Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

New president fired senior staff

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LATE in May, Red River College president Stephanie Forsyth abruptly fired two of the colleges's six most senior employees, vice-president of finance and administration Catherine Rushton and associate vice-president of facilities and campus services Robert Olson.

Rushton had been RRC's interim president for most of 2010, between former president Jeff Zabusky's taking a job in Ontario and Forsyth's arrival from British Columbia last September.

Forsyth refused to discuss personnel issues, saying only, "Positioning the college for the future, I felt that was necessary."

Rushton could not be reached.

Olson, who was a senior administrator at Red River for almost 10 years, said there was no forewarning the two would be fired an hour apart on May 27.

"It was right out of the blue," Olson said. "It catches you off guard -- it is a president's prerogative.

"The reason I was given is that the new president is reorganizing. I was the lone associate vice-president -- the position was going to be eliminated."

Former president Jeff Zabudsky focused on "the external image and building as many partnerships as he could," said Olson, while Forsyth has been focused on the college internally, "developing the aboriginal population and the aboriginal enrolment.

"Red River is a very good place to work, and there are a lot of great people there," said Olson.

Soccer federation planning

more playing fields in city

THE provincial government has bankrolled the Winnipeg Soccer Federation to develop a plan for two additional four-field indoor soccer complexes and nine outdoor fields with lights and artificial turf.

One of those indoor complexes will be the recently announced project at the University of Winnipeg, said WSF president Peter Muir.

The province wanted one indoor complex in the inner city and another in the north, which would also include two lighted artificial turf outdoor fields, said Muir.

WSF consultant Harry Finnigan has met with Red River College president Stephanie Forsyth, Muir said, and while RRC could fit the criteria, Finnigan is studying an area that runs from Route 90 to Lagimodiere Boulevard and from the CPR tracks on the south to the Perimeter Highway on the north.

"It's at its earliest preliminary stages," Muir emphasized.

The WSF hopes to fill its entire wish list by 2018, Muir said, but the province made it clear the indoor complex was the top priority.

"They haven't said no to (outdoor) artificial turf fields, but they said pretty clearly, look at a building."

Muir said one of the nine outdoor fields would be the remaining grass field without lights at the Waverley Soccer Complex. The other eight would be built in four pairs.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 22, 2011 B1

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