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Confederation College president is ready to retire in 2024

Search starts soon to find successor for Kathleen Lynch
(l-r) Confederation President Kathleen Lynch and Colleges and Universities Minister Jill Dunlop (Confederation photo)

The search is on for a new president of Confederation College.

Kathleen Lynch has announced her retirement, effective Sept. 4, 2024, after more than 20 years at the Thunder Bay college, including the last five as president. 

The board of governors will start the search for her successor in the weeks to come, a news release said.

“Under Kathleen’s tenure, the college has created and maintained a sustainable pathway forward,” said board chair Daryl Skworchinski in a statement.

“The college has new and expanded programming, has rebuilt its reserves, and consistently maintained a positive financial standing, even amidst the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Lynch joined the college as a faculty member in 1999, serving as dean of the School of Health, Negahneewin and Community Services. Her tenure as president began in September 2018 after a five-year stint as vice president of St. Joseph’s Care Group.

Under her leadership, the college sets enrolment records, particularly for international students at the regional campuses, established new programming and expanding enrolment in existing programs, including a bachelor of science in nursing, personal support worker and Anishinaabemowin language electives and training. 

There was investment in main campus facilities, in the health, aviation, trades and technology fields, and in areas of applied research. She placed an emphasis on Indigenous learning across the north and has been passionate about green energy initiatives.

“I have witnessed the transformative power of education to change lives. Our motto, we ‘Change lives through learning,’ has resonated deeply with me.” said Lynch in the release.

“I have had the privilege of meeting countless exceptional students from northwestern Ontario, Canada and around the world, who have profoundly impacted me. College staff are leaders and have worked with me to ensure our success.

“I am thankful for our student unions, SUCCI and OASA, Negahneewin Council, and our Board of Governors, for their guidance.  Confederation College has truly been the best place to work, and I am grateful for the opportunity to have served as president.”