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Head of IT resigns

Marc Fares, the college’s vice president of digital technologies and innovation, resigned unexpectedly earlier this month.

Fares has been with Algonquin for 15 months and abruptly stepped down from his position right after the holiday break.

Algonquin President Cheryl Jensen made the announcement with “mixed emotions,” via an email to her colleagues.

His resignation comes after a series of major Blackboard malfunctions last semester. Blackboard has had many issues in the past, but the crash before the break was the worst the college has seen from the site.

However, in a classroom visit with journalism students Jan. 12, Jensen said the failure of Blackboard didn’t have anything to do with the departure of Fares. “He resigned because of new opportunities.”

Jensen took responsibility for the Blackboard debacle, telling the journalism students, “we haven’t served you well.” Jensen says Blackboard is to be replaced in September 2018 by a new learning management system.

The president announced Jan. 11 that Doug Wotherspoon, vice-president, International and strategic planning, would act as the IT head. On Jan. 20, she announced that he had been named vice president, innovation and strategy, effective immediately.

“Doug will be responsible for Business Development (including Co-op), International, Applied Research, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Information Technology Services will, as part of this group, be a core enabler of our innovation strategy and our entire 50+5 Strategic Plan.

“As you all know, I am committed to ensuring that robust Innovation and Digital Technology strategies are in place to maintain and enhance Algonquin College’s leadership in these key areas. I am confident that Doug’s experience and expertise will help us all to deliver against this mandate.”

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