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Research centre closed, six staff positions lost at University of Saskatchewan

University of Saskatchewan president Peter Stoicheff said although they are “deeply disheartened by the recent loss of provincial government funding for the centre,” the university will continue to work alongside northern communities. Vytai Brannan / Global News

The University of Saskatchewan (U of S) said it has to close a research centre due to recent funding cuts in the provincial budget.

Officials said the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development (ICNGD) will close on June 15, 2017 as annual funding for the research centre was eliminated in the budget.

READ MORE: University of Saskatchewan funding slashed by 5.6% in provincial budget

It also resulted in the loss of six staff positions.

“The U of S has deep roots in the north with critical relationships, programs and community outreach activities that are decades old and span northern Saskatchewan, the provincial norths, and the circumpolar north,” U of S president Peter Stoicheff said in a statement.

“While we are deeply disheartened by the recent loss of provincial government funding for the centre, we will not be deterred from our important work alongside the people of Saskatchewan’s northern communities.”

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READ MORE: NORTEP students will be accepted into Northlands College according to CEO

Officials said that the university has appointed the Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy to administer two masters programs provided by ICNGD.

Students currently enrolled in both the Governance and Entrepreneurship in Northern and Indigenous Areas (GENI) and the Master of Northern Governance and Development (MNGD) will be able to complete their programs.

New applications will still be accepted for the GENI program while admissions to the MNGD program will be suspended for the 2017-18 school year while the program is re-evaluated.

“The U of S has a strong commitment to collaborating with its northern partners and we remain resolved towards identifying a comprehensive strategy for the North,” Patti McDougall, the university’s vice-provost teaching and learning, said.

“Going forward, we will work with an expanded version of ICNGD’s Northern Advisory Board to ensure the voices and advice of these leaders, as well as industry, are heard as we review all of our activities and programs in the North to ensure we are meeting their needs.”

READ MORE: Improving access for northern Sask. students to science and engineering programs

The university announced on Wednesday a partnership with Northlands College to improve access to post-secondary science and engineering programs for northern Saskatchewan students.

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