Whitehorse Daily Star

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HEADING THE EFFORT – Yukon College chancellor Piers McDonald is chairing a selection committee as the college searches for a successor to retiring president Karen Barnes. Photo courtesy YUKON COLLEGE

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Photo by Photo Submitted

Dr. Karen Barnes

Board begins recruitment of Yukon University president 

The Yukon College board of governors has begun recruitment for the institution’s next president and vice-chancellor.

By Whitehorse Star on October 10, 2019

The Yukon College board of governors has begun recruitment for the institution’s next president and vice-chancellor.

Dr. Karen Barnes, the current president and vice-chancellor, will retire June 30, 2020. She has held the position since July 2011, and had originally planned to retire several years ago. 

The successful candidate will be the institution’s eighth president and first to serve a full term as president and vice-chancellor of the future Yukon University, which will be Canada’s first university North of 60.  

Over the past two months, the board has requested input from all Yukon First Nations and college employees on what to consider when recruiting for the new leader.  

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

"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,” McDonald said Thursday. 

The board anticipates naming the new president next spring. 

The recruitment advertisement, initially published in last Friday’s Star, 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 college said.

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 more than 40 Canadian colleges and universities, as well as conducting searches for several senior positions at Yukon College.  

"President Barnes has done a tremendous job of leading Yukon College through this transition over the past eight years,” McDonald said.

“Dr. Barnes, along with her entire team, have built an excellent foundation for the future success of Yukon University.”

The final significant milestone in Yukon College’s journey to becoming YukonU is this week’s tabling – and eventual passing – of the Yukon University Act in the legislature.

After the legislation is approved, the college will share details on the official YukonU launch celebration set for May 8-9, 2020. 

Comments (11)

Up 4 Down 2

University of No Funny on Oct 15, 2019 at 6:07 pm

At - OneSenseOfHumourToGoPlease: I am sorry that I did not find your sophomoric racism humorous. The fact that you and your supporters will not fully appreciate the gravity of your insults is not lost on me. Textbook deflections of someone engaging in socially inappropriate behaviour: I was only joking; Can’t you take a joke; You need to lighten up and so on.

Yes, we need your sense of humour to go, please, and thank you.

Up 8 Down 7

OneSenseOfHumourToGoPlease on Oct 15, 2019 at 9:14 am

Icing Call - do try and evolve a modicum of a sense of humour . It will help you in later life.

Up 23 Down 5

Anie on Oct 14, 2019 at 8:26 am

Drum, I disagree. Attending university outside is a good life experience for young people. It will be unfortunate to see Yukon educational grants and scholarships removed in favour of another version of Yukon college - which is really just grade 12 "upgrading" ( a polite way of saying spend grade 12 on the graduating party plan and we'll pretend you are in a higher learning institute next year).

Up 13 Down 20

Icing Call on Oct 13, 2019 at 11:31 pm

Ice-Ice-Baby - Why do you feel the need to mock a “Northern” education? Perhaps you were treated roughly by a gang of Northern Academics as a child and you never really got over it?

You seem to be implying a lesser than status? Did you pay for an expensive southern degree that you never ever measured up to and now you spend your days attacking Northern Academics because you feel some sense of vindication?

How messed up is your thinking?

Up 18 Down 10

Nicky Nicky Nine Doors on Oct 13, 2019 at 11:16 pm

Actually Nicky the Yukon needs to engage more people in the practice of critical thinking. Your post is evidence of this.

Why do you feel the need to insult and is it helpful to your cause? Why are they “twits”?
Fine Arts history degree in gender studies? Did you just make that up?
Perhaps you are better than those MallWart employees?

Up 24 Down 11

Ice-Ice-baby on Oct 13, 2019 at 5:22 am

Ah, the benefits of northern education. Bachelors in periglacial pingo geomorphology from Tuk U ( Tuktoyaktuk ), Masters in indigenous governance from Yuk U, and a Doctorate in minesite remediation overspend from F ..... Faro U of course .

Up 11 Down 30

JC on Oct 11, 2019 at 6:28 pm

I think a university is a great idea for Yukon. There is a whole lot of potential for one.

Up 29 Down 17

Nicky on Oct 11, 2019 at 5:27 pm

Yuk-U, what a joke. We need more qualified tradespeople not more over-educated twits with advanced LibArts degrees that provide no chance of employment.
We're rapidly approaching the time when you can't find a plumber to fix a toilet, but some young twit working at MallWart with a Fine Arts History degree in Gender Studies, will help you choose from sixteen different designs and colors of toilets made in China.

Up 33 Down 13

Thomas Brewer on Oct 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm

A territory of 40,000 is not in need of a University.

Up 37 Down 5

drum on Oct 10, 2019 at 7:40 pm

It will be good for teenagers not to have to leave the Yukon to get a University Education but I believe that Yukon College should still be considered a mainly vocational College. Do not get over yourselve's thinking this is a University town. I still want our youngsters having the option of having an apprenticeship program and shop programs for trades. We need trades peoples locally more than we need lawyers and economists - we have to balance.

Up 51 Down 13

FirstClassHonours on Oct 10, 2019 at 3:59 pm

Whoever is installed, be they man, woman, or other, the place will forever be an institution known across the Territory and elsewhere as Grade 13 With Added Daycare. A noble enough Community College but a very, very healthy distance away from being University class (only the caliber and proven credentials of the teaching staff can convey educational status). Have a nice day.

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