Paul Donoghue

Paul Donoghue
Chief Administrative Officer
Place of Birth: 
Midland, ON
First Year Employed at UTM/U of T: 
Department / Division: 

Professionally, when I returned to UTM, it felt like I was coming home. I quickly became part of the UTM community. It’s an extraordinary place.

I get to play in the greatest toy box with all kinds of incredible people working with me.

Paul Donoghue

Paul Donoghue spent much of his early career with the Ontario Ministry of Health, moving around the organization as part of an executive development program that allowed him to gain broad experience in both staff and line functions. McMaster University in Hamilton recruited him to the education sector before U of T Mississauga lured him further east in 2001 to oversee expansion plans in preparation for the looming double cohort of high school students created by the end of Grade 13.

“We knew we had to take more students and provide quality facilities to accommodate them,” Donoghue said, and two new buildings were completed before he left UTM in 2004 for an opportunity to work abroad at the American University of Cairo.

Plans to return to Canada for family reasons were accelerated when UTM had a vacancy in the chief administrative officer (CAO) position. Ian Orchard, then the principal, invited Donoghue to return in 2009 to oversee another round of growth on the campus.

“It was exciting to come back and help add to what we had started,” said Donoghue. “Since then, it has been non-stop capital expansion and major renovations. There has always been an evolving vision of UTM and seeing the physical aspects of that come to fruition is quite extraordinary.”

Donoghue jokes that his role on campus is to “try to keep the bills paid and the lights on,” but in reality, his broad portfolio includes responsibility for everything from business planning, finance and budget, to human resources, facilities management and planning and capital construction, with computing and information technology, police services, occupational health and safety, and hospitality and retail services thrown in for good measure.

“We are essentially running a small town here with office buildings, classrooms, laboratories and living space,” Donoghue said. “Most of what I do happens in the background.”

“One of our architects best summed up our approach to development when she said, ‘UTM treats the campus like a canvas for architectural artistry,’ ” he said. He notes that the most rewarding part of his job is “watching students, faculty and staff as they come into new facilities and seeing their pride. It makes it all worthwhile.”