Yukon College hosts workshop on Indigenizing university governance

For immediate release   |  Friday, March 23, 2018

Yukon College hosts workshop on Indigenizing university governance

WHITEHORSE—Twenty-two university Presidents, Vice-Presidents, Directors, Indigenization leads and Elders from across Canada are in Whitehorse on Monday for a one-day workshop on Indigenizing University Governance hosted by Yukon College and the BC Association of Institutes and Universities (BCAIU).

The event will be co-facilitated by University of Regina President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons and Professor of Higher Education and Dean of the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto Dr. Glen Jones.

“This is an extraordinarily important conversation on an issue of national importance. If universities are going to take reconciliation seriously, then it is essential that they consider what this means in terms of their governance,” said Dr. Jones.

“This workshop will provide the perfect forum for a mutually beneficial exchange of ideas. Academic leaders from across Canada will have the opportunity to provide their insights to Yukon College as it prepares for an exciting transformation. At the same time, the lessons these leaders learn from their Yukon College colleagues will have a positive impact on other Canadian institutions in the years to come,” said Dr. Timmons.

“The evolution into Yukon University provides the opportunity to create a new university governance system from scratch—one that embodies the principles and practice of reconciliation, right at the heart of the new institution,” said Dr. Karen Barnes, Yukon College President and Vice-Chancellor. “This conversation is a way for us to learn from the experience of other universities in Canada, an opportunity for them to learn from each other and perhaps spark new ideas for all of us.”

The creation of Yukon University will see the territory’s sole post-secondary institution transform to a bi-cameral governance structure where a faculty Senate will hold academic authority, while the Board of Governors holds authority over fiscal and strategic matters. Such a system is intended to foster collegiality in that the Senate and Board share powers and consult each other on important matters facing the institution.

The Yukon College Act currently sets out the foundations for a bi-cameral governance model, and the College is currently working towards refining that model to more truly reflect the values and function of a shared governance system.

Conversations during this workshop will ponder a governance structure that is inclusive of Indigenous principals and is responsive to the TRC Calls to Action, as well as what challenges such a structure may face and how to overcome them.

In attendance will be representatives from: British Columbia Institute of Technology; Capilano University; Emily Carr University of Art and Design; Justice Institute of British Columbia; Kwantlen Polytechnic University; Nicola Valley Institute of Technology; University of the Fraser Valley; University of Northern BC; University of Regina; University of Saskatchewan; University of Toronto; Vancouver Island University; and Yukon College.

It is hoped that the workshop recommendations on the governance structure of Yukon University will be considered in the drafting of the Yukon University Act. It is anticipated the college will transform into Yukon University in 2020.

For more information, contact:

Michael Vernon

Yukon College – Communications