Ann Buller assumed the presidency of Centennial College in June 2004. Leadership approaches that enable major transformative change have since become her hallmark.
Thanks to her remarkable leadership, Centennial has introduced several award-winning programs to support students who are underrepresented in postsecondary education, such as those who are the first in their family to attend college, come from underserved neighbourhoods and at risk of dropping out of school, and those who face learning disabilities. These mentoring and support initiatives are now helping students from Aboriginal communities and women studying in the skilled trades programs.
Centennial offers students an education embedded with the values of diversity, equity and social justice issues that affect our world. Centennial’s Global Citizenship and Equity Learning Experiences (GCELEs) distinguish its learning experience from other Ontario colleges, helping our students to develop leadership skills and create positive social change while working on meaningful projects in Ghana, Kenya, Cuba, the Amazon, Peru, and the Dominican Republic.
To ensure the College is financially positioned to continue its academic and service excellence while addressing growing enrolments, Ann Buller introduced strategies that include a new accountability-based budgeting model, a comprehensive strategic enrolment plan outlining growth opportunities based on market needs, increased international revenues, the re-negotiation of business partnerships, and an aggressive approach to generating Continuing Education and contract training revenues. She has presented the College’s Board of Governors with a balanced budget since she assumed the presidency and with operating budgets projecting surpluses for the past three years. The surpluses have allowed Centennial to hire new full-time employees and continue making capital investment in its campuses.
Ann Buller has overseen Centennial's award-winning internationalization that attracts more than 8,000 visa students to its Toronto campuses annually. The College enjoys institutional partnerships in several countries, provides Western teacher training/methodologies in China, and has trained General Motors' dealers in 10 Middle Eastern countries. President Buller is a member of the International Board of the Chair Academy and is the past Board Chair of the Canadian Bureau for International Education (2012-14). As past Chair of the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (2011-14), Buller was instrumental in ensuring Canada was selected as one of the four countries to collaborate with India to revamp its post-secondary institutions.
President Buller's career spans more than 25 years in the college system where she has made significant contributions to student success. She sits on several boards and committees, including the World Education Services Board, working tirelessly as an advocate for Centennial and the college system. She also appears as the keynote or guest speaker at several national and international conferences and seminars each year.
President Buller has earned numerous prestigious awards acknowledging her excellence in leadership and mentoring, including: the DD Women Achiever Award (Education & Leadership category, International Women’s Day Celebrations; 2017), the Leadership Award (World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics, 2016), Canada's Most Powerful Women – Top 100 (Women's Executive Network, 2016 and 2010) and the President's Award for Distinguished Leadership for International Education (Canadian Bureau of International Education, 2015), 2014 Chief Executive Leadership Award (Council for Advancement and Support of Education), 2013 Top 25 Women of Influence (Women of Influence Magazine), the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal (Governor General of Canada, 2013), President's/Chancellor's Award (North American Council for Staff Program and Organizational Development, 2010), Margot Franssen Leadership Award (Microskills, 2010), and Constance E. Hamilton Award on the Status of Women (City of Toronto, 2009).
President Buller is a proud graduate of the Ontario college system, having graduated from Humber College's Public Relations program before completing her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at York University and her Masters of Arts in Education at Central Michigan University.