Confederation College Announces New President
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Confederation College Announce

Confederation College Announces New President

Confederation College is pleased to announce the appointment of Michelle Salo as the incoming President, effective September 1, 2024. Salo brings a wealth of experience and a passion for education to the role, following the retirement of current President Kathleen Lynch who will complete her term at the end of August.


The announcement was made by Daryl Skworchinski, Chair of the Board of Governors at Confederation College. "We are pleased to welcome Michelle Salo as the College's seventh President. The extensive cross-country search ended with a leader who shares our values: courage, equity and relationships, and vision for the future of post-secondary education. Her appointment marks an exciting new chapter for Confederation College."

Salo is an accomplished leader and proud alumna of Confederation College, bringing over three decades of diverse leadership experience to her new role as President of the institution. Certified as a Professional Accountant (CGA, CPA), her career has spanned multiple industries including manufacturing, healthcare, and post-secondary education, demonstrating her strategic acumen and versatility.

Salo began working at the college in 2019 as the Vice President of Finance and Administration and progressed to become the Chief Operating Officer in 2022. In this capacity, she was instrumental in developing and executing strategic initiatives, managing extensive operational responsibilities, and fostering an environment of continuous improvement. As a former resident of Dryden, Salo also brings a profound understanding of the college's pivotal role in Northwestern Ontario.

"I am deeply honoured to be the next President and first Alumna President, of the college and to continue to serve our students, staff and communities," said Salo. "I look forward to working alongside our dedicated team, making a meaningful impact on the lives of our students. Together, we will continue to build on the College's legacy of innovation, sustainability and student-centered learning."

Salo will succeed Kathleen Lynch, who has served as President since 2018. The College extends its heartfelt gratitude to President Lynch for her exceptional leadership and dedication to student success during her tenure.

Confederation College looks forward to Salo's guidance and leadership as the institution continues to strive for excellence in education, innovation, and community impact.

Confederation College has been serving the citizens of northwestern Ontario since 1967 meeting the educational needs of students in a catchment area of some 550,000 square kilometres. Along with its main campus in Thunder Bay, Confederation College has seven regional sites located in Dryden, Fort Frances, Greenstone, Kenora, Marathon, Sioux Lookout and Red Lake, as well as a growing Distance Education division.    

Confederation College delivers exceptional education and training to an average of 7,000 combined full- and part-time students per year and currently has a total of 600 full- and part-time employees. Confederation's regional economic impact and contribution is valued at $707.3 million annually.  


I asked Michelle Salo, incoming President some questions at the media event

How did your journey begin and end up until now?“I started my work career at the mill in Dryden,Ontario working as an office temporary in the accounting department after attending Confederation College. I went forward and got my accounting designation as I was working and continued to progress in my career moving up to a VP of Finance in Raleigh, North Carolina.”

“ We really missed the North and Thunder Bay so moved back and worked at the mill here.Through a series of changes I ended up at the college which is someplace I really wanted to be when we were looking at moving back. This was kind of my dream job, being back at the college.”

“ I think it is amazing to show students with my journey here at the college, what you are capable of doing. It is not just where you start
but where you end your career. My career started taking business administration here at the college and then moved to concentrate on accounting through my designation.”

You have a focus on students?

“ I want students here at Confederation College to feel a sense of comfort where they can come and get a good education, but also feel they are supported by all the faculty, staff and that we have everything they need.”

“ We concentrate on making sure our International students are comfortable here including having resident options for them. There are International students at Confederation College in Fort Frances, Kenora and Dryden as well.In the past year we are close at a 50/ 50 with our ratio of international students which is our new allotment.There are some reputation challenges with the recent announcement by the Canada government so we are trying to build that reputation back up.”

Daryl Skworchinski, Chair of the Board of Governors at Confederation College also CEO for the town of Marathon

How did the selection process go?

“ The selection was a very comprehensive process that took the executive committee about six months from start to finish.We received over 30 applications from across Canada, doing a first round of interviews of six then to a short list. This is one of the first times hiring someone from within but also the first alumnus of the college.”

“ Michelle was no doubt the number one candidate and she certainly earned the job. Our committee spent hundreds of hours to go through this process as it is a very significant job.”


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