Okanagan College is pleased to announce that Joe Baker, a passionate academic leader and entrepreneur within Canada’s education, tourism and hospitality sectors, has been named the new Dean of the OC School of Business.
Baker spent nearly 15 years in academic leadership roles at George Brown College and Centennial College. Over the last several years he has led his own consulting business, providing leadership and support to several workforce development initiatives, with a focus on the public sector.
“I was born and raised in Vancouver and have since had the incredible opportunity to travel and work around the world,” said Baker, who will join OC in February. “I am excited to join Okanagan College and their well-renowned School of Business, and to work with everyone in the department and across OC to inspire and educate students. It is exciting to be joining a team whose objective is for students to succeed and grow, so that they in turn can help their communities and the economy thrive.”
“We are absolutely thrilled to have Joe bring his incredible depth of experience in the education, hospitality and tourism sectors to Okanagan College,” said Dr. Neil Fassina, OC President. “It is an exciting time for OC and the School of Business, as we have been approved for a new Bachelor of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship program and get ready to break ground and build the Centre for Food, Wine and Tourism. I'm looking forward to having Joe join our team at the College and to what lies ahead for our students.”
The OC Centre for Food, Wine and Tourism, which will be built on K.L.O. Road at the College’s Kelowna campus, was announced last March by the provincial government and is slated to open in 2026.
As the Dean of Centennial College, Baker played a pivotal role in the development of a student housing and learning centre which housed the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Culinary Arts programs. The revitalization of the programs and facilities at Centennial centred around an elevated student experience and a dynamic experiential learning ecosystem.
Baker is also an active supporter of the non-profit sector and presently sits on two national Boards of Directors, at Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada (CEWIL) and Tourism HR Canada (THRC).
Baker will replace Dr. William Gillett who is retiring after an outstanding career in post-secondary education. Gillett joined OC in 2017, and under his leadership the OC School of Business was a regular award winner on the business competition stage, including a top-four placing last year at the Enactus World Cup.