October 22, 2021 3:04pm
Georgian College President Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes has announced her decision to retire in June 2022. West-Moynes has had a three decade long career in postsecondary education – almost 10 of those years at Georgian College, where she started in 2012.
West-Moynes began her career at Durham College as a faculty member before taking on increasing roles of responsibility. She was a strategic architect in the creation of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (now Ontario Tech), and president of Mohawk College for five years.
Georgian’s Board of Governors has engaged the firm Phelps to aid in the search for a new president for Georgian.
“MaryLynn is highly regarded across both the Ontario college and university systems and well known for her innovative, thoughtful and strategic approach,” said Ali Khonsari, Chair of Georgian’s Board of Governors. “Throughout her tenure at Georgian, she’s demonstrated an unwavering commitment to students and fostering collaborative community, government and industry partnerships. Her accomplishments at Georgian and contributions across the sector have been both significant and varied – though she’ll be the first to say they were the result of an incredible team effort.”
Some of her accomplishments included launching 37 new programs in response to industry and community needs, including a standalone Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing degree, and creating an evolving partnership with Lakehead University to expand degree capacity in our region. She also spearheaded expansion at several campuses, including the opening of the Algoma Central Corporation Marine Emergency Duties Centre in Owen Sound and Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre in Barrie.
Her leadership lead to significant growth in research, innovation and scholarship activity; the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre was recognized with two prestigious international awards for being a top business accelerator and Georgian became Canada’s first – and only – Ashoka U designated changemaker college, the leading designation for social innovation in higher education
She also oversaw considerable improvement of the college’s financial performance, and the launch of a digital innovation strategy to improve student learning and service delivery.
West-Moynes instituted meaningful action toward Truth and Reconciliation through commitments agreed to when the college signed the Indigenous Education Protocol in 2015, and she helped expand cultural awareness and support for the college’s more than 4,500 international students.
Most recently, West-Moynes has made it a college-wide priority to focus on equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. Georgian received a $400,000 grant in the spring from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to deepen its activity in this area and the college recently hired its first Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
West-Moynes also initiated work to foster a more agile culture for both students and employees, encouraging an environment that’s supportive, collaborative, continuously striving to improve, where people know it’s safe to fail fast and early, and where they can flourish at a college dedicated to changemaking and creativity.
“Being Georgian’s President and CEO has been and will continue to be until my last day in office, a true highlight of my career,” said West-Moynes. “Our students are amazing and I’m grateful for the exceptional group of senior leaders, faculty and staff who I’ve worked alongside and who consistently put students first. Together, we’ve created a transformative Georgian experience and continue to be an integral part of the communities we’re proud to serve.”
Outside her postsecondary leadership roles, West-Moynes has been highly engaged in the community, participating on numerous non-profit, business, foundation, and economic development boards and committees.
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