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Appointment of Associate Deputy Minister of Postsecondary Education Renewal

This information is copied from the website of Government of the Northwest Territories Newsroom pages: https://bit.ly/2GdtPtk

Yellowknife — February 22, 2019 News Releases

Premier Bob McLeod and Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment today announced the appointment of Dr. Thomas Weegar as the Associate Deputy Minister of Postsecondary Education for the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT).

Dr. Weegar comes to the GNWT and Aurora College from Sir Sanford Fleming College in Ontario, where he was the Vice-President, Academic. Prior to that, Dr. Weegar served as President of Cumberland College in Saskatchewan for 4.5 years.  He brings over 20 years’ experience at the executive level in postsecondary education to his new position with a focus on transformational leadership, strategic planning, Indigenization and reconciliation.

Dr. Weegar holds a doctorate (Ed.D.) in Education Leadership and Policy from the University of British Columbia, a Master’s in Environmental Studies from York University and a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Victoria. His research interests have included Appreciative Leadership and shared decision-making in community college settings, Indigenous community-based development and self-government, and developmental psychology.

The hiring of the Associate Deputy Minister for Postsecondary Education is a key step in GNWT efforts to improve postsecondary education in the Northwest Territories. Dr. Weegar’s role will be to 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. He will also act as the President of Aurora College. The position will be in place until this transformative project has been completed.


“I am pleased to welcome Thomas Weegar to the Northwest Territories and his new position. His extensive experience and qualifications will be invaluable as our Government moves ahead with our postsecondary agenda. We wanted an innovative, nationally-known education leader for this position, and I am delighted that we now have one.”

-Bob McLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories

“Dr. Weegar’s strategic and operational leadership will be critical to the future of postsecondary education in the NWT.  His background in Indigenous education is especially relevant and important here in the north. I look forward to introducing our new Associate Deputy Minister to Members of the Legislative Assembly, community and Indigenous leaders, Aurora College staff and students, postsecondary stakeholders and the general public across the NWT as we work together to transform Aurora College into our own polytechnic university.”

-Caroline Cochrane, Minister of Education, Culture and Employment

Quick facts:

  • The creation of a Deputy Minister-level position responsible for the renewal postsecondary education  was a recommendation of the Aurora College Foundational Review.

  • The search was announced on September 7, 2018.

  • The executive search firm Boyden Canada was engaged to conduct a recruitment campaign for the Associate Deputy Minister.

  • The GNWT response to the Aurora College Foundational Review was released in October 2018, with the GNWT accepting the overarching recommendation to transform Aurora College into a polytechnic university.

  • The Commissioner in Executive Council appoints Deputy Ministers on the advice of the Premier.

  • Deputy Ministers serve at pleasure and are accountable to the Premier for their performance of their duties.

For more information go to the GNWT Newsroom site: https://bit.ly/2GdtPtk

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