation of the New Brunswick community college system, which included six individual institutions, into a single crown corporation, and was responsible for implementing an $80-million (CAD) infrastructure expansion.
In addition to his leadership skills, Best brings with him entrepreneurial experience, business acumen and a keen interest in research, which are certain to be great assets to the Sudbury community. With a focus on student success, professional collaboration and academic differentiation, he will oversee Cambrian’s new five-year strategic plan, which will concentrate on nurturing sustainability and confirming the College as a northern leader.
Best assumed leadership from Interim President Sonia Del Missier on August 5, and shortly thereafter, identified his key priorities: (i) to foster a dynamic learning environment; (ii) to strengthen strategic partnerships; and (iii) to engage community partners in order to contribute to the socio-economic growth of northern Ontario.
Best holds a Master of Education from Acadia University, as well as undergraduate degrees in education and in business administration from the University of Western Ontario and Acadia University, respectively. He, his wife and their three children chose Sudbury as their new home for its northern setting, the opportunities that Sudbury offers for quality education, and its wealth of family and lifestyle opportunities. Avid four-season outdoorspeople, the Best family enjoys ATV-riding, snowmobiling and water-skiing, as well as competitive sports such as basketball, volleyball, track and field, rowing and gymnastics.