After an extensive and inclusive nine-month process, the Selkirk College Board of Governors has chosen Dr. Maggie Matear as the next president of the regional post-secondary.

With a diverse resume that includes teaching, economic and community development, strategic planning and post-secondary leadership, Matear will arrive to her new position on May 30, 2022 to take the reins from current president Angus Graeme. 

“Maggie is the right person to lead Selkirk College into the future,” says Scott Weatherford, chair of the Board of Governors. “She has a strong academic background, great experience in the post-secondary sector and a successful history of engaging with and working in rural communities. She brings significant experience with the types of communities where we operate, which gives her a real appreciation for the unique challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for Selkirk College.”

Matear is currently the Vice President of University Services, Finance & Administration at Yukon University in Whitehorse where she is responsible for overseeing finance, human resources, mental health and wellness, infrastructure, and continuing studies. Having just completed a year as Interim President, Matear helped lead that institution through the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matear began her post-secondary career as a community adult educator, teaching and coordinating training programs in remote Indigenous communities. Over the last 30 years, she has worked primarily in rural communities in an impressive array of positions that include management consulting, strategic planning, stakeholder engagement and organizational development. She has also held leadership positions in economic and community development settings, and served on a wide range of non-profit boards. 

In addition to her career in management, Matear has maintained a commitment to academia with teaching roles at Queen’s University, Algoma University and Athabasca University. She has won awards for both teaching and research, where she focuses on social responsibility, sustainability and public policy. Her credentials include a Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Education, Master of Business Administration and a PhD in Management. 

“It’s an honour and privilege to be coming in as the next president of Selkirk College, especially following in the footsteps of Angus,” says Matear. “This opportunity combines everything I love to do and the experiences I have gained over the years coalesce really nicely into this one position: my roles in post-secondary, in leadership and community development, and my interest in advancing the goals of reconciliation.”

Matear describes her leadership approach as collaborative, based on values of respect, kindness and quality, which mesh perfectly with Selkirk College’s mission of building remarkable futures through a focus on community, access, respect and excellence.  

“I really believe in the community dimension of community college,” Matear says. “I think the best colleges are an integral part of their community, so there are fewer barriers between understanding what the community needs and what the college needs to do. We are here to serve the community.”

Soon after President Graeme announced in March 2021 his intentions to step aside after an outstanding 30-plus year career at Selkirk College, the Board of Governors began the search for a new leader that has been objective, transparent and inclusive. 

The process involved significant input from employees, students, Métis and First Nations partners, and the community on what traits they wanted to see in a new leader. The college’s search committee, with guidance of executive search firm Leaders International and supported by the Selkirk College human resources team, spent months focused on a process that produced a number of excellent candidates. The Board of Governors recently finalized the decision to conclude a very successful process.

“Maggie is no doubt the right person to lead Selkirk College going forward and it came about through a great process,” says Weatherford. “She has a tremendous amount of drive, but is someone who is also very personable. She will connect with students, staff, faculty, Indigenous partners, community members and industry representatives in a very warm, genuine way. We are very confident that Maggie will continue the tradition of great presidents and strong leadership at Selkirk College.”

Bob Hall