North

N.W.T. gov't appoints Thomas Weegar to lead Aurora College transformation

The N.W.T. government has appointed Thomas Weegar to lead the transformation of Aurora College into a university, according to a press release from the territorial government.

Former Sir Sandford Fleming College VP, academic will also act as president of Aurora College

Thomas Weegar will lead Aurora College's transformation into a polytechnic university. (Walter Strong/CBC)

The N.W.T. government has appointed Thomas Weegar to lead the transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university, according to a press release from the territorial government.

He will act as the associate deputy minister of postsecondary education renewal and as president of Aurora College.

Creating the position was a recommendation in the Aurora College Foundational Review. The territorial government used the Boyden Canada executive search firm to recruit for the position.

The government started searching for a candidate in September 2018, with the aim of filling the position by the beginning of 2019. The search was delayed by about two months.

Weegar comes from Sir Sandford Fleming College in Ontario, where he was the vice-president, academic. Before that he was the president of Cumberland College in Saskatchewan for more than four years.

According to the release, Weegar has a doctorate in education leadership and policy from the University of British Columbia.

The territorial government said hiring Weegar is a "key step" in its effort to improve postsecondary education in the territory.

Weegar will "lead the development and implement a made-in-the-north vision for postsecondary education in the NWT through the transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university," states the release.

In the release, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment Caroline Cochrane said Weegar's background in Indigenous education is especially relevant to the North. She said she looks forward to introducing Weegar to community and Indigenous leaders, Aurora College staff and students, and the general public.

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