SASKATOON – Lee Ahenakew will step in as chair of the Board of Governors at the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) in July.
At a recent meeting, the Board of Governors approved a motion naming Ahenakew as board chair and David Dubé as vice chair effective July 1, 2016. Ahenakew, originally appointed to the board in 2013, will replace Greg Smith who served as chair since 2014. Smith will remain on the board until his replacement is named by an Order in Council.
“It has been my privilege to serve the university on the Board of Governors and I am honoured to have the opportunity to serve as chair,” said Ahenakew, who graduated from the U of S with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1997. “I want to thank Greg Smith for his leadership and knowledge. I, along with my fellow board members, have learned a great deal from Greg and we look forward to continue working to ensure the university remains in a strong position to achieve its mission.”
Ahenakew, currently leading a development corporation representing the business interests of the Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs member First Nations, brings an understanding of organizational strategies and processes to develop sustainable relationships and partnerships between Indigenous communities and industry to develop business opportunities and community development. He has a national reputation as a management consultant who is retained by major corporations to assist with developing strategies to engage Aboriginal organizations and communities.
Dubé, also appointed to the board in 2013, is the majority owner, controlling shareholder, president and CEO of Concorde Group Corp., and is a recognized investor and venture capitalist. Dubé received a Bachelor of Arts in 1984, and is an active board member of multiple companies, non-profits and charitable organizations.
The board also welcomed new student and faculty members—Kehan Fu and Dr. Jay Kalra. Fu, president of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union began his term on May 1, and Kalra will be the faculty representative, replacing Linda Ferguson, starting July 1. A professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Kalra is currently also chair of University Council, a position from which he will step down on June 30.
“The Board of Governors is such an important part of university governance,” said Beth Williamson, university secretary. “The leadership and expertise provided by board members is invaluable to the operation of a complex institution like the U of S and we are so grateful for all of the time and knowledge our board members contribute to our university.”
The University of Saskatchewan’s Board of Governors is responsible for overseeing and directing all matters respecting the management, administration and control of the university’s property, revenues and financial affairs.
The board consists of eleven members: the chancellor and the president of the university as ex officio members, five members appointed by through an Order in Council, two members elected by the University Senate, the president of the University of Saskatchewan Students’ Union and one faculty member elected by the faculty.