Alumni Spotlight | Fall 2021

Kathy Pozihun (HBCom’92) keeps Lakehead shipshape

University Centre building and Lake Tamblyn with blue skies

There's no place like Lakehead is one of Kathy Pozihun's mantras.

"Thunder Bay has always been home, and Lakehead is part of my family," she says. "My husband, my daughter, my step-daughter, and I are all graduates – and my son just finished his first year."

Kathy first arrived at university as an eager commerce student who, like many students, juggled university with a part-time job. Although she was extremely busy with her studies and work, she did have time to listen to a little music.

"I was a huge Bon Jovi fan. Everyone used to tease me because I had life-size posters of Jon Bon Jovi everywhere."

Kathy's work ethic brought her back to Lakehead in 2012 when she was appointed Vice- President of Administration and Finance after holding senior financial management positions at Community Living Thunder Bay and the Lakehead District School Board.

"It was really special to return to my alma mater as a vice-president," she says.

Kathy Pozihun standing outside

So, what does Kathy do?

"First and foremost, I am Lakehead's chief financial officer – which means ensuring that the university remains financially sustainable and poised for growth. I also have the pleasure of leading many administrative units, including financial services, human resources, technology services, physical plant, risk management, security services, residence operations, food & conference services, athletics, human rights and equity, as well as ancillary profit centre operations like our bookstore and parking services."

Administering a university with campuses in two cities over a thousand kilometres apart is no easy feat, but Kathy is undaunted.



In 1992, Kathy earned her Honours Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting Major) and then went on to become a Chartered Professional Accountant, Certified General Accountant in 1996.

"It's important to remember that we are one university with two campuses. Lakehead Orillia and Lakehead Thunder Bay share the same strategic goals and vision."

In this age of intense competition, economic volatility, and a global pandemic, Kathy stays focused amidst constant change.

"All universities in Ontario are facing financial challenges," she says, "but Lakehead has successfully managed declining provincial funding, significant cuts to domestic tuition, and now COVID-19."

This means making tough decisions, like cutting costs whenever possible. That's why Lakehead's transparent and accountable budget process is a source of pride for Kathy.

"We do not run deficits and the Board of Governors will only approve balanced budgets. This has positioned Lakehead for a strong financial future."

Together, Kathy and her exceptional team have made Lakehead better in countless ways.

"Establishing Lakehead's first Office of Human Rights & Equity and overseeing the construction of the Wolf Den athletics facility and the CASES building really stands out for me," she says.

Kathy's steady guidance has meant that Lakehead continues to have a positive economic impact on our communities. Of course, it's a two way street. Our communities play an integral role in sustaining us.

"Lakehead's alumni and industry, government, Indigenous, and community partners allow us to grow, change, and continue to be a leader for our next generation."

The next generation looms large in Kathy's mind.

"I was the first person in my family to graduate from university and I will always remember walking across the stage of the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium to receive my degree – my parents were so proud."

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