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UFV looks to strengthen partnerships

Harv McCullough is stepping down as UFV’s dean of trades and technology.

But he’s agreed to stay on as an “interim advisor” to UFV President Mark Evered.

“Harv is stepping down as dean but he’s committed to giving me about a day a week for the next year or so to be an advisor to me on community development and partnerships,” Evered said.

It’s those partnerships with Fraser Valley industries that provides employers with students trained in cutting edge technology – and the students with degrees in business and other fields – that makes UFV unique among trades and technology schools.

And McCullough, born and raised in Chilliwack, has a lifetime of contacts in the Fraser Valley.

“That’s the part I really enjoy – keeping connected and listening to people who know what’s going on in their industry,” he said.

“If you don’t respond to what the future employers want, or what’s going to be the new technology in a year or two – we’ll be hooped,” he said. “That’s the whole concept we’ve followed all the way along.”

McCullough started his 26-year career in education as a carpentry instructor at the community college that would eventually become the University of the Fraser Valley.

UFV is a regional university, and its mandate is to serve the needs of the Fraser Valley.

“The only way you can do that is to meet with people on an on-going basis and listen to what they say,” McCullough said.

The partnerships he has formed with local industries over the years has led to donations of state-of-the-art equipment for students training for careers in automotive mechanics, the aerospace industry, hospitality and culinary arts, plus the traditional trades.

“It’s a real tribute to Harv’s talent and commitment that we’ve been able to integrate trades and technology into the university framework,” Evered said, which means students get a traditional university degree along with skills training.

UFV’s $21-million Trades and Technology Centre opened in 2007, the first of the facilities planned at the new campus in the Canada Education Park south of Chilliwack.

Staying on top of new ways to meet emerging needs in the Fraser Valley, like education and training in alternative medicines, management of chronic diseases, food safety and aboriginal remedies, is what “fires me up” McCullough said.

“Connecting the dots, that’s what it’s all about,” he said.

rfreeman@theprogress.com

twitter.com/paperboy2

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