Algonquin College has tapped a 20-year veteran of the post-secondary institution to succeed the outgoing Cheryl Jensen and lead it through the next five years.
Claude Brulé, formerly Algonquin’s senior vice-president academic, was announced as the college’s new president and CEO at an event Thursday.
Brulé has filled a variety of roles at the college since joining in 1999. His first post was chair of the Information and Communications Technology department before he served a five-year term as dean of the Faculty of Technology and Trades. He took on his SVP role starting in 2012.
Speaking to OBJ Thursday, Brulé said that over the course of his two decades at Algonquin, what he enjoyed most was seeing the effect his work was having on students. He sees the new role as his best opportunity to continue that work.
“I made this my personal goal to be able to broaden my impact as much as I can for the benefit of our students, our employees and our community,” he said.
Among his top priorities for his tenure in charge is deepening connections to the private sector. The employability of Algonquin’s grads is top-of-mind for the president-elect: He said connections to partners in industry are “critical” to aligning its programming with workforce needs.
“As a community college that has a polytechnic-education identity, we are joined at the hip with industry,” Brulé said.
The former officer of the Canadian Forces had nothing but kind words for his predecessor, Cheryl Jensen, who retired to much fanfare last month. He credited Jensen with leaving a “fantastic legacy,” including setting Algonquin College’s current strategic plan.
Brulé said he intends to continue the “great direction” set by Jensen, which includes a focus on innovation, sustainability and connections to Algonquin’s indigenous roots.
“Of course, I'm going to add my own flair to it,” he added.
Jensen herself chimed in on Twitter to comment on Brulé’s appointment, saying the college was in “good hands.”