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UNB welcomes seasoned senior executive as newest Vice-President

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Nov 15, 2022

Category: UNB Saint John , UNB Fredericton

William (Bill) Best, the University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) newly announced Vice-President, Administration and Finance, said he sees his upcoming move back East as a repatriation of sorts. It is the story of a Maritimer coming home, which, he said, was always the intent.

Currently, the president of Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario, Best, has spent his entire career in post-secondary education. He worked for eight years at the New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) in various senior executive positions, including Interim President and CEO, Vice-President, Finance and Administration and Vice-President, Academic and Student Development.

“I've been very fortunate in my career because I have been able to do all kinds of different things even though it's been in one sector,” Best said.

However, Best, originally from Truro, Nova Scotia, said he and his wife, who is from Saint John, New Brunswick, always hoped to move back East. UNB provided just that opportunity when, on Nov. 14, the Board of Governors approved the recommendation of Best as the institution’s new Vice-President, Administration and Finance.

“I'm excited to join the university environment. It's a new frontier of opportunity, of learning,” said Best. “I'm very impressed with the president and, at this point in my career, I'm only really interested in hitching my wagon to people that are genuine and transparent and trying to accomplish things in a good way.”

Reporting to the President, the Vice-President, Administration and Finance is responsible for the university's financial and non-academic administrative services supporting the institutional mission.

“Bill is a highly capable, people-centric leader with lengthy experience in the post-secondary sector,” said Paul J. Mazerolle, President and Vice-Chancellor at UNB. “His work elsewhere fostering a growth culture aligns well with UNB’s Strategic Vision. I am most pleased to be able to attract him back to New Brunswick as part of the senior leadership team at UNB.”

A self-described “teacher at heart,” Best said working in higher education gives him energy and he is endlessly motivated by watching how learning transforms lives. Although some might not immediately make the connection between transformation and finance and administration, Best said the two are critically intertwined. He said the role of the administration and finance portfolio allows the future to occur and creates the opportunity for the extraordinary to happen.

“You have to align budget and investments with the values of the organization, starting with the ‘why’ and not just the ‘how’,” Best said, adding that UNB has a compelling vision for the future and looks forward to working in partnership with the university community to deliver on that vision.

Best’s impact on community is extensive, serving as the inaugural chair of the Kivi Park Community Foundation, as a director of the Sudbury Airport Community Development Corporation and Northern Ontario Centre for Advanced Technology, and as a volunteer competitive basketball coach. He is also active across the college sector and, among other things, served as a faculty member of the College’s and Institutes Canada (CiCan) Leadership Institute and provincially as Chair of both the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association and the Ontario Colleges Library Services.

Best will assume his role at UNB in January 2023.