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Succession in CEN Leadership

In 2009 Ken Dickens took on the role of chief executive officer while retaining his position of principal of the National Institute for Christian Education. Such a dual role was seen to be appropriate at a time when the teacher training operation of CEN was being more fully incorporated into the consolidated National Office and the mindset of our national association. This was largely in response to the findings of the CEN Reference Group into Teacher Education.

Together with the dual role of CEO and principal an executive team was established with operations manager and academic dean sharing the leadership. There have been various iterations of this executive structure over the past six years. Most recently Michelle Dempsey has been appointed as National Coordinator to work with Ken, Chris, and Craig as the national executive.

Michelle’s appointment was made with succession in mind and she has assumed many of the CEO functions allowing Ken to focus more on his role as principal. For some time the national board and Ken have been discussing succession and the transition back to the separation of the CEO and principal roles. CEN and the National Institute are now fully consolidated structurally and philosophically to the extent that a redefining of roles is very timely. Ken had indicated to the board his retirement would commence at the end of 2015. However, with the new arrangement, he is happy to continue as principal albeit in a less than full-time capacity.

From August this year Michelle will take on the role of CEO (transitioning out of her Victorian state executive officer role) and Ken will revert to the role of principal of the National Institute only. Michelle and Ken will continue to work closely together and with the executive team, ensuring a smooth transition. Both Ken and Michelle are excited about the synergy that this natural progression will facilitate.

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