Nipissing installs Dr. Mike DeGagné as President

Education is the key to a better world, an investment in one’s personal future and the future of Ontario, and Nipissing University has a significant role to play in building that future. That was one of the key messages expressed during Dr. Mike DeGagné’s first official address as President and Vice-Chancellor of Nipissing University.

The university held a ceremony on Friday at the Capitol Centre to officially install Dr. DeGagné as Nipissing’s seventh President and Vice-Chancellor. Just over 300 people attended the ceremony, which included greetings, via video, from his Honour David Onley, the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, and Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, the National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in Canada. Garnet Angeconeb read the invocation to introduce Dr. DeGagné. 

After taking an oath of office, Dr. DeGagné spoke to the audience about the power of education to transform individuals and communities. To outline the multi-generational impact of education, he related the story of his own father, who started out as a farmer and became an educator, pursuing his degree one course at a time in a church basement in Fort Frances, Ontario. Today, each of Dr. DeGagné’s siblings has a degree, as do each of the grandchildren of his farmer-turned-educator father.Dr. DeGagné also spoke about the commitment Nipissing’s faculty and staff have to students and to the institution itself. 

"Nipissing is a young, modern university that does an excellent job in engaging and developing students. The faculty are continually building on their own research while helping students to discover a love of learning.”

Dr. DeGagné’s address also discussed the importance of community to the university and its role as an economic, social and cultural driver.

Dr. DeGagné began a five-year term as Nipissing University president on January 7, 2013. He brings 25 years of public sector leadership experience to Nipissing. His academic credentials include a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Toronto, a Masters degree in Administration from Central Michigan University, and a PhD in Educational Administration from Michigan State University.  He also earned a Master of Laws degree from York University’s Osgoode Hall. Dr. DeGagné was honoured with the Order of Ontario in 2010.

Since 1998, he has been the Executive Director of the Aboriginal Healing Foundation. From 1988-98, he served as an Executive with provincial and federal agencies including Director, Accounting Operations, and Senior Negotiator with Indian and Northern Affairs Canada.  He also served as Director, First Nations and Inuit Health Programs for Health Canada.  Currently, Dr. DeGagné is the Chairman of the Child Welfare League of Canada and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Mental Health Commission of Canada.

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