After more than three decades of an exceptional career in post-secondary education – almost 10 of those years at Georgian College – Dr. MaryLynn West-Moynes has announced her decision to retire in June 2022.
“MaryLynn is highly regarded across both the Ontario college and university systems and well known for her innovative, thoughtful and strategic approach,” said Ali Khonsari, chair of Georgian’s board of governors. “Throughout her tenure at Georgian, she’s demonstrated an unwavering commitment to students and fostering collaborative community, government and industry partnerships.
"Her accomplishments at Georgian and contributions across the sector have been both significant and varied – though she’ll be the first to say they were the result of an incredible team effort.”
West-Moynes came to Georgian in 2012, bringing extensive academic, administrative and leadership experience. She began her career at Durham College as a faculty member before taking on increasing roles of responsibility. She was a strategic architect in the creation of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (now Ontario Tech), and president of Mohawk College for five years.
Team Georgian’s achievements under West-Moynes’ leadership include:
Launching 37 new programs in response to industry and community needs, including a standalone Honours Bachelor of Science – Nursing degree
An evolving partnership with Lakehead University to expand degree capacity in our region
Expansion at several campuses, including the opening of the Algoma Central Corporation Marine Emergency Duties Centre in Owen Sound and Peter B. Moore Advanced Technology Centre in Barrie
Significant growth in research, innovation and scholarship activity; the Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre was recognized with two prestigious international awards for being a top business accelerator and Georgian became Canada’s first – and only – Ashoka U designated changemaker college, the leading designation for social innovation in higher education
Considerable improvement of the college’s financial performance
The launch of a bold digital innovation strategy to improve student learning and service delivery
Meaningful and authentic action toward Truth and Reconciliation through commitments agreed to when the college signed the Indigenous Education Protocol in 2015
Expanding cultural awareness and support for the college’s more than 4,500 international students
Most recently, West-Moynes has made it a college-wide priority to focus on equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging. Georgian received a $400,000 grant in the spring from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada to deepen its activity in this area and the college recently hired its first Director of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion.
West-Moynes also initiated work to foster a more agile culture for both students and employees, encouraging an environment that’s supportive, collaborative, continuously striving to improve, where people know it’s safe to fail fast and early, and where they can flourish at a college dedicated to changemaking and creativity.
“Being Georgian’s president and CEO has been and will continue to be until my last day in office, a true highlight of my career,” said West-Moynes. “Our students are amazing and I’m grateful for the exceptional group of senior leaders, faculty and staff who I’ve worked alongside and who consistently put students first. Together, we’ve created a transformative Georgian experience and continue to be an integral part of the communities we’re proud to serve.”
Outside her post-secondary leadership roles, West-Moynes has been highly engaged in the community, participating on numerous non-profit, business, foundation, and economic development boards and committees.
Georgian’s board of governors has engaged Phelps, one of Canada’s leading executive search and leadership advisory firms, in the search for a new president and will keep the college community informed throughout the process. Presidential search updates will be posted on Georgian’s website.