The incoming president of Cambrian College says research dollars are the main fix to financial woes in post-secondary education.

Peter Lawlor was named as the school's new president yesterday. The 57-year-old is currently the dean of trades at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in Edmonton.

Colleges and universities across the country have struggled to balance their books in recent years, and Lawlor said the key is landing research money the federal government is offering to schools that do work that directly benefits industry.

"When you look at Cambrian and the programming that they have, it's a natural fit," Lawlor said.

"They have some of the expertise within Cambrian to be able to address some of the business and industry needs."

Lawlor has worked in industry as a certified tradesman and ran his own business. He said he wanted to be part of Cambrian from his first visit to the Sudbury campus.

"I visited the college and wandered around the halls and met with students and met with staff and when the posting appeared, I went 'Wow, this is a good fit.'"

In July, Lawlor takes over from Sylvia Barnard, who has been the president of Cambrian College for the past 11 years.

He is the fifth president in the college's 47-year history.

Sudbury's other college, College Boreal, is also looking for a new president, as Denis Hubert-Dutrisac is set to retire this fall.