Georgian College and the wider community celebrated the leadership of a new President and CEO in an official installation ceremony at the Barrie Campus Oct. 11. Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes brings extensive academic and administrative experience to the position, with more than 25 years in the post-secondary system. The ceremony marked the fifth time in Georgian’s 45-year history that the college has welcomed a new President and CEO.
After being sworn in, Dr. West-Moynes shared her vision for Georgian College with the audience in a packed Georgian College Theatre.
“I believe in the value of education. It is life’s greatest equalizer – regardless of where you come from, with the right education and the right attitude, you can make your mark in life,” she said. “I whole-heartedly embrace the responsibility you have given me and I am excited and eager to lead Georgian College.”
Dr. West-Moynes will begin her job by focusing on three key strategic priorities.
“The first is extraordinary teaching and learning through entrepreneurship education, experiential opportunities and technology-enabled delivery. The second is a focus on student access, mobility and choice, by offering expanded pathways and innovative partnerships,” she said in her inaugural address.
“Finally, recognizing that a leading institution must lead from within, we will focus on productivity, innovation and sustainability by applying our values of entrepreneurship and innovation as foundational principles to transform and build on our own institutional efficiency and effectiveness through a collaborative process of organizational renewal.”
Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty sent congratulations to Dr. West-Moynes and to the Georgian community, via a video address. Noting that Georgian has seen just five presidents in its 45-year history, the Premier said “clearly, you choose well when it comes to leaders.”
He described Dr. West-Moynes as “an accomplished scholar, a strong administrator and a caring leader.”
“There is greatness in Georgian because you are already doing great work – students, faculty, administrators,” McGuinty said. “I am confident that Dr. West-Moynes’ leadership will elicit even greater contributions.”
Dr. West-Moynes was officially sworn into office by Board of Governors Chair Gwen Strachan. In a symbolic portion of the ceremony, support staff, faculty and administrative representatives removed Dr. West-Moynes’ academic regalia, while student government representatives from Barrie, Orillia and Owen Sound placed on her shoulders the official gown of the President and CEO of Georgian College.
Guests included members of the Georgian College Board of Governors, faculty, staff, student and alumni representatives, as well as municipal, provincial and federal politicians. Also attending were Linda Franklin, President and CEO of Colleges Ontario and presidents of three of Georgian’s university partners – Dr. Tim McTiernan from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Brian Stevenson from Lakehead University, Dominic Giroux from Laurentian University, as well as Dr. Harley d’Entremont, Vice President, Nipissing University. Special guests also included past Georgian College presidents Brian Tamblyn and Bruce Hill.
Shaun McCracken, student representative on the Georgian College Board of Governors, told the audience that students already appreciate the new president’s commitment.
“Dr. West-Moynes is truly focused on student success. It is at the core of everything she does – every conversation she has, every question she asks,” McCracken said. “She is committed to leveraging Georgian’s strengths, continuing to enhance our record for pathways and degrees, and ensuring that the relevant resources and services are in place so the student experience at Georgian is the best not only in the province, but in Canada.”
In a surprise announcement, West-Moynes said she has commissioned a book chronicling important moments and events contributing to Georgian’s heritage during the stewardship of past presidents Tamblyn and Hill. The book, examining the years since Georgian College’s 25th anniversary, will be written by Bob Kennedy, recently retired Vice President, Marketing and Student Services.
Dr. West-Moynes has held senior positions at both the college and university level. Most recently, she was Vice President of External Relations at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). Previously, she served as President of Mohawk College, and in numerous senior leadership roles at both UOIT and Durham College.
Throughout her career, Dr. West-Moynes has demonstrated an unwavering focus on understanding students and meeting their needs. She has extensive experience leading strategic planning; championing co-operative education, international and curriculum initiatives; and forging innovative college and university partnerships and pathways.
Dr. West-Moynes received her PhD from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto. Her research examined organizational culture and leadership skills in Ontario colleges. Community-minded, she has served on numerous volunteer boards and committees throughout her career.