Confederation College President Kathleen Lynch Announces Retirement


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Thunder Bay, ON, October 27, 2023 -  After more than 20 years of service at Confederation College including the last 5+ years as President, Kathleen Lynch has announced her retirement effective September 4, 2024.

Board Chair, Daryl Skworchinski, accepted the notice, thanking President Lynch for her leadership.  He noted, “Under Kathleen’s tenure, the college has created and maintained a sustainable pathway forward.  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.”

Kathleen started out as a faculty member in 1999 and held a number of positions over the years including Dean of the School of Health, Negahneewin and Community Services which provided her with a solid foundation from which to lead the organization.  She began her tenure as President in September 2018 after almost 5 years as Vice President at St. Joseph’s Care Group.

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

Some of the many accomplishments led by Kathleen since becoming President include:

  • Established a new strategic plan, Kaa-anokaatekin, which includes the pillars: Access and Success, Indigenous Learning, Institutional Excellence and Community Prosperity
  • Created new values based on the strategic planning process: Courage, Equity and Relationships
  • Set records for enrolment and expanded international enrolment, including at regional campuses
  • Established new programming and expanded enrolment in existing programs including the stand-alone Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, Personal Support Worker and Anishinaabemowin language electives and training
  • Expanded partnership with OSHKI Wenjack to offer post-secondary education throughout the north
  • Renewed capital resources in health, aviation, trades, and technology programming
  • Re-established applied research and secured sustainable funding through NSERC
  • Refreshed main campus facilities, including the Dibaajimogamig Lecture Theatre
  • Recovery of the Norval Morriseau paintings stolen from the College.

Kathleen has also been passionate about Green Energy initiatives, signing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Accord on Climate Change, through Colleges and Institutes Canada, the second college in Ontario to do so.  Under her guidance, Confederation College has become a leader in the field, securing funding through Natural Resources Canada to create a curriculum on sustainability and a pathway to net zero.  The college’s Biomass plant became functional, and now heats the largest building on campus.

Kathleen's dedication to education and her unwavering belief in the power of learning have left an indelible mark on the institution. The Confederation College community is grateful for her exceptional contributions and wishes her a fulfilling retirement next September.

The Board of Governors will begin the search for a new President in the coming weeks.


Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has seven regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Greenstone, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout and Red Lake, as well as a growing Distance Education division.

Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 4,800 combined full- and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 600 full- and part-time employees. Confederation’s regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $703.3 million annually.


For more information, please contact:

Scott Hobbs, Communications Consultant

Phone: (807) 621-5265, E-mail: [email protected]