Konrad Jonasson, who has served as interim president and vice-chancellor of the University College of the North since Denise Henning left the position in January 2011, has been appointed to the role on a permanent basis, chair of UCN's governing council Lorne Keeper announced June 28.
"We have been very pleased with Mr. Jonasson's work as interim president, and feel that his deep ties to the community and demonstrated dedication to UCN's vision for the future will be crucial attributes as we move forward," Keeper said in a news release.
Originally from Wabowden and a member of the Cross Lake First Nation, Jonasson has been with UCN and its predecessor, Keewatin Community College, since 1989, serving as vice-president of community-based services from 2002 until his appointment as interim president.
"I thank the governing council for the trust they have placed in me by virtue of this appointment," said Jonasson. "I am honoured to accept the appointment as president and vice-chancellor for the University College of the North. Education and service to out northern communities has been a passion of mine for 25 years. I look forward to continuing our many partnerships and working relationships with UCN stakeholders to benefit our students and communities."
Keeper noted that the search to replace Henning had been long and arduous, but that UCN was able to "reach from within to find the right candidate."
Three applicants were shortlisted for the president's job, said Jim Scott, UCN's acting director of external relations, though he could not provide the number of applications received. The shortlist was then narrowed to do and Jonasson was chosen for the role.
Jonasson became interim president in January 2011, when former UCN president Denise Henning resigned to become president and chief executive officer of Northwest Community College, which is based in Terrace, B.C. but includes campuses in nine different communities in northwestern B.C. effective March 1, 2011 – four months before her contract with UCN was slated to end on June 30 of that year. Four days after that announcement, UCN appointed Jonasson as interim president and vice-chancellor.
UCN's governing council had decided not to renew Henning's five-year contract as UCN president in October 2010, but the decision did not make the news until two months later, when it was first reported by the Opasquia Times in The Pas. Keeper then confirmed the decision to the Thompson Citizen in January 2011.