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Yukon University announces appointments

Chancellor, board chair reappointed at Yukon University
Mary Jane Moses receives her honorary bachelor of northern heritage and culture from Yukon University at the graduation ceremony June 4. On left is university president and vice chancellor Dr. Lesley Brown and on right is chancellor Jamena James Allen. (Courtesy/Yukon University)

Jamena James Allen has been reappointed as the chancellor of Yukon University (YukonU) for a two-year term.

An April 6 release by the university said Allen is the eighth Yukoner to serve in this honorary capacity since 1989, when the university was then Yukon College. He follows in the footsteps of Pierre Berton, T’aaḵú Tláa Pearl Keenan, Ken MacKinnon, Anyalahash Sam Johnston, Rolf Hougen, Geraldine Van Bibber and Piers McDonald.

Allen is a former Dän nätthe (chief), Dän nätthe dätthʼi (councillor) and an Agunda (Wolf) clan citizen of the Shadhäla yè Äshèyi Kwädän (Champagne and Aishihik First Nations).

In the release, Allen said he is honoured to continue serving the university, noting he has been a long time “advocate for building resources from within to realize the promise of self-government, and indeed Yukon itself.”

“The establishment of Yukon University is a further step towards self-sufficiency for all Yukoners,” he said. “I look forward to engaging with and serving our students.”

David Morrison, the chair of the university board who was also reappointed for a three-year term, said the board is pleased to have Allen’s experience in running the institution.

“Chancellor Allen has presided over two convocations and the presidential installation. I value his perspective, guidance and strong commitment to improving the experience and outcomes of YukonU students,” Morrison said.

In the release, Victoria Castillo, YukonU senate co-chair, said Allen is an “active contributor to senate discussions, particularly around the topics of Indigenous education and student success. He actively participates in our meetings with enthusiasm and provides deep reflection on senate matters.”

With a renewable term of two years, the chancellor is the ceremonial head of the university and serves to bridge the institution and the broader community. The chancellor is responsible for conferring credentials on each graduating student.

On his own appointment, in an April 6 release, Morrison said he is grateful for the opportunity, adding the university’s board table is a “place of lively discussion amongst a diverse group of passionate, engaged Yukoners committed to ensuring accessible, affordable, relevant post-secondary education, close to home.”

The release on Morrison’s reappointment noted: “As chair, Morrison has led the search for a new president and vice-chancellor, led the outreach to Yukoners that informed the university’s first strategic plan and presided over the university’s first installation of a chancellor, Jamena James Allen, as well as Yukon University’s first installation ceremony for a university president.”

Lesley Brown, the university president and vice-chancellor, said Morrison’s commitment and care for the institution, staff and students, is shown in his dedicated leadership.

Tom Ullyett, was also reappointed by the Yukon government as a member of the university board for a three-year term. Ullyett was the former board chair.

Sara McPhee-Knowles, an instructor in the bachelor of business administration program, was elected to the board as the faculty member last month for a term of three years.

Nominations are currently open for another community member. Any Yukon resident is eligible to apply.

The release adds that the board of governors, empowered by the Yukon University Act and appointed by the Yukon government, acts on behalf of the public.

The board has 17 members representing First Nations, rural communities and the public, as well as the chancellor and president. Board members can be appointed by election, the Yukon government and the board itself.

“As representatives from both the university and community, their role is to set and govern the university’s mission and strategic plan,” the release read.

Contact Patrick Egwu at

Patrick Egwu

About the Author: Patrick Egwu

I’m one of the newest additions at Yukon News where I have been writing about a range of issues — politics, sports, health, environment and other developments in the territory.
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