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UNBC elects new chair for its Board of Governors

Catherine Wishart has been elected to the recently vacated position
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Catherine Wishart is UNBC's new Board of Governor's Chair

The University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) has elected a new chair for its Board of Governors after former chair Aaron Ekman was dismissed in May.

Catherine Wishart, described as a well-known northern champion for post-secondary education, has been provincially appointed representative on the board since July 31,2020 and was recently appointed for another two-year term running until July 2023.

Wishart works now as a consultant with public sector, First Nations and non-profit organizations on planning and development.

“Post-secondary access and opportunities are more important than ever in the north, and the creativity and connections that UNBC builds through teaching and research are essential to our success,” said Wishart.

“This University attracts exceptional students, supported by world-class faculty and staff. The Board is immensely grateful to all our stakeholders as we continue working to support our students and communities and offer an exceptional post-secondary experience.”

Wishart is currently serving as a Director of the Elizabeth Fry Housing Society in Prince George. She has also served on the Board of Examiners of the British Columbia Association of Forest Professionals, was the Founding Chair and Member of the 16/97 Economic Alliance Society, and Vice-Chair of Community Futures Fraser Fort George.

She holds a Master of Education, Policy and Administration, from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Journalism from Carleton University.

“UNBC is making a real difference in the lives of those who live in the communities we are proud to serve and we are creating local solutions that have a global impact through our teaching and research. All this is due to the commitment and effort brought forth by our students, alumni, faculty, staff, supporters, and of course our governing bodies, the Senate and Board,” said UNBC Interim President Dr. Geoffrey Payne.

“Cathe has demonstrated leadership during her time with UNBC, and I’m excited to work closely with her and the Board as we strive towards our vision of being Canada’s leading destination university.”

The 15-member UNBC Board of Governors has oversight and responsibility for the management, administration and finances of the university.

The University Act of British Columbia sets out the membership of the board, which is composed of the chancellor, UNBC president, eight members appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council, and five elected by the university community (two students, two faculty members, and one staff member).

The Board of Governors meets at least four times per year to conduct its general business; the next regular meeting is scheduled for Sept. 17.