New presidents begin terms at University of Regina, First Nations University

The University of Regina and the First Nations University of Canada are bringing in new faces to the campus, with both institutions set to have new presidents this year.

Dr. Jeff Keshen is settling into a new city after officially starting his term as the University of Regina’s President and Vice-Chancellor.

Keshen officially started at the position on July 1, after originally being announced as the school’s choice to take over in March.

“It does feel great to finally be here in person,” Keshen said. “Hopefully we will be able to have a return to normal operations over the fall.”

Keshen, who has worked as a researcher, instructor and senior administrator at universities across the country, is the U of R’s eighth President and Vice-Chancellor.

He said reconciliation is his top priority when it comes to the students.

“We are really going to have to commit ourselves to indigenization and truth and reconciliation,” Keshen said. “Advancing equity, diversity and inclusivity, these are part of our strategic plan.”

The U of R’s new president also said he is focused on financial recovery, after the University lost millions of dollars in revenue in 2020 and 2021. While the full details of the recovery have not been announced, students can expect a four per cent tuition increase this coming school year.

DR. JACQUELINE OTTMAN APPOINTED AT FNUNIV

The First Nations University of Canada campus will also look a little different at the later this year, with Dr. Jacqueline Ottman appointed as the new president for FNU.

“The heart of what I do is about supporting indigenous students and their work towards self determination,” Ottman said.

Ottman grew up in Treaty 4 territory, and has since worked as an educator, advisor, researcher and administrator at multiple universities.

She hopes she can bring Indigenous knowledge to the forefront of learning through her time as president.

“One of the things I would like to do is draw attention to Indigenous knowledges and the complexity and sophistication of indigenous intellect,” Ottman said.