The outgoing president of Yukon University has been named president of the Indspire charity, a day after his departure from the university was announced.
Michael DeGagné became president of the newly-minted university — formerly Yukon College — less than three months ago. He had been appointed to a five-year term.
A news release from Yukon University on Wednesday offered no details about the reasons for DeGagné's departure, but a written statement from DeGagné said the university was "a fantastic institution" and that he was leaving "with a heavy heart."
On Thursday, Indspire board of directors chair David Tuccaro announced that DeGagné was taking over as president and CEO of the charity. He'll replace outgoing Indspire president Roberta Jamieson.
Indspire describes itself as Canada's largest Indigenous-led and Indigenous-focused charity and the second-largest funder of Indigenous post-secondary education after the federal government, through scholarships, bursaries and awards.
Tuccaro called DeGagné a leader in Indigenous education, through his work at Yukon University and Nipissing University in North Bay, Ont. At Nipissing, DeGagné became the first Indigenous person to lead a chartered Canadian university in 2012.
"[DeGagné's] determination to Indigenize education will help Indspire realize its goal of having every Indigenous youth graduate within a generation," Tuccaro said in a written statement.
DeGagné's five-year term as Yukon University president officially began on July 1. Speaking to CBC at the time, he said continuing education and applied professional programs would be among his priorities, along with pandemic planning.
Wednesday's news release from the university included a statement from David Morrison, chair of the school's board of governors.
"We are disappointed that Dr. DeGagné is unable to continue as president but respect his decision," Morrison's statement reads.
The university board has named Maggie Matear as interim president and vice chancellor, effective immediately. Matear has been the school's vice president of university services.