Whitaker reflects on first year as Humber president

by | Mar 19, 2013 | News

PHOTO: COURTESY HUMBER COLLEGE. Humber College president Chris Whitaker.
By Stephen J. Donkers

Chris Whitaker says it’s been an exciting first year as Humber’s new president after replacing John Davies last July.

“It’s been a great first year,” Whitaker told Humber News. “Like all new jobs, you aren’t 100 per cent sure what it’s going to be like, but I say the transition was very smooth. Students and staff have been welcoming.”

Davies retired as president after 10 years. Whitaker came from St. Lawrence College in Kingston, Ont., where he served as president for five years.

Whitaker says having come from a different college helped him adjust in the new job, but there are always challenges.

“Having worked in the college sector I know the business,” he said. “But Humber is different as is every organization, cultures, and priorities.”

Whitaker said time management is something he hopes to improve on.

“One of the biggest challenges is managing our time with all the competing demands and all the many things that need to be done and attended to,” he said.

He does have regrets on some aspects on his first year.

“There is always more to be done in terms of meeting and communicating with people,” he said. “Although I’ve had many opportunities to meet with students – to go to a number of student events as well – I regret not being able to make it to every single event.”

Whitaker said he is looking forward to entering his second year with Humber.

“Every year is fun, but second year will be fun because we’ll have a new strategic plan for the college.” No details on the strategic plan could be given.

Deborah Green, executive assistant to Whitaker, also worked for Davies.

She said going from working from Davies to Whitaker has been enjoyable and compares both men’s working styles.

“As [Whitaker’s] executive assistant, his style his similar to John Davies and his number one focus here at Humber is student success,” she said. “He’s a great president and he’ll keep being a great president.”