British Columbia

UNBC president, vice-president off the job weeks after faculty strike

UNBC president Daniel Weeks is on indefinite medical leave from his position, while the VP of finance and chief negotiator Barb Daigle is retiring Friday.

UNBC president Daniel Weeks is on indefinite medical leave while VP Barb Daigle is retiring Friday

UNBC president Daniel Weeks is taking indefinite medical leave, six weeks after a contract dispute with the school's faculty association came to an end. (UNBC)

Two of the University of Northern British Columbia's highest-ranking administrators are stepping away from their jobs just six weeks after the end of a high-profile contract dispute with the school's faculty association.

UNBC president Daniel Weeks is taking indefinite medical leave, while vice-president Barb Daigle, who was the university's lead negotiator during the labour unrest, is retiring.

"I am dealing with some matters that I have put on hold for many, many weeks, but on the advice of my physician, I should no longer delay dealing with them," Weeks said in an email sent to university staff Wednesday afternoon. "The duration of this leave is unknown at this point."

In a separate email, sent Jan. 17, Weeks announced Daigle's plan to retire at the end of January.

Both Daigle and Weeks came under criticism in late 2019 as a contract dispute with the university's faculty association led to a strike that kept students out of classrooms for three weeks. Eventually a special mediator was appointed by the province to settle the conflict.

Dr. Geoff Payne, the university's vice-president of research and founding member of the Northern Medical Program, will step in as acting president in Weeks' absence. No plans to replace Daigle have been announced.

Weeks came to the university as president in 2014, following a five-year stint as a vice-president of the University of Lethbridge and a 16-year career at Simon Fraser University.

Daigle joined UNBC in 2015 as director of human resources, after a high-profile departure from the same role at the University of Saskatchewan following the firing, then rehiring, of a tenured professor as part of a university restructuring plan.


Subscribe to Daybreak North on CBC Listen or your favourite podcast app, and connect with CBC Northern British Columbia on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

Become a CBC Member

Join the conversation  Create account

Already have an account?

now