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Algoma University Announces New President and Vice-Chancellor

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON: October 2, 2017): The Algoma University Board of Governors is pleased to announce that Asima Vezina will assume the role of President and Vice-Chancellor of Algoma University effective October 23, 2017.

“Today marks an important step for our university,” said Mark Nogalo, Chair of the Algoma University Board of Governors. “Asima is a proven leader in our community and beyond.  Her extensive leadership experience, her proven passion for education and for Algoma University, as well as her collaborative and transformational leadership style will position the university for the future.”

Asima is very well known to the community of Sault Ste. Marie and surrounding areas.  She was raised in the area and has worked extensively across Northern Ontario throughout her career in education, including as Superintendent of Education with the Timmins and Algoma District School Boards. She is currently working with the Ministry of Education as a Provincial Lead within the Student Achievement Division.

Asima served as a member and Chair of the Algoma University Board of Governors for three years and as a member and Vice-Chair of the Council of Chairs of Ontario Universities.

Holding a Master’s in Educational Leadership, Vezina is currently completing a leadership PhD program at OISE (Ontario Institute for Studies in Education), University of Toronto through their department of Leadership, Higher and Adult Education.  In her community roles, she has been a strong advocate for improvements to mental health services, she has also played an instrumental role, serving on many local committees, working towards making the city and surrounding area a welcoming community for all.

At the conclusion of a rigorous six month nation-wide search process, Asima was the unanimous top choice of the Algoma University Presidential Search Committee. “We were seeking a leader with a strong passion for learning and student success, someone who understood and appreciated our special mission to cultivate cross-cultural learning between Aboriginal communities and other groups, including a university population of international students,” said Melanie Muncaster, Vice-Chair of the Board of Governors. “The role requires a leader who understands the unique needs of Northern Ontario and our local communities and who has a proven ability to bring people together toward a common vision.  We feel we have found these leadership qualities and much more in Asima.”

“I look forward to meeting, engaging with, and working collaboratively alongside the talent and expertise of the entire university community, our wonderful stakeholders and partners,” said Asima. “Algoma University has a strong 2015-2021 Strategic Plan and vision, one that recognizes the significant accomplishments of the past, provides a transformational learning experience for students and positions the organization well for the opportunities of the future.”

“Algoma University is currently facing many opportunities and I am looking forward to working with someone who understands what our future can look like,” said Cathy Denomme, Faculty and University Board Member. “Asima is joining us at a time when her leadership will help us all reach our potential – students, faculty, staff, and administration.”

“Asima Vezina is someone who has a special ability to inspire people around the principle that together we can do great things. She is a proven leader in education, equipped with the vision and skills that are well adjusted for challenges and opportunities faced by universities in the new century,” said Pedro Antunes, Senate and University Board member.

“On behalf of the entire university community I would like to thank Dr. Celia Ross, who returned as Acting President and Vice-Chancellor in December 2016, for her steady leadership while the Presidential Search Committee conducted the search.” said Nogalo.

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