Yukon University president Mike DeGagné has resigned his position after less than three months in the role.
A day after his resignation from the university, DeGagné was named CEO of Indspire, a national charity based in Ontario that is focused on funding post-secondary studies for First Nation, Inuit, and Métis students.
“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, in a press release.
Effective immediately, Vice President University Services Maggie Matear takes over as interim president and vice-chancellor. Matear joined the school in July 2019.
The statement from the university also included a quote from DeGagné.
“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,” he said.
In a second statement released by Indspire, DeGagné expressed excitement at leading the charity in his new role and called it a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
“This job builds on what I have done to date and allows me to apply it on a national stage. I intend to strengthen the voice of Indspire as an authoritative source of information and support for Indigenous education,” he said in the statement.
An Indigenous person from Animakee Wa Zhing 37 First Nation in northwestern Ontario, DeGagné joined Yukon University July 1 from Nipissing University, in North Bay, Ont., where he served seven years as president and vice-chancellor.
In July he told the News he was “really attracted to all the potentials that are here with moving from a college to a university.”
DeGagné was one of the first Indigenous presidents of a Canadian public university when he joined Nipissing, and has been a leader in the movement to “Indigenize” post-secondary education.
He is a recipient of the Order of Canada and the Order of Ontario as well as the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
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