News

WHITEHORSE, YT—Yukon University board chair David Morrison announced today that president Dr. Mike DeGagné has resigned his position. 

“We are disappointed that Dr. DeGagné is unable to continue as president but respect his decision,” said David Morrison, chair of the Yukon University Board of Governors.  

“It is with a heavy heart that I have made this decision. Yukon University is a fantastic institution. There is much to be proud of here. Yukon and Canada are fortunate to have such dedicated faculty, staff and executives working hard to make a difference for students, northerners and all Canadians,” said Dr. DeGagné. 

Effective immediately, the Yukon University Board of Governors has appointed Vice President University Services Dr. Maggie Matear as interim president and vice chancellor. 

WHITEHORSE, YT—By switching to virtual, online offerings this Fall, the Continuing Studies division at Yukon University has increased the variety of courses available to Yukoners and is able to reach more people than ever before. 

Continuing Studies (CS) encompasses short professional, personal and organizational development courses, workplace certifications, youth Science and Technology programming, social innovation, social justice and first aid training.  

These courses see between 4500 to 5000 students annually—the majority of whom attend in-person classes at one of YukonU’s 13 campuses. This number is in addition to the 1200 to 1300 credit program students attending each year. 

When COVID-19 response measures came into effect in March, CS initially suspended offerings, but quickly pivoted to delivering learning via online, self-paced methods and live Zoom sessions. 

WHITEHORSE, YT — A student award that supported a single bursary of $500 annually will now support six students each year. This is thanks to the generosity of friends, family and two corporate donations. 
 
Paul and Helen Flaherty created the bursary in 2016 while Paul served as Yukon College Board of Governors chair. The award supports students engaged in university prep courses, which many know as upgrading, with the intention of enrolling in a credit program. 
 
From Paul’s time on the board, hearing directly from students on challenges they face in their educational journeys, he and Helen saw how precarious this first step of returning to post-secondary education can be. They endeavoured to support and encourage students at this initial stage.

 A research paper released this month confirmed that significant declines in boreal caribou herds over the past 30 years are due to habitat disturbance. “Boreal Caribou Can Coexist with Natural but Not Industrial Disturbances”, was published in the Journal of Wildlife Management by five co-authors including Yukon University and University of Alberta professor, Dr. Fiona Schmiegelow. The paper concludes that caribou can persist with wildfire but will continue to decline in disturbed areas as a result of cumulative industrial activities if preventative or mitigative actions are not taken. 

WHITEHORSE, YT—With most credit program instruction taking place online in the Fall semester, YukonU is ensuring students can access in-person academic and personal supports at all 13 campuses.  

“We know the shift to online learning due to COVID-19 comes with the loss of social contact and sense of community on campus. We expect students to be in greater need of in-person supports than ever before, so this is where our focus will be,” said Dr. Janet Welch, vice president Academic and Student Services.  

“To protect the health and safety of students, employees and their loved ones, we can’t offer in-person classes, but we want credit students to know that campus supports are here for them,” added Welch. 

Yukon University welcomes Minto Explorations to the Northern Mine Remediation program’s Yukon Mining Research Consortium. Minto Explorations will be the seventh industrial partner to join the Consortium and the first member operating an active mine in the Territory.  

YukonU’s Northern Mine Remediation program is a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Industrial Research Chair program dedicated to solving northern mining challenges as identified by the local industrial partners. The Consortium has directed the Chair, Dr. Guillaume Nielsen, to focus the research program on passive water treatment technologies, mine waste management, mine revegetation, and community engagement.  

Joint news release with the Government of Yukon, Mitacs, Yukon University and the University of Alberta North

A unique opportunity to participate in COVID-19 research internships will benefit both Yukon organizations and post-secondary students.

Starting immediately, Yukon businesses, not-for profit organizations and municipalities can apply to be matched with post-secondary students who will research COVID-19’s impact on their operations and help develop plans to overcome those challenges. In return, students will gain high-quality work experience in the field of applied research.

Yukon University shares details on fall semester, new ways for students to connect 

WHITEHORSE, YT— Yukon University has provided more details to new, prospective and returning credit program students about the Fall semester and created a new student support initiative, Connect2YukonU

In a letter posted online and emailed today to students from Dr. Janet Welch, vice president Academic and Student Services, the University reiterated that teaching and learning for the Fall semester will take place primarily online.  

There are some exceptions for science and nursing labs, trades program shop classes and Continuing Studies courses that require in-person instruction.  

WHITEHORSE, YT & KELOWNA, BC—A new comprehensive, contemporary overview of Yukon First Nations peoples is now available as a free online resource for students and interested readers. 

This was shared Friday in the internal, weekly YukonU newsletter. More reflection from Karen can be found in this Whitehorse Star article, also published Friday.

Well here it is – my last day at Yukon University. (Or, as a few people still say YukonCollege-slash-YukonUniversity which makes me smile.)

The natural inclination is to try to capture all of the great memories – and there are so many! But of course memories are so personal, often such tiny moments in time – and impossible to recreate. So I will share a few highlights instead – hoping they will resonate with some of you as they reflect moments over the past nine years. Moments of joy, of unexpected generosity, of unfettered fun, of immense pride, of humility and admittedly – sometimes frustration (but not too often). Here’s just a few….

WHITEHORSE, YT—Sheila Silva has joined Yukon University as director of Finance.

Silva was previously chief financial officer with the Northwest Territories Health & Social Services Authority. She also brings federal government experience from her time with Indigenous Services Canada, Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and the Public Service Commission. 

“Sheila brings a wealth of experience in public-sector accounting and establishing financial policies and procedures. This background, together with her love of the North and commitment to cooperative leadership, make Sheila an outstanding addition to our YukonU team,” said Maggie Matear, vice-president University Services.