Daniel Weeks is stepping down as president of the University of Northern British Columbia.
Originally appointed to the position in 2014, he signed on to a second term in 2018. Earlier this year he took a medical leave, which came after a lengthy faculty strike last fall and a non-confidence motion, filed by professor Peter Jackson, with the Senate. The Senate was scheduled to deal with the non-confidence motion Feb. 26.
“I know that the UNBC Timberwolf family is blessed with many talented people; our community must remain focused, with an eye towards moving this outstanding institution forward in the best interest of the communities we are honoured to serve,” said Weeks, in a statement. “I am proud of the many positive things we accomplished over the past six years, and I wish continued success for the University.”
Weeks will transition to a research leave, as is normal in the post-secondary sector. He will also serve in an advisory capacity to support the transition to a new President and looks forward to returning to his teaching and research program through a faculty role.
The University of Northern British Columbia Board of Governors held a special board meeting Friday evening and thanked Weeks for his service.
“Dan had an extraordinarily positive impact during his time as President,” said Lee Ongman, chair of the Board of Governors. “Our student enrolment numbers are improving, reversing a previously declining trend. We’ve strengthened relationships with Indigenous communities and taken meaningful steps along the path of Reconciliation. We’ve focused our academic, strategic and financial planning and diversified our community through revitalized internationalization efforts.
“Under Dan’s leadership, we’re seeing more support from our donors and champions. We’ve introduced new programming, built new facilities and he has initiated a number of ongoing land development opportunities that will support the University’s mission moving forward. Dan has demonstrated passion, integrity, and commitment to improving access to education in northern British Columbia and I thank him for all he’s done.”
The board of governors has appointed Geoffrey Payne as interim president. Payne became the acting president when Weeks went on medical leave. The board will form a selection committee that will begin searching for UNBC’s next president.