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Lovisa named new chair of Colleges Ontario

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Colleges Ontario is pleased to announce Don Lovisa, president and CEO of Durham College, has started a two-year term as the new chair of Colleges Ontario, the association representing Ontario's 24 public colleges.

“In an environment of mass change, automation, and technological disruption, it is essential that more people have access to a high-quality college education,” Lovisa said.

“The colleges' entrepreneurial approach and expertise in experiential learning can ensure Ontario is at the forefront of the new economy,” he added.

The chair of Colleges Ontario oversees the college sector's Committee of Presidents, which is comprised of presidents from all 24 colleges.

The committee is responsible for a wide range of decisions affecting research, advocacy, communications and marketing, and more.

Lovisa assumes the role of chair on the heels of the college system's 50th anniversary celebrations last year.

Under his leadership, the colleges will continue to focus on measures to help more students acquire the expertise necessary for today's most in-demand careers.

Colleges will be looking to expand the range of career-specific degree programs.

The sector also will be working with the provincial government to produce more apprentices through an improved application process and through changes to funding allocations that are more responsive to local labour markets to support the colleges' strong partnerships with industry.

A sharp focus on student experience has shaped Lovisa's leadership at Durham College since his appointment as president in 2008.

During his tenure, Durham College developed the AI Hub, which capitalizes on advances in machine intelligence, automated learning, robotics, and more.

Lovisa also heads the Idea Summit, a group of leaders focused on building an Innovation Hub in Durham Region, and was the founding co-chair of the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer.

He also chaired Colleges Ontario's 50th-anniversary task force, which developed a province-wide trailer tour, an online contest for entrepreneurial students and graduates, community activities, and much more to honour the tremendous growth and success of Ontario's colleges.

The anniversary celebration was recognized by the provincial government, which provided $50 million in funding for new purchases at colleges.

“Don's passionate commitment to students and his drive to innovate will advance college education in this province,” said Linda Franklin, president and CEO of Colleges Ontario.

“He'll play a strong role in producing the best possible college system for the rapidly-changing economy,” she noted.

Lovisa succeeds the previous chair, Northern College president Fred Gibbons.

“Fred took on a significant role at a critical point in our history, and distinguished himself as an authentic and reflective leader,” Franklin said.

“We thank him for his sound judgment and collaborative approach during his leadership.”

Editor's note: Don Lovisa is a Fort Frances native who previously served as manager of the local campus of Confederation College for several years.

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