President, Durham College
From the first day he was appointed president in 2008, Don Lovisa has been dedicated to Durham College’s mission that the student experience comes first and the development of new strategies to support its students, faculty, staff, business and community, now and in the future. Durham College (east of Toronto in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada) has thrived under Lovisa’s leadership, realizing significant strategic growth in students, buildings, learning spaces and reputation. During his tenure, the college has grown to more than 12,000 full-time, post-secondary and apprenticeship students and more than 30,000 students in all; negotiated a strategic mandate agreement with the provincial government; launched a new academic vision and plan; submitted a proposal to launch its first-ever baccalaureate degree in 2016; and launched a research enterprise that has generated millions of dollars in funding to support local small- and medium-sized enterprises.
Lovisa has also led a large-scale revitalization and transformation of the college’s campuses and learning spaces, with more than $110 million spent on construction of buildings, renovations, and a new learning site in the City of Pickering, Ontario that is focused on post-grad learners. Among the most recent projects were the green-certified Centre for Food, which employs a ‘field-to-fork’ concept in all it does, and a new $20-million Student Services building that has become a system leader in offering students one-stop access to support services.
Beyond Durham College, Lovisa is considered a leader in the college system and the broader provincial and national communities. He is currently a member of the Federal Government’s Group of Leaders on Women in the Economy; is Secretary/Treasurer for Colleges Ontario, a provincial advocacy body that represents Ontario’s 24 publicly funded colleges and almost 300,000 full-time equivalent students; and was founding co-chair of the Ontario Council on Articulation and Transfer (ONCAT), which works with 44 publicly funded colleges and universities in Ontario to enhance student transfers between institutions. His track record and success played significant roles in Lovisa receiving Business Person of the Year (2013) and Business Achievement (2011) awards from local Chambers of Commerce/Boards of Trade representing almost 1,500 members.
Lovisa arrived at Durham College in July 2007 as vice-president, Academic. Prior to that, he served 20 years at Confederation College (Ontario, Canada) in progressively senior positions, including dean of the School of Business, Hospitality and Media Arts. He has also worked internationally, consulting and providing training and teaching in the areas of globalization, market-driven economic transition, international trade, and entrepreneurship and business development.
Lovisa has a Master's degree in International Management from the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota (U.S.), a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, a diploma in Adult Education from St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada, and is currently pursuing his PhD in Community College Leadership through the University of Toronto, in Ontario, Canada.