Dr. Kent MacDonald | Northwood University President

Dr. Kent MacDonald is a highly regarded leader in the higher education sector. He comes to Northwood University from St. Francis Xavier University (StFX), one of Canada’s oldest and most respected universities, where he has served as president and vice chancellor since 2014. Prior to his term at StFX, Dr. MacDonald also served as president of Algonquin College, one of Canada’s largest and most innovative colleges and one of the country’s leading online education providers.

Kent brings more than two decades of higher education leadership experience to Northwood. In addition to his two presidential appointments, Dr. MacDonald has also served as academic vice president, vice president student services, dean, school of business and full professor. With this range of expertise, Kent is well prepared to support the Northwood staff in a variety of operational areas, including strategic enrollment management, finance, information communication technologies, student athletics, residence operations and areas related to student services.

Dr. MacDonald has many years’ experience in private fundraising and philanthropic outreach. While at StFX he launched a $50 million endowment to enhance access and affordability for students; as well as oversaw the completion of a $100 million campaign to create an academic research center.

Dr. MacDonald earned his Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from the University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario) and his Master of Education (MEd) degree from StFX University (Antigonish, Nova Scotia). He is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) where his doctoral research focused on high-performing colleges and presidential leadership. Dr. MacDonald’s research interest is related to the higher education sector and effective leadership. In this regard, he has addressed audiences around the world including Europe, Southeast and Central Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Dr. MacDonald is married to Mary-Ellen MacPhee, who is also a lifelong educator. She is an experienced school principal who is currently completing her PhD, with a focus on student success and inclusion. They met over thirty years ago when they were undergraduate students in Nova Scotia and have since lived in New Zealand and in Ontario. They have four children (Adam, Matthew, Meagan and Patrick) who reside in various parts of Canada.