New bosses at CNC, UNBC

The launch of the University of Northern B.C.’s 25th anniversary celebrations closed a year of post-secondary announcements and foreshadowed 2015 as a milestone year - including the university’s spot as the last stop for the 2015 Canada Winter Games as the venue for the closing ceremonies.

Both local post-secondary institutions added new presidents to their roster, the College of New Caledonia with Henry Reiser and UNBC with Daniel Weeks. It was the year for new administrative roles at the university, with new provost William Krane and his predecessor Mark Dale moving to a new position as the first dean of regional programs.

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They also both voted to increase tuition by two-percent in keeping with the annual amount permitted by the province.

CNC received its largest research grant ever, to the tune of $2 million for work in forestry innovation. Its hyper-local focus involves consultation with companies to see what is relevant to the industry - including discussions on forest operations and forest stewardships, emerging digital technology and mapping, and adapting reforestation practices to climate change.

Up on the hill, UNBC researchers were hard at work getting support for many long-term projects.

The Integrated Water Research Group got $1-million to explore the Nechako River basin over four years.

A further $1.1 million from the provincial government helped connect residence buildings and daycare to existing bioenergy systems on campus as part of the Sustainable Communities Demonstration Project.

Student scholarships got a bump, including $160,000 to the Northern Medical and UNBC’s Family Nurse Practitioner programs as well as the launch of financial awards for elite Nordic athletes.

On the sporting side, the Timberwolves received $75,000 pledge over three years - the largest single corporate donation - from Integris Credit Union.

In downtown Prince George, the university opened the Wood Innovation and Design Centre’s doors, which will house the first students taking a Master of Engineering in Integrated Wood Design.

As for accolades, UNBC was named one of Canada’s Greenest Employers, took second place for its size in the annual Maclean’s university rankings, and grabbed a Green Building Award for its Bioenergy Plant.

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