Lethbridge College names new president

·3 min read

Lethbridge College’s Board of Governors has named Brad Donaldson as its 9th President and CEO following the resignation of Paula Burns.

From a pool of 130 applicants a committee of seven members, including Michael Marcotte, chair for the Lethbridge College Board of Governors, chose Donaldson following a six-month process. Donaldson was chosen fulfilling the boards desire to find someone who set the tone for culture and organizational leadership, a commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and Indigenous communities, along with strategic leadership qualities and strong board relations.

“Brad certainly checked all those boxes, and we’re very excited to have him. I think Brad understands our current position, or direction and focus, and will help us complete our existing goals while developing goals for the future and thinking about what the current reality of Alberta 2030 is and how we move forward. Brad has incredible credentials, experience, and a very thoughtful leadership style, which we think is very important as we move forward into this next phase of leadership at the college,” said Marcotte during a virtual press conference with Donaldson on Tuesday.

Donaldson describes himself as “people” person dedicated to helping others – both students and colleagues – achieve their best.

“I think the college has done incredible things over the last few years. What really resonates with me is the power that they allow the people to have. Because it really is a people organization that we are. Core to my values is helping people to aspire to do the best they can. The college as a foundation has the environment to do that. Whether it be students being successful in completing and moving on to their careers or the next phase of education, or the employees of the college who really aspire to be great at what they do.”

Donaldson holds a Doctor of Education degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Calgary, and a Master of Engineering degree with a Bachelor of Applied Science degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Toronto. Donaldson’s previous work includes serving as vice president academic at SAIT in Calgary, and VPA at Red Deer College.

“A lot of my work has been around rating innovation, cultures of innovation in an organization to help unlock the potential,” said Donaldson. “Part of my background, and it’s been core to me for a long time, is systems thinking. Thinking about how all the players in an organization, whether internal or external, and what are the perspectives we have to consider to move forward. A lot of the work that I’ve done over many years is really helping people be engines of innovation within an organization.”

Donaldson will look towards innovation during his time at the College, helping unlock potential and create opportunities to continually serve stakeholders.

“One thing I find fascinating is talking about perspectives. When you get perspectives of other communities, thinking of the Indigenous communities as well, their way of being, how can we learn from them? How can we take the input from the stakeholders and what they value and what their cultures are to help us create an even stronger organization to serve those communities? A lot of my role will be in connecting with community leaders,” said Donaldson. “It’s drawing all that together to find the best way to move forward to serve those communities.”

Donaldson will be taking over as Lethbridge College president in September.

Ryan Clarke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Lethbridge Herald