By JEREMY APPEL on April 18, 2019.
Kevin Shufflebotham, the new president of Medicine Hat College, comes to the job with a 30-year career that includes time working in education, administration and government.
The News spoke with him about how his past experience has prepared him for the job, as well as his vision for the college’s future.
Shufflebotham began his career as a respiratory therapy instructor, which he did for a decade before moving into more administrative roles, including a stint working for the provincial government in advanced education.
Most recently, he was a provost at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton, where he began his career as an educator.
“What was important to me in all these positions was just to focus on the student, and how important the student was and how they needed to be at the centre of every decision,” he said.
Shufflebotham has a personal connection to the Hat, which is where his wife comes from originally.
He also has family up in Duchess, so the region is quite familiar to him.
“I’ve always kept an eye on Medicine Hat,” he said. “I’ve been coming here for our entire marriage – every summer, every Easter and every Christmas – and I’ve just had a really good feeling for this city.”
He saw in the summer that MHC was looking for a president, “and the rest is basically history,” said Shufflebotham.
Administration appeals to Shufflebotham because it allows him to work with a “broad spectrum of people,” inside and outside of the college.
“It’s really an opportunity, as you work in these administrative roles, to set the vision and direction for organizations that have a real meaningful role within the community, and then to empower people to achieve that mission,” he said.
Shufflebotham says he intends on building upon the solid foundation left for him by his predecessors.
“My vision for the college is to build on the strengths that are currently here and work with faculty, staff and the community to really understand its full potential, and then to achieve that potential,” he said.
He credits his decade as an instructor with giving him “a passion for education and a passion for student success.”
“Whether you’re in an administrative role, whether you’re working in government, if you’re laser-focused on supporting student success and enacting a quality education, they all inter-relate,” Shufflebotham said.
Shufflebotham says he finds it impressive how many instructors at MHC have come full circle, having been students there themselves.
“The fact that people are coming back here after they graduated, that speaks volumes,” he said.
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