Dr. Deborah Saucier, president of MacEwan University, announced she would be resigning as of July 3, 2019. Saucier began her role as president of the university in July 2017, and was the institution’s first female president.
Saucier began her term here at MacEwan with a goal to Indigenize the institution and better fulfill the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, and under her leadership the university has taken great strides in doing just so.
The Office of Human Rights, Diversity, and Equity was established during Saucier’s term as president, and through the office’s work on-campus inclusivity awareness has been increased exponentially. This includes the development of Parents Connect (a support group for students with children), The Equity Project (a grant application for projects related to human rights, diversity, and equity), MacEwan’s first Black History Month celebration, as well as the first Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Week.
Saucier’s dedication to inclusivity, accessibility, and diversity at MacEwan has encouraged students, staff, and faculty to take leaps and bounds in developing programs and events that profile the goals of the institution.
Saucier is leaving to fill the position of president at Vancouver Island University (VIU). VIU is a public university located in Nanaimo, B.C., has a various number of programs, and is has a motto of “acknowledgment and fair access, achievement and personal attention … (for) balancing academic accomplishments with the goal of developing students’ social and relationship skills to last a lifetime, make a difference, and model others to do the same,” according to the VIU website. There is no doubt that Saucier will thrive and continue to strive to make progress there.
According to the notice of her resignation, not only does the move provide new opportunities for Saucier, but moving to the island is also of personal importance for her. She grew up on Vancouver Island, living there as a teenager, as well as received her International Baccalaureate at Pearson College and her undergraduate and master’s degrees at the University of Victoria. and still has family living there.
“This is a bittersweet moment for me,” said Saucier in a press release. “My experience at MacEwan has been extraordinary. I am so proud of the accomplishments we have made during my time here. But the decision to move to Vancouver Island is a very personal one for me and my family. I’ll miss MacEwan and the people here terribly, but at the same time I’m very excited to be returning to the place I call home. ”
Although Saucier’s term at the University has been relatively short, her influence cannot be downplayed. She is leaving having made a great many changes to the university, and hopefully the positive changes will continue with our next president. According to the press release, the Board of Governors will begin the process of finding a new president immediately.
Photo via MacEwan University.