Board of Governors

The Board of Governors acts on behalf of the public. As representatives from both the University and community, their role is to set and govern the University's mission and strategic plan. The Board is empowered by the Yukon University Act.

Board Members

David Morrison, Board Chair

David Morrison
Board Chair
Public member
Term ends February 7, 2026

Jamena James Allen, Chancellor

James Allen
Term ends September 22, 2024

Dr. Lesley Brown

Dr. Lesley Brown
President & Vice-Chancellor

Judy Gingell

Judy Gingell
Yukon First Nation member
Term ends: September 30, 2023

Pearl Callaghan, First Nations Rep

Pearl Callaghan
Yukon First Nation member
Term ends: September 30, 2023

Kathleen Van Bibber, First Nation Rep

Kathleen Van Bibber
Yukon First Nation member
Term Ends: May 26, 2024

Carol Geddes

Carol Geddes
Board Vice-Chair
Community member
Term Ends: December 18, 2024

Mark Wedge, Communities Rep

Mark Wedge
Community member
Term ends: September 30, 2023

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Brenda Butterworth-Carr
Community member
Term ends: September 6, 2026

Tom Ullyett

Tom Ullyett
Public member
Term Ends: February 7, 2026

Christine Mahar, Public Rep

Christine Mahar
Public member
Term ends: September 30, 2023

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Victoria B. Fred
Public member
Term Ends: July 12, 2026

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Dr. Fiona Schmiegelow
Senate member
Term ends September 19, 2026

Headshot of Sara McPhee-Knowles

Dr. Sara McPhee-Knowles
Faculty member
Term ends March 19, 2026

Headshot of Samara Robertson-Lawless

Samara Robertson-Lawless
Employee (non-faculty) member
Term ends April 30, 2026

Profile photo of Samreen Ahmad

Samreen Ahmad
Student member
Term ends July 23, 2024

Jason Bilsky, Public Rep.

Jason Bilsky
General member
Term ends September 26, 2026

When the term of a member of the board expires, the member continues to serve until reappointed or re-elected or until a successor is appointed or elected (Yukon University Act, s.14(2)).

2022/2023 Board Meeting Dates
September 16, 2022 Board Committee meetings
September 23-24, 2022 Board meeting + retreat
December 2, 2022 Board Committee meetings
December 9, 2022 Board meeting - Joint Community Campus Chairs
February 10, 2023 Board Committee meetings
February 17, 2023 Board meeting
June 2, 2023 Board Committee meetings
June 9, 2023 Board meeting
Board committees
Board membership information
University Act

Nomination to Yukon University Board of Governors: The provisions in the Yukon University Act (2019) provide for:

The Board of Governors consisting of 17 voting members as follows:

  1. the chancellor;
  2. the president;
  3. ten persons who are appointed by the Commissioner in Executive Council
    • at least three of whom must be appointed from among persons nominated by at least one Yukon First Nation, and
    • at least three of whom must reside outside Whitehorse, each in a different community;
  4. one member of the senate who is elected by the members of the senate;
  5. one faculty member who is elected by the faculty members;
  6. one employee of the university who is elected by and from employees of the university who are not faculty members;
  7. one student who is elected by and from undergraduate students and graduate students, if any;
  8. one person who is elected by the members referred to in paragraphs (a) to (g), and who is not a student or an employee or officer of the university.

In appointing members of the board under (c), the Commissioner in Executive Council must make a reasonable effort to ensure that the membership of the board reflects the cultural, regional and gender diversity of Yukon.

The Commissioner in Executive Council appoints Board members for terms not exceeding 3 years, although appointments may be renewed.

Board members who are elected under (d), (e), (f) and (h) hold office for a term of 3 years, although may be renewed.

The student who is elected by and from undergraduate students and graduate students holds office for a term of one year.

Time commitment
  • The Board normally meets quarterly over an annual cycle from September to June. In addition, there is an annual retreat held over 1.5 days, generally in the fall.
  • There are five standing committees of the Board that also meet quarterly from September to June, normally a week prior to the Board meeting. There may also be ad-hoc committees that meet as needed.
  • Board members are asked to sit on at least one Board committee and attend some university events or functions when possible.
  • Two hours are normally needed to prepare for each Board meeting, and one hour for a Board Committee meeting.
Board composition, personal attributes and competencies

    The individuals who make up the Board of Governors should collectively have the necessary personal attributes and competencies required to:

    • Add value and provide support to management in establishing strategy and reviewing risks and opportunities
    • Effectively monitor the performance of management
    • Account for the performance of Yukon University
    • Bring to the deliberations the wide diversity of Yukon cultural, economic and social perspective
    • Contribute to the overall image of Yukon University

    Personal Attributes

    All members of the Board of Governors should possess the following personal attributes:

    • High ethical standards and integrity in professional and personal dealings
    • Good business judgment
    • Appreciation of the responsibilities to the public
    • Able and willing to raise potentially controversial issues in a manner that encourages dialogue
    • Flexible, responsive and willing to consider others opinions
    • Capable of a wide perspective on issues
    • Ability to listen and work as a team member
    • No direct or indirect conflict of interest
    • Strong reasoning and advocacy skills
    • Able and willing to fulfill time commitments required to carry out responsibilities

    Competencies Collectively, the Board should comprise the following core competencies:

    • Strategic management and organizational change
    • Internal control and accounting
    • Labour relations
    • Risk management
    • Financial expertise
    • Legal expertise
    • Experience/knowledge/expertise in post-secondary education
    • Knowledge of government and public sector environments
    • Knowledge of current and emerging issues affecting Yukon University
    • Knowledge of the extensive geography of Yukon
    • Credibility with the wide diversity of interests from within Yukon
    • Previous Board experience
    • Knowledge, experience and familiarity with Yukon First Nations' issues, culture, traditions and land claims and self-government agreements


    Within the context of the Board Composition, Personal Attributes and Competencies, consideration must be given to the diversity of gender, cultural heritage and knowledge of the communities served by Yukon University

    Benefits of board membership
    • Opportunities to develop skills through Board training sessions and attendance at workshops and conferences
    • One tuition-free University course per year
    • An honorarium and travel expenses for attending Board meetings as per Board Remuneration Regulation (
    • Complimentary library card
    Appointment and election process

    Appointed members: The Commissioner in Executive Council appoints 10 Board members. For more information and application, visit University Board of Governors (Yukon) | Government of Yukon.

    Elected members: Faculty member, Employee Member, Student member, Senate member and one General Member are elected by members of their constituency within Yukon University (General member by Board members) For more information, see BOG 17.0 Board Member Selection Policy.

    Membership Term: not to exceed 3 years (for a student member – 1 year); may be reappointed but must not hold office for more than three consecutive terms of office.


    Board of Governors Declaration on Indigenization and Commitment to Reconciliation

    The Yukon University Board of Governors shall work toward actively incorporating seven key Indigenous worldviews into the work the Board does.

    Download the complete declaration