Confederation College announces its next president

By Katie Nicholls
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
TBnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY — Michelle Salo will be the next president of Confederation College.

College officials announced today that Salo will be the incoming president of the post-secondary institution once current leader Kathleen Lynch retires at the beginning of September.

She’ll be the first alumna to be president in the history of Confederation College.

Salo worked in manufacturing for many years across the region and in the U.S. as a vice-president of finance at a company in North Carolina.

She and her family moved back to Thunder Bay, where she worked at the local paper mill using her accounting certification before starting her career at Confederation College.

Salo said she’s proud to be a college graduate.

“I think it’s amazing to be able to show students who come here from the college of what you are capable of doing. It’s really important that our students understand that it’s not just where you start but where you end your career.

“There’s a lot of things that you can do with a pathway starting here at Confederation College.”

She is aware of some of the challenges she will face as the college’s incoming president.

“Some of the major challenges are around funding . . . Opportunities are just trying to really focus on our core programs expanding in the region . . . and really supporting industry across all of Northwestern Ontario.”

Salo appreciates what she’s learned from the outgoing president.

“She really taught me how to work in this industry and to understand it much better. She’s done so much for this college and set a fantastic foundation for our steps forward in our strategic plan.”

It was noted that currently, close to half of the school’s student population is based on international students.

“We really concentrate on making sure that our international students are comfortable here,” Salo said.

“We have residence options, we have other supports that help to provide good support to any international students that are coming here to Thunder Bay and in our regional campuses. [We] really want to make sure they are comfortable and that they have a good, safe place to live and are getting an excellent education.”

Lynch will officially retire as president on Sept. 4.