Capping a career of more than three decades, a Brandon University stalwart will be stepping down next summer. Scott Lamont, who has been Vice-President (Administration & Finance) at BU since the 1990s, has announced he’ll retire at the end of June 2024.
“I have had the absolute pleasure of working with scores of other managers, faculty and staff over the years,” Lamont said, adding that one thing he always loved about the job was the fact that it meant working with a strong team. “Some may think I have put together and directed the budget or other financial policies nearly single handedly. Of course, this is far from true. Obviously, I am part of it and bring certain skills and perspectives, but the final products and outcomes are very much the result of a team of many. I have learned so much.”
Lamont first started at BU in 1992, when he joined as Director of Financial and Accounting Services. But he says he didn’t initially expect to stick around in post-secondary education. It was his promotion in 1996 to his current role that he says made all the difference.
“I have always had a broad portfolio and work in senior management allows me to participate in challenges and opportunities across the campus that I might not otherwise touch,” he said. “The work is pretty steady throughout the year and yet cyclical and seasonal, all of which keeps things interesting. We are also exposed to people and ideas that advance society, culture, business, technology, and philosophy that constantly challenge and stimulate the curious mind.”
In the 30-plus years he’s been at BU, Lamont says those changes and advances have added up to a startling degree.
“People smoked in their offices and classrooms,” he recalls. “My predecessor did not have a computer. Almost no one had cell phones. Internet was something the Director of IT Services described to a few of us in management — it sounded impossible.”
Along with a digital transformation has come a physical one. Buildings like the John E. Robbins Library, the Clark Hall renovation, the Health Studies Building expansion, the new Physical Plant building, the BU Early Learning Centre, and the Healthy Living Centre were all completed after he started on campus.
But some of the more notable changes, he says, are cultural.
“We now have much more emphasis placed on Indigenous cultural practices, and more efforts are being made toward Truth and Reconciliation, however small the progress,” he said, adding that the International student population has also swelled and that 2SLGBTQIA+ presence is a much more visible part of everyday campus life, although progress is still needed. “Brandon University now welcomes so much more diversity in appearances, cultures, practices and needs to be met in places like Student Services and Food Services.”
Those who work closely with Lamont say that his years of service to BU have made a special impact.
“Scott is certainly one of the longest-serving senior administrators in all of Canadian post-secondary. His experience and institutional knowledge is unparalleled, and he has provided solid counsel and strong guidance around the executive table,” said BU President David Docherty. “It is gratifying to look around and see that Scott has helped BU build a deep bench of young talent, so he’ll leave us in good hands, but with big shoes to fill.”
The search to fill those shoes will get underway in the coming weeks. But Lamont, who this past spring ran the Boston Marathon, doesn’t plan to slow down in retirement.
“I have lots of plans. My wife Louise and I are blessed with six grandchildren, four of whom live in Brandon and we are happy to be part of their lives,” he said. “I look forward to more gardening, wood working, travel, singing, renewing language, and yes, running with my dogs and kids. Nothing big or outlandish, just enjoying some of the everyday things a bit more.”
- Brandon University
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