OTTAWA, ON [Algonquin College] — At a special meeting held late Monday evening, the Board of Governors elected Dr. Kent MacDonald as the 7th President of Algonquin College. Dr. MacDonald will assume his duties as President on Monday, August 20, 2012.
“The Algonquin College Board of Governors was tasked with finding a proven leader who embodies the values, leadership skills and academic experience required to continue the extraordinary progress made at Algonquin over the last four decades,” said Algonquin College Board of Governors Chairman Michael Dunlop.
“The Board is delighted that we have found such a leader from within the College’s ranks. In Dr. MacDonald we have selected a highly regarded and experienced academic leader who has a fourteen-year history with Algonquin College, serving most recently as Vice President, Academic. Board members were particularly impressed by Dr. MacDonald’s exemplary academic qualifications, extensive professional experience, passion for education and his decisive, yet personal approach to leadership”, added Dunlop.
The selection of Dr. MacDonald concludes a six-month international search aimed at identifying the person most able to navigate the College through the rapidly changing higher education landscape. Supported by one of Canada’s premier executive search firms Odgers Berndston, the Board established a thoughtful and deliberate selection process and received over fifty expressions of interest from across North America and beyond. A short list of candidates was prepared in early April and formal interviews were held shortly thereafter.
Dr. MacDonald brings a breadth of proven leadership experience to the role of President. He has served as Vice President, Academic since 2008, expanding the College’s program mix, adding over two-dozen new academic programs ranging from postgraduate certificates to baccalaureate degrees. Over this period of time, enrolment increased by over 19%. In addition, he has reflected a strong commitment to academic quality, having worked closely with faculty and staff to develop the College’s Professor of the 21st Century and Algonquin Experience frameworks for teaching and learning excellence.
MacDonald has also served Algonquin as Vice President, Student Services and Development and Dean, School of Business between the years 2001 – 2008. During this time he oversaw the renewal of the College’s corporate training strategy, the realignment of alumni affairs, and the launch of the Algonquin Business Development Division. While Academic Chair (1998 – 2001) of the Pembroke Campus, MacDonald was directly involved in the development of the school’s popular Outdoor Adventure program, along with several other academic programs.
The selection of Dr. MacDonald is welcomed across the College, Ottawa Valley and postsecondary sector, with the incoming President being described as a visionary and approachable leader.
“Kent is an authentic, inspirational leader who embodies vision, academic experience, business acumen and superb interpersonal skills. He’s the perfect choice”, noted Catherine Kenney, Chair of the Algonquin College Academic Council.
Recently honoured by the Algonquin Students’ Association with its 2012 Award of Excellence, Students’ Association President David Corson added that, “The selection of Kent from amongst the talented candidates affirms our belief that he is a passionate educator committed to students and the best person for the job”.
“Kent MacDonald has a keen ability to stay attuned to stakeholder needs, an essential skill in developing a shared vision for Algonquin College. I applaud his selection”, said Vini Bhindi, Algonquin staff and former member of the Board of Governors.
“Kent MacDonald will do a great job for Algonquin College and its students,” said James Knight, President and CEO of ACCC, Canada’s national association of colleges. “He brings both a deep understanding of the Ottawa community and profound insights into Canada’s college system at large. His leadership at the national level has been a tremendous benefit to the network. Bravo Kent!”
“Canada is blessed with many good colleges, however there are few as progressive and distinctive as Algonquin. I am humbled and excited by the confidence the Board has shown in me and look forward to continuing to work with our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community to deliver on the mission and vision of Algonquin College”, remarked MacDonald.
“Algonquin College has an incredibly innovative teaching culture, a deep commitment to student success and an impressive track record of providing industry with highly prepared graduates who have the relevant skills and knowledge companies require. I believe our success is unparalleled in applied Canadian higher education. Further, our efforts to integrate technology into the student learning experience have placed the College at the forefront of digital and online education. I look forward to continuing to work closely with our innovative faculty and staff to take the College to even greater heights”, added MacDonald.
Dr. Kent MacDonald earned his Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Pennsylvania. He holds a Master degree in Education (Administration) from St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia and earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario. His personal area of research is related to high performing organizations and effective leadership. Dr. MacDonald earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Science and Physical Education also from St. Francis Xavier University.
Dr. MacDonald is 48 years old and is married to Mary-Ellen MacPhee, a Principal with the Ottawa Catholic School Board. They have four children. Adam (22) a senior accounting student at St. Francis Xavier University; Matthew (20) a sophomore in Algonquin’s Supply Chain Management degree; Meagan (17) who graduates from high school this June, and Patrick (15) who will enter Grade 10 next fall.
Algonquin College would like to thank Robert C. Gillett, and express its deepest appreciation for his leadership and contribution to the extraordinary growth of Algonquin College during his seventeen year term as President.
To learn more about the Presidential Search process and Dr. Kent MacDonald visit http://www3.algonquincollege.com/presidentsearch/. The official introduction can be viewed live over the Web at http://www.algonquincollege.com/live/.
For more information, contact:
613-236-8452 ext 500
Executive Director, Advancement
613-727-4723 ext 7035