Durham College President Don Lovisa to step down next March


Published May 18, 2023 at 8:37 am

The accolades are pouring in for Durham College Don Lovisa, who announced his time at the helm of the college will end next March.

“Thanks for leading the way,” said one person on Twitter. “A fabulous tenure,” posted another. “Congratulations on your upcoming retirement … you will be missed,” said a third.

Lovisa, who took over as Durham College President from Leah Myers in 2008, was the fifth president in the school’s history and just two years removed from Gary Polonsky’s storied 18-year run.

Lovisa made his announcement to his staff at a Town Hall meeting Wednesday that he will not renew his contract, which is due to expire in March 2024.

“It has been an honour and a pleasure to serve as president of Durham College and work alongside our talented leadership team, employees, the Board of Governors and industry and community partners,” Lovisa said. “Being part of an organization that makes such positive and significant changes that impact our students and our community has been the highlight of my career.”

Under Lovisa’s leadership, Durham College has thrived, evidenced by an impressive track record of success focused on students, employees and the community.

“As a leader, Don embodies Durham College’s mission: Together, we’re leading the way,” said Board of Governor Chair Gary Rose. “His vision for the college has truly come to life through his innovative, forward-looking and collaborative approach.”

Rose said the school has grown “exponentially” throughout Lovisa’s tenure. “He has not only met challenges with tenacity but welcomed opportunities that have positioned DC as a leader in post-secondary education and an invaluable asset in the community.”

The college has experienced significant enrolment growth, supported by the introduction of leading-edge programs driven by community and industry needs, including five new honours bachelor’s degrees.

On campus, Lovisa spearheaded more than $300 million in capital investment projects focused on expansion and modernization of the school’s working and learning spaces, including the Student Services Building, Centre for Collaborative Education and the Energy and Innovation Centre. The expansion of the Whitby Campus, including the Ontario Power Generation Centre for Skilled Trades and Technology, the W. Galen Weston Centre for Food and the Centre for Organic Regeneration, was another area of focus for Lovisa.

Most recently, the Centre for Innovation and Research opened, which houses four of Durham College’s six applied research centres, all of which have opened during Lovisa’s time as president.

The school’s collaborative, innovative and hard-working culture is a testament to Lovisa’s energy, passion and priorities, and has led to recognition as one of the GTA’s Top Employers, Greenest Employer and one of Canada’s Top 50 Research Colleges, earning it a reputation locally, nationally and internationally as a college of choice, a community partner and a leader.

Lovisa, who served as Chair of Colleges Ontario from 2018 to 2020, is a lifelong advocate for education, lending his voice and experience to several areas, such as improved training in skilled trades and equity in international education.

“I am proud of what we have accomplished together,” Lovisa said. “I look forward to watching DC continue to lead the way in the future.”


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