Don Lovisa is staying on as Durham College (DC) president for another three years.
The DC Board of Governors has extended the contract of Lovisa, who turns 63 this summer, to March 31, 2024.
“While the past few months have been filled with challenges and uncertainty, we know we can count on Don’s unwavering commitment to the success of the institution, its students, employees, and the broader community,” says Ivan DeJong, chair, DC Board of Governors, in a news release.
Lovisa has been with the college since 2007 where he began working as vice-president, academic.
He became president in 2008.
Previously, Lovisa worked for Confederation College in Thunder Bay for 20 years as the dean of the School of Business, Media and Hospitality.
Lovisa says this will “most likely” be his last term, but adds that decision will also depend on how he feels at the end of the contract.
“People work now well into their 70s and even 80s,” says Lovisa. “As long as I’m healthy and I’m still doing a good job and the board of governors still see I can provide value, you never know what’s possible.”
Lovisa’s work hasn’t stopped, especially with the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. He says he and his team have worked not only to switch current students and staff over to virtual learning, but also plans to make this possible for the next wave of new students.
“We expect to have new students in September. In the May semester, we will continue to offer education to returning students and the May semester will primarily be online,” Lovisa explains. “September, much like other organizations, we’re developing plans to take a look at what the semester will look like.”
Lovisa adds once the new school year starts in September, how classes will be offered will depend on the state of the pandemic. He says, however, he expects there will continue to be virtual classes.
“We’re starting to see the province and the country open up the economy, so, that provides an opportunity for us to explore what the delivery options will be,” Lovisa says. “I don’t think we’ll be back to normal by September, I think long term we will be, but with some sort of form of online delivery.”
While Lovisa says he is proud of his past terms and his team, he also feels his time at DC has been some of the best of his career.
“I’ve enjoyed such a wonderful career in the college system, it’s been fabulous,” he says. “One person never accomplishes things by ourselves and I’m very fortunate to enjoy the success that I have at Durham – I work with some amazing people.”
In addition to Lovisa’s contract renewal, he says the college will be releasing a new strategic plan at the end of the month mapping out DC’s future.
“We’re going to launch a brand new strategic plan with a new vision, a new mission,” he says. “We’ll lay out, and I say ‘we’ because it really is a joint effort of the executive team and others, where we plan to take the college over the next three to four years.”
Currently, a video detailing this plan is in its final stage of development. Lovisa says the video will be live on the DC website May 26.