Meet the President: Mike Mahon
Dr. Michael J. (Mike) Mahon was installed as the President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lethbridge in 2010 and reappointed for a second term beginning July 1, 2015.
As the sixth President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lethbridge, Dr. Mahon is committed to building a comprehensive, destination university in western Canada. During his first term, Dr. Mahon introduced the university’s first Academic Plan and Strategic Research Plan followed closely by Destination 2020, the University of Lethbridge Strategic Plan. Under these plans, Dr. Mahon initiated the “Destination Project”, a monumental construction project to develop a new science and academic building and to revitalize Arthur Erickson’s University Hall. He was successful in obtaining a $260 million investment from the Government of Alberta to fund the $280 million project.
Other strategic efforts in Mahon’s first term include completing the construction of Mount Blakiston House which added 259 new beds to on-campus residence accommodation and opening the Dr. Foster James Penny Building in downtown Lethbridge, welcoming a new and innovative partnership with non-profit organization Volunteer Lethbridge. He has continued the important work of connecting to First Nations Metis and Inuit (FNMI) communities by creating an FNMI protocol, initiating an Aboriginal Education Committee within General Faculties Council, and solidifying an unprecedented Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Red Crow Community College on the Blood Reserve. For these efforts, Dr. Mahon was inducted into the Kainai Chieftainship in 2012 and given the Blackfoot name, Morning Star. His strategic efforts also include the creation of a Strategic Internationalization Planning Committee whereby a new framework for internationalization at the university has been initiated, and supporting the revitalization of Liberal Education as the cornerstone of undergraduate education at the University of Lethbridge through the development of a new four pillar framework.
A former two sport university athlete, Dr. Mahon serves as Chair of the Board of Directors of Canadian Interuniversity Sport (USports). Dr. Mahon is also on the Board of Directors of Universities Canada where he serves as Chair of the Governance Committee and is the current Chair of the Council of Western Canadian University Presidents. In 2014, he was appointed to the Alberta Innovation Council by the Premier of Alberta and he has several other standing provincial and national commitments related to post-secondary education.
Dr. Mahon holds a PhD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His research is in the field of disability studies; conducted research related to decision making and self-determination for individuals with intellectual disabilities and the role of play in child and community development in developing countries.