U of S will close research centre due to provincial budget cuts

SASKATOON – The University of Saskatchewan will close the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development (ICNGD) as of June 15, 2017. The annual targeted funding for this research centre was eliminated in this year’s provincial budget, as of April 30, 2017.

Over its 10-year history, the ICNGD has successfully provided two “northern-tailored” graduate-level degree programs; the Master of Northern Governance and Development (MNGD) being the first degree offered by the U of S in the North, for the North and with the North.

The Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas (GENI) was the first international joint degree between Canada and Norway, and the first one in Western Canada. Combined, these programs have graduated more than 50 students. Furthermore, the centre’s research has focused on concerns identified by northerners in critical areas such as northern governance, First Nations and resource development, northern innovation and climate and socio-economics. The centre attracted approximately $1.6 million in research funding.

While the centre will close on June 15, the university has appointed the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy (JSGS) to administer the two masters programs. Students currently enrolled in both the MNGD and GENI will be able to complete their programs, and new applicants will be accepted into the GENI program only. Admissions for the MNGD program will be suspended for 2017-18 to enable a pause and re-evaluation of the program. Students have benefited from funding support through key partners, Cameco Corporation and MITACS. Ongoing discussions are occurring to maintain this important financial support for students.

“The U of S has deep roots in the North with critical relationships, programs and community outreach activities that are decades old and span Northern Saskatchewan, the Provincial Norths, and the Circumpolar North,” said U of S President Peter Stoicheff. “While we are deeply disheartened by the recent loss of provincial government funding for the centre, we will not be deterred from our important work alongside the people of Saskatchewan’s northern communities.”

Regrettably, this budget cut will result in the loss of six staff positions as of the centre’s closure on June 15. These staff members have contributed greatly to the success of the students and faculty and to Saskatchewan’s northern communities and they will be supported through the transition and closure of the centre.

“The U of S has a strong commitment to collaborating with its northern partners and we remain resolved towards identifying a comprehensive strategy for the North,” said Patti McDougall, U of S vice-provost teaching and learning. “Going forward, we will work with an expanded version of ICNGD’s Northern Advisory Board to ensure the voices and advice of these leaders, as well as industry, are heard as we review all of our activities and programs in the North to ensure we are meeting their needs.”


For more information, contact:
Murray Lyons
Media Relations Specialist
University of Saskatchewan

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