Timmins' college president is retiring: Fred Gibbons leaves a legacy of change, stability.

AuthorKelly, Lindsay

Five months from now, when Fred Gibbons retires from Northern College, it's unlikely you'll see him lounging around with his feet up, living a life of leisure.

After 26 years at the Timmins college--the last 10 serving as the institution's top administrator--Gibbons said he's accustomed to the hectic pace, and he's eagerly anticipating the opportunity to contribute to the community in a different way.

"I'm looking for other opportunities that I can contribute some of my experience to," he said.

"I'm not looking for another full time job, that's for sure--I want to enjoy some of the time that's ahead of me now--but I do have a lot of skills and abilities to contribute to the community in a meaningful way, one which I think can drive benefit to whatever organization or board that might be, but also one that continues to provide me with a satisfaction from those efforts as well."

Gibbons first came to Northern College in the 1990s, to teach and develop curriculum.

From there, he served as registrar and director of student services, executive director of college development and registrar, principal of the Haileybury School of Mines, and executive regional director.

He succeeded Michael Hill as president in 2009, first in an interim capacity before coming on full time in July of that year.

Under his leadership, the college has undertaken several major construction projects. The Centre of Excellence for Trades in Technology opened in 2010; the East End Family Health Team's new facilities were added in 2010; and the Integrated Emergency Services Complex became operational in 2018. A newly created Mining Innovation Hub is expected to open this spring.

Gibbons has additionally spent time as president of the Timmins Chamber of Commerce, director of the Timmins & District Hospital board, and chair of the Timmins Economic Development Corp, as well as chair of Colleges Ontario and chair of its Committee of Presidents, among others.

With that kind of track record, it can be tempting to ask why Gibbons would leave now.

It comes down to a "convergence of factors," he said.

Following his last contract renewal in 2017, Gibbons had indicated this would be his final term as president.

He's about halfway through that five-year term, but he believes his departure now is in both his and the school's best interests.

The current strategic plan concludes at the end of March, after which the school will begin working on the next iteration.

"I think that'd be really...

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