Dr. Kent MacDonald, president of St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, has been appointed Chair of the Council of Nova Scotia University Presidents (CONSUP).
MacDonald, who grew up in Pictou County, follows Prof. Dianne Taylor-Gearing, president, NSCAD University, Halifax, who completed her two-year term as CONSUP Chair, June 5, 2018.
CONSUP is an advocacy organization representing Nova Scotia’s 10 universities across the province.
MacDonald said that CONSUP is more committed than ever to fulfilling the visionary goals of the One Nova Scotia Report which declared that “universities represent one of Nova Scotia’s greatest comparative advantages.
“Our universities are a key pillar of the One Nova Scotia Report and central to successful achievement of many of its stretch goals for the province,” he said.
“Helping Nova Scotia meet the objectives of its population growth strategy through attraction and retention of students; enhancing experiential learning opportunities through student co-op and internship programs; promoting entrepreneurism; leading R&D and commercialization of university research and ensuring Nova Scotia’s university sector maintains its high quality, accessibility and sustainability, are all important objectives for CONSUP now and into the future.”
MacDonald also said universities play an important role in developing good citizens with creative thinking skills and problem-solving ability which are essential for a progressive, cohesive society.
Nova Scotia’s universities are a key driver of the provincial economy and are the third largest export revenue sector behind tire manufacturing and seafood preparation and packaging. The combined annual value of student (international and out of province) and research exports is $866 million annually.
MacDonald noted that Nova Scotia’s universities are also highly focused on inter-institutional collaborative initiatives to meet the objectives of the NS Accessibility Act (Bill 59); creating healthy campuses with a special emphasis on prevention of sexual violence and improving student mental health services, and fulfilling the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations for post-secondary education.