(TORONTO, Sept. 21, 2022) – Linda Franklin, the president and CEO of Colleges Ontario, has announced she will be retiring on March 31, 2023.
“It has been a tremendous joy and privilege leading the association’s efforts for this incredibly important sector,” Franklin said. “I’m very proud of everything our association and the colleges have accomplished. We have made a real difference for students and for the future of Ontario’s economy.”
Franklin has served as president and CEO of the association for Ontario’s 24 public colleges for over 15 years. During her tenure, she established Colleges Ontario as a recognized and credible authority on policies affecting college education throughout the province.
Major achievements during her time included spearheading advocacy campaigns that gained national attention to promote awareness of the skills shortage and skills mismatch challenges now affecting Ontario’s economy.
She also spearheaded the creation of the first provincewide marketing campaign on behalf of the sector to promote the many rewarding careers available to college graduates.
Franklin oversaw the successful effort to establish the association’s annual conference – the Higher Education Summit – as one of North America’s premier conferences on post-secondary education. The conference has featured major international speakers that have included New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman, former U.S. secretary of labor Robert B. Reich, actor Alan Alda and former prime ministers Jean Chrétien and Paul Martin.
Significant policy achievements during her tenure included winning Ontario government approval earlier this year to allow colleges to develop three-year degree programs to run alongside the three-year diploma programs. The government also announced colleges could expand their range of career-focused four-year degree programs.
Franklin also led the successful effort to persuade the provincial government to allow colleges to offer independent bachelor of science in nursing degree programs that don’t require the college to partner with a university.
This allows more students to enrol in nursing degree programs that can be fully completed in their home communities. Eight Ontario colleges now offer the independent nursing degree programs that will play a significant role in strengthening the province’s health-care workforce.
Glenn Vollebregt, the president and CEO of St. Lawrence College and chair of Colleges Ontario, said Franklin’s upcoming retirement is well earned after many successful years leading Colleges Ontario.
“Linda has been a phenomenal leader and we can’t thank her enough for everything she’s done for our colleges and our students,” Vollebregt said. “We will definitely miss her but wish her all the best for a very well-earned retirement.”
Senior Communications Advisor, Public Affairs