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Yukon University welcomes new president

Dr. Lesley Brown, calls new role a dream opportunity
Dr. Lesley Brown is excited to be taking on the role of president and Vice Chancellor at Yukon University later this summer. (Jim Elliot/Yukon News)

The new head of Yukon University is promising enthusiasm as she takes on the role of president and vice chancellor for Canada’s first university north of 60.

The University’s board of governors announced that Dr. Lesley Brown will be taking over those leadership roles officially on August 16. She is already touring the campus and settling into life in the Yukon.

Brown’s most recent role in higher education was as provost and vice president, academic, at Mount Royal University in Calgary.

“I think what I learned from Mount Royal is the value that post-secondary institutions bring to the communities they serve,” Brown said.

She said she looks forward to helping build Yukon University’s profile and helping to strengthen connections between the surrounding First Nations and the Whitehorse community. Brown added she already sees areas of excellence at the university, including the recent establishment of an Indigenous Governance bachelor of arts program and the appointment of a new research chair in Indigenous knowledge.

“It is a dream opportunity for me, it truly is,” Brown said

“The timing was extraordinary for me. I love to build new things and strengthen opportunities and profile.”

Before her time in Calgary, Brown served as a faculty member and administrator at the University of Lethbridge. She has done research specializing in balance and fall prevention for elderly people with Parkinson’s disease.

Brown, who is joined by her wife Paddy MacLean in the recent move to the territory, said she is also excited for life off the university’s campus. She recalled coming to what was then Yukon College two years ago for an Indigenous summit and exploring on her mountain bike alongside a colleague.

“The outdoor pursuits in addition to the cultural and art community are something that both my wife Paddy and I are very excited to be a part of.”

Contact Jim Elliot at

Jim Elliot

About the Author: Jim Elliot

I’m a B.C. transplant here in Whitehorse at The News telling stories about the Yukon's people, environment, and culture.
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