He is known for being a voice for students, his social demeanour, and for being one of the key players in the expansion of the Whitby campus.
After 30 years of experience across five colleges Darrin Caron, dean, school of skilled trades, apprenticeship, and renewable energy, and the principal of the Whitby campus is officially retiring on June 30 at the age of 55.
“One of the main differences with Darrin is he’s very approachable. He’s got an incredible sense of humour and can lighten up any sort of situation,” says Sue Moore, manager of academic operations for the Whitby campus. “He can draw on those past experiences at other colleges to help with any challenges that come our way.”
During his time in Whitby the campus saw several new programs and the addition of the Centre for Food (CFF). The CFF is a new facility used by culinary and hospitality students. It houses kitchen labs, lecture halls, and the student teaching restaurant Bistro ’67.
Caron won’t be leaving until he can see off the graduates from this year.
“I’ll make sure I’m here for convocation,” says Caron.
While he is retiring in June he may not necessarily be leaving right away. Caron has agreed to stay on contract for July, if needed, until a replacement can be found but he doesn’t think it will take too long.
“I think this job will be really attractive to someone,” says Caron.
Before coming to Durham College, Caron was the dean of trades and technology at Canadore College in North Bay but came to Whitby because of the greater opportunity.
“That layer of being principal of the campus is really what enticed me to come here,” says Caron.
Working to create a better student life is one of Caron’s accomplishments. Moore explained how Caron always tries to bring more events and facilities and listen to what students wanted. She named the addition of a gym to the campus in December as the prime example.
“He’s a very strong advocate for the student voice,” says Moore.
Caron’s role in the building of the CFF is his other favourite achievement.
“It’s really been an odyssey for us, and it was for me, totally different from anything I’ve done,” says Caron, referring to the CFF.
Every week Caron drives to and from North Bay where he lives with his wife. He says the distance is the main reasons he plans to retire.
“I’m going to take the summer off and see where I fit, find what I want to do after that,” says Caron.
His possible plans for retirement are to either stay involved in education or economic development in some way or to complete his PhD in community college leadership with a focus of study on apprenticeship completion rates.
“I think this office will surely miss him,” says Moore.