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Aurora College, under review, loses its president

Jane Arychuk
Jane Arychuk is pictured in a file photo issued by Aurora College.

The president of Aurora College, Jane Arychuk, has resigned after six years in post.

The territorial government announced Arychuk’s resignation in a statement late on Tuesday, in which Jeff O’Keefe – the college’s vice-president of student affairs – was confirmed as her interim successor.

No reason was given for Arychuk’s resignation. It was not immediately clear whether she had elected to step down or been asked to resign.

Her departure was announced not by Arychuk herself but by the education minister, Caroline Cochrane, who controls the appointment of Aurora College’s president.



“It has been an honour and a pleasure serving as president of Aurora College. I am proud of what we have accomplished at the college, including the opportunities Aurora College has provided to the many students from across the NWT,” said Arychuk in a prepared quote provided by the territorial government.

“I would like to thank Jane Arychuk for her dedication and hard work during the past six years as president of Aurora College,” said Cochrane in the same statement.

“Ms Arychuk has demonstrated a deep commitment to the college, faculty, staff and students. We wish Ms Arychuk all the very best in her future endeavours.”

Administrator in charge

Aurora College has been without a board of governors for almost a year, pending the completion of a comprehensive review assessing the college’s governance, operations and programming, accountability, and student recruitment and retention.



Since June 2017, the college has instead been overseen by a temporary administrator in the form of Denny Rodgers, better known as general manager of the Inuvialuit Development Corporation.

The president is considered a non-voting member of the board of governors, but the post is otherwise a separate, paid position.

Legislation governing the college defines the president as the supervisor of all college operations, ensuring programs and administration are effective and efficient – from financial records to student accommodation and everything in between.

The president ordinarily takes direction from the board of governors. In that board’s absence, the administrator – Rodgers – fulfils the board’s role.

O’Keefe, who has been in his vice-presidential role for three years, will assume the presidency until a permanent successor is identified. Arychuk will formally step down as of May 31.

It’s not clear when the college’s review will conclude and recommendations be published. Proposed cuts to the college’s teaching and social work programs have been deferred until that review is complete.