A student walks up to the main entrance at the Yukon College in Whitehorse on Sept. 7, 2018. The Yukon commissioner has proclaimed the Yukon University Act into force, replacing the Yukon College Act, according to a Feb. 20 Yukon government statement, which means Yukon College can officially become Yukon University. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)

New act allows Yukon College to become Yukon University

The official launch of Yukon University will happen May 8 with a convocation ceremony

Yukon College can officially become Yukon University.

The Yukon commissioner has proclaimed the Yukon University Act into force, replacing the Yukon College Act, according to a Feb. 20 Yukon government statement.

The official launch of Yukon University will happen May 8 with a convocation ceremony. On May 9 there will be a community celebration to mark the change.

It will make the school the first university in Canada north of 60.

David Morrison has been appointed chair of the Yukon University board of directors and Tom Ulyett, who served as interim chair of the college’s board of governors, has also been appointed to the inaugural university board.

The appointments were made by the Liberal government’s cabinet.

Morrison previously served as the president and chief executive officer of Yukon Energy for 12 years. Most recently, Morrison was chief of staff for Premier Sandy Silver.

Three additional board members will be appointed once elections take place. That includes a representative elected from the school’s faculty senate, a representative elected by non-teaching staff and a member elected by the rest of the board.

The academic council for Yukon College has become the new senate for Yukon University, establishing the university’s shared governance mode

Yukon University is holding faculty senate elections later in February.

“Yukon University is Canada’s first university in the North, for the North and by the North,” Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee said in a statement.

“It is designed to meet the education needs of Yukoners. This is an exciting time for our territory as we work together to create new post-secondary education, social and economic opportunities for Yukon.”

In the same release, Yukon University president Karen Barnes said officials look forward to introducing YukonU to the public in May “and continuing our most vital work – building northern potential by supporting Yukoners as they achieve their education and research goals.”

The school will be a hybrid institution offering trades programming, academic upgrading, certificates, diplomas, degrees and applied research.

Currently the school offers two made-in-Yukon degree programs, a Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Governance and a Bachelor of Business Administration. There is also a Bachelor of Science in Northern Environmental and Conservation Science in partnership with the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Education and Bachelor of Social Work in partnership with the University of Regina.

Contact Stephanie Waddell at stephanie.waddell@yukon-news.com

Yukon College

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