First Nations University Turns 35, Gets New President
First Nations University of Canada (FNUC) has a lot to celebrate today, its 35th anniversary. Not only did it survive a near shutdown in 2010 due to financial troubles that cut off its provincial and federal funding, but now it also has a new president.
Doyle Anderson, a member of Red Pheasant First Nation, will take the reigns on August 2.
Anderson, who earned an MBA in interdisciplinary studies with a dual emphasis in First Nations Business management and organizational analysis from the University of Saskatchewan, will leave his posts as director of the Native American Business Administration Program and the Indigenous Nations Institute at Idaho State University, both of which he also founded, according to a university press release.
He taught at an earlier incarnation of the Regina-based FNUC in Saskatoon, according to CBC News, when it was called the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College.
“The First Nations University of Canada Board of Governors believes the appointment of Dr. Anderson will help move our institution to a new phase of revitalization,” said Board Chair Della Anaquod in a May 16 statement. “We are confident that he brings the vision, experience and clear commitment to the University’s mission that will move the institution forward into the future.”
“I am deeply honored and grateful for the opportunity to return to this great institution to serve as the next President of the First Nations University of Canada. This university is a national treasure,” Anderson said in the university’s statement. “It instilled in me the passion for indigenous higher education and the knowledge required to build and expand Indigenous higher education programs and services across Indian Country.”
In March 2010, according to MacLeans, both the Canadian and Saskatchewan governments refused to fund the university after financial irregularities and governance problems came to light.
The Saskatchewan government restored money after the university handed over financial control to the University of Regina, MacLeans reported in June 2010. The federal government followed suit with $4 million in transitional funding to keep it open another year.
“I pay tribute to the students and those who supported them in their campaign to save the First Nations University of Canada,” Anderson said in the statement. “The students of the First Nations University of Canada and their passion for this university and for what it represents were a major factor in my decision to accept this position. I am excited and honored to be able to work with them to help them prepare to take their places as our leaders of tomorrow.”