By: Pierry Parmera
After 41 years employed at Algonquin, one of the longest serving faculty members of the college, Wayne Lewrey, is retiring this week.
The current manager of Institutional Research, Lewrey, 63, has held his current position since 1989. He first started working for Algonquin in 1972 as a clinical instructor.
“Working at Algonquin is one of the most rewarding experiences you could possibly have in a college because you have the chance to teach students and create opportunities for them,” said Lewrey about his overall experience at the college.
Throughout the years, Lewrey’s value as the head of Institutional Research was known across the college.
“He wanted to retire a long time ago but they wouldn’t let him,” said Nancy Tremblay who worked with Lewrey for two years as his support service officer. Since their time working together, they became good friends.
“If I had to tell him something it would be that he made a difference within this institution and guided (it) with his knowledge over the years,” she said.
Lewrey’s departure has affected everyone who knew him closely on campus including Kent MacDonald who worked with him for years.
“We are going to miss Wayne because he is extremely competent in what he does,” said Kent MacDonald, the president of the college. “He has a tremendous ability to look across the college and find solutions to some of the issues,” he said.
The administration has not yet decided on who will permanently replace Lewrey but the current director of the Institutional Research will oversee his position temporarily, according to MacDonald.
Lewrey’s responsibilities included measuring institutional performance, doing mandatory reporting to the government and conducting market research and large-scale surveys.
Among all the surveys he conducted was the Key Performance Indicator (KPI) survey which measured student satisfaction with their programs.
In fact, his dedication and work with the KPI survey earned him a rather humorous nickname: Mr. KPI guy.
“I collect a bunch of information and send it to the president and the deans of the college,” he said.
He was the manager and generator of all business information, according to MacDonald.
Although Wayne Lewrey became instrumental in providing data and analyzing information for the college, he did not start working for Algonquin in a field that was related to that.
Lewrey started working for Algonquin in 1972 as a clinical instructor when he was 22 years old. His role was to train the respiratory technology students at the Ottawa General Hospital (OGH).
“They needed an individual who was hospital-trained (and) I had been working at the General Hospital for four years at the time,” said Lewrey.
“I had the most significant and meaningful work in my entire life,” he said about his experience working for the OGH and Algonquin at the same time. He had to teach students to have a “positive impact on the survival of people.”
Despite turning 64 this November this year, he still wants to remain active.
“I want to continue traveling internationally and work on contract with the college,” he said.
Lewrey also wants to continue playing for his band, the Divided Highway, like he has done for 15 years. In fact, this will be his chief dedication after his official retirement.