St. Scholastica announces new president

Dr. Barbara McDonald will become the 13th president of The College of St. Scholastica, effective Aug. 5. 

She was introduced to the St. Scholastica community at an on-campus announcement this week.

“Dr. Barbara McDonald is a visionary leader whose wide-ranging experience and student-centered approach make her the right person to lead The College of St. Scholastica,” said Christopher Dolan, chair of the St. Scholastica board of trustees. “Throughout her career, which includes deep familiarity with Northeastern Minnesota, she has shown an ability to forge productive relationships, cultivate innovation and build support for institutional goals in service to students’ success. She is a leader of proven integrity and insight.”

McDonald, 61, comes to St. Scholastica from North Hennepin Community College (NHCC) in Brooklyn Park, Minn., where she served as president since 2015.

“I am thrilled and honored to be given the opportunity to serve as the 13th president of The College of St. Scholastica,” McDonald said. “I look forward to working alongside our outstanding students, faculty and staff as we move the college forward to a bright future. I want to thank the board for its confidence in me and the St. Scholastica family for welcoming me to the fold."

Dr. McDonald will succeed President Colette Geary, who announced in January that she would depart St. Scholastica to spend more time with her family. Geary became president in July 2016.

A national search led to McDonald’s appointment. Trustees Emeriti Mary Ives and Phillip Rolle were co-chairs of the search committee.

"Dr. McDonald has a history of building successful teams throughout her career," Ives and Rolle said in a joint statement. “Her inclusive leadership style fits perfectly with St. Scholastica's vision, mission and values and will serve as a foundation for collaboration and consensus building. In addition, Dr. McDonald not only has had experience living and working in numerous foreign countries, but has shown extensive leadership in supporting diversity and inclusion. We’re very excited to have her on campus.”

Dr. McDonald grew up in Beirut, Lebanon, and earlier in her career she and her family lived and worked abroad for many years in Africa, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.