North Island College has named Dr. Neil Cruickshank, an experienced researcher and teacher in politics and international relations, to lead its faculty of arts, science and technology this fall.
“Neil lives the values that NIC stands for – a passion for student success and teaching excellence deeply rooted in community,” said Lisa Domae, NIC executive vice -president, academic and chief operating officer. “NIC’s faculty of arts, science and technology forms the foundation of our well-regarded arts and science degree pathways. Students and the community can expect to see great things under his leadership.”
Cruickshank joined NIC from Algoma University in Ontario, where he served as an associate professor of international relations, chair of the Department of Law and Politics and chair of the Faculty of Social Sciences.
At NIC, he oversees science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs, as well as humanities and social sciences, English and modern languages and NIC’s many university transfer partnership agreements.
He has a PhD in international relations from the University of St. Andrews, an M.Sc. in politics by research from the University of Edinburgh, a master of arts in political science and a BA with honours in political science from Wilfrid Laurier University.
His research focuses on political mobilization and contentious politics in Europe, independence movements in Scotland, Catalonia and Quebec and the securitization of European Roma. Neil is also a faculty associate at Carleton University’s Centre for European studies.
Cruickshank’s commitment to supporting student success prompted his move to NIC.
“It’s incredibly satisfying to see students accomplish their goals, or accomplish goals they didn’t even know they had at the beginning of their studies,” said Cruickshank. “That’s how I did it. While completing my bachelor’s degree I took fine arts, art history, psychology, biology and then discovered that I really enjoyed political science. Students can do the exact same thing at NIC, as we offer all these subjects – and more – at the university level. We are really set-up to provide personalized education that nurtures academic achievement.”
Cruickshank is excited about joining the community of scholars, educators and learners at NIC.
“What I find captivating about NIC is its social justice dimension,” said Cruickshank. “There’s a real sense of purpose here and that purpose is making sure students and faculty flourish – you can feel it. It’s palpable. Cross-cultural learning is an important part of this. I am committed to advancing Indigenous methodologies and ways of knowing and learning, and working with Indigenous partners to achieve this.”
For Cruickshank, including faculty in the decision-making process will be a critical component of his work.
“I believe in a collaborative working and decision-making model,” he said. “I think, from being a faculty member for so long, I get the challenges and rewards of being in the classroom. I’m looking forward to working with faculty as we continue to make the post-secondary journey easier and more accessible for students.”
For more information on the programs Cruickshank leads and the wide range of courses available at NIC, visit www.nic.bc.ca/university-transfer.