With close to 100 University of Regina students studying in La Ronge, President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Vianne Timmons was in town Wednesday and Thursday as part of her annual northern tour.
“We are a provincial university, so it’s really important that we have a presence in northern Saskatchewan,” she said. “We also want to welcome the students from the North. Our institution, we hope, is a place they see themselves in.”
While Timmons was scheduled to visit Wollaston Lake for the first leg of her tour, the arrangement was cancelled Wednesday after the plane she was travelling in was unable to land due to weather conditions. Her following stop was in La Ronge where she attended a regular town council meeting last night. Timmons asked council if there were any local projects or issues she could assist them with.
Throughout the day Thursday, Timmons is expected to tour Northlands College and meet with CEO Toby Greschner to talk about the classes they offer. She noted the health of the partnership between the U of R and Northlands is important and needs to be maintained as they move forward.
“We’ll meet with the students if they’re available and the instructors who do our programming,” she said. “We’ll look at our partnership and how solid it is, what we can do to improve it, what’s going well and lesson learned.”
In the last 10 years, Indigenous enrollment at the U of R has jumped 90 per cent. Timmons stated 14 per cent of current student self-identify as Indigenous, which is one of the highest in Canada. As a result of the focused effort to Indigenous the institution, Timmons added more northerners are choosing to study at the U of R.
Timmon’s northern tour ends Friday with a visit to Pinehouse Lake. She’s expected to tour a local school and meet with community leaders. Timmons has been the president and vice-chancellor of the U of R since 2008 and has visited northern Saskatchewan annually since 2009.
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