Dr. Thomas Weegar has been appointed the associate deputy minister of post-secondary education for the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT).
Premier Bob McLeod and Caroline Cochrane, minister of Education, Culture and Employment made the announcement on Feb. 22. The appointment is effective March 4.
The creation of a deputy minister-level position responsible for the renewal of post-secondary education in the territory was recommended in the Aurora College Foundational Review.
The review, which was released in May, also recommended the college transform into a Northern Canada polytechnic university over the next six to eight years.
The search for the new associate deputy minister was launched in September. Executive search firm Boyden Canada conducted a recruitment campaign.
Deputy ministers are accountable to the premier for the performance of their duties.
“Weegar’s role will be to lead the development and implement a made-in-the-North vision for post-secondary education in the NWT through the transformation of Aurora College into a polytechnic university,” a news release from the GNWT states.
He will also act as the new president of Aurora College until this project has been completed. The position of associate deputy minister will expire once the college becomes a polytechnic university.
Weegar was previously the academic vice-president at Sir Sanford Fleming College in Peterborough, Ont. He also served as president and CEO of Cumberland College in Saskatchewan for four-and-a-half years.
“He brings over 20 years’ experience at the executive level in post-secondary education to his new position with a focus on transformational leadership, strategic planning, Indigenization and reconciliation,” a news release from the GNWT states.
Weegar holds a doctorate in education leadership and policy from the University of British Columbia, a master’s in environmental studies from York University and a bachelor of arts 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.