CNC's new president not planning any sudden changes

College of New Caledonia's new president will be taking a cautious approach when it comes to pitching any major changes to the schools' board of directors.

Beyond saying access to education is important, Dennis Johnson made no bold statements when he met with local media on Tuesday, his first day on the job.

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Rather, Johnson said he will be taking an "evidence-informed approach" and focus on developing a new five-year strategic plan to replace the current version, which is set to expire in June 2020.

"I'm not going to rush in, no preconceived notions...I'll be doing my due diligence, working closely with lots of important stakeholders in the region," he said. "Certainly, the board will provide lots of guidance and direction."

Johnson brings 29 years of experience in the post-secondary sector to CNC. He was previously at Saskatchewan Polytechnic where he held down two vice president positions - academic and strategy and business development.

Johnson replaces Henry Reiser, who announced his retirement a year ago.

CNC board of directors chair Gil Malfair said Johnson has shown a "depth and breadth of experience" and noted his experience in the trades. Johnson apprenticed as a carpenter after he graduated from high school.

By 2015, Johnson had completed a PhD, Malfair also noted, and described him as a "life-long learner" who has "demonstrated continued success in each institution he's been in."

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