Dean, School of Continuing Education
As Dean of the School of Continuing Education (CE), Debbie Johnston is responsible for a portfolio of approximately 80 different programs available to non-full-time students. In addition to directing the school’s strategic focus, Johnston provides leadership to a central team of 20 support and admin staff, and to over 200 part-time faculty members. She represents CE on a variety of teams and committees within and outside of the college and is also a member of the deans’ team and the college’s Academic Leadership Team. Over the past year, Debbie has done extensive work in the field of medical cannabis, introducing the course “Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals”, and more recently the innovative “Cannabis Industry Specialization” program. Debbie joined Durham College (DC) as the associate dean of the School of Business, IT & Management in 2016, bringing with her more than 20 years of post-secondary and business management experience. This included seven years spent working at Humber College (Humber), where she began as a professor and then progressed into the role of director, Professional and Continuing Education in Humber’s Business School. In that role, she led the creation and revitalization of programs and courses within her portfolio in order to meet emerging industry needs, and her work in state-of-the-art classroom design earned her an Innovation of the Year award. Before her work in the post-secondary education sector, Debbie held a number of senior roles during her 15+ years spent working for the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC). Her positions included vice-president, Workforce Excellence and Employee Investment. During her time with CIBC, Debbie received four national and international learning industry best-practice awards. Debbie is a member of the Human Resources Professionals Association and holds a CHRL designation. She also holds a Master of Business Administration from University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom and is a graduate of the Teaching Excellence program at Humber.