Board of governors begins recruitment of Yukon University president

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WHITEHORSE, YT—The Yukon College board of governors has begun recruitment for the institution’s next president and vice chancellor. The successful candidate will be the institution’s eighth president and first to serve a full term as president and vice chancellor of Yukon University, Canada’s first university North of 60.  

Over the past two months, the Board has requested input from all Yukon First Nations and Yukon College employees on what to consider when recruiting for the leader of Yukon University.  

Piers McDonald, Yukon College chancellor, is chairing a selection committee comprised of board members, faculty, staff, senior executives, a student and a Yukon First Nations Elder. 

Piers McDonald
Chancellor Piers McDonald

"Several common threads stand out in the input we have received so far — that the new president understands and appreciates the northern and Yukon context, that they respect the hybrid university model, which includes upgrading, trades and vocational training while ensuring the development of high quality degree programs, and that they maintain and build on the strong relationships this institution has with Yukon First Nations, when considering future programming,” said Chancellor McDonald. 

Advertising for the position launched last week and the board anticipates naming the new president next spring.

The recruitment ad states that the successful candidate will be an inspiring leader, highly effective at bringing people together to focus on the vision and strategy of Yukon University.  

Truly a champion for higher education, the new president will bring a passion for students and student learning and an appreciation and respect for faculty and staff. The president will embrace a teaching focused institution, research and the critical role of a post-secondary institution in society and the North in particular. 

The board has engaged the executive recruitment firm Boyden to assist the search for suitable candidates. In recent years, Boyden has successfully recruited presidents and senior executives for over 40 different Canadian colleges and universities, as well as conducting searches for several senior positions at Yukon College.  

Current president and vice chancellor, Dr. Karen Barnes, will retire June 30, 2020. Dr. Barnes has held the position since July 2011. 

"President Barnes has done a tremendous job of leading Yukon College through this transition over the past eight years. Dr. Barnes, along with her entire team, have built an excellent foundation for the future success of Yukon University,” said Chancellor McDonald. 

The final significant milestone in Yukon College’s journey to becoming YukonU is the tabling and passing of the Yukon University Act by the Government of Yukon. Following this, the College will share details on the official YukonU launch celebration set for May 8 and 9, 2020. 

For more information, please contact:

Michael Vernon

Communications Coordinator

Governance and External