The search for someone to revamp postsecondary education in the Northwest Territories has started. Premier Bob McLeod and Minister of Education Caroline Cochrane say they are starting to look Canada-wide for an Associate Deputy Minister of Postsecondary Education Renewal.

The position was first announced in May, after an independent report into the operations of Aurora College was released. Among its recommendations were turning the college into a polytechnic university.

The GNWT says it’s looking for an “innovative leader” with experience that can “develop a vision for postsecondary education in the NWT and a plan for the future of Aurora College.” It will exist until those goals are met, and will be based out of Yellowknife.

“While the GNWT has not yet finalized its response to the recent review of Aurora College, we recognize that recruiting a senior manager with extensive postsecondary experience will help us develop our plans,” says Cochrane. “The search for an Associate Deputy Minister is an exciting first step in developing a made-in-the-north vision for postsecondary education and a plan for Aurora College that lines up with that vision.”

“We know we’re going to need an exceptional postsecondary education leader to help us create and act on that vision, and such people take time to find,” adds McLeod. “With this decision, we are acting prudently to protect and manage our current investments in postsecondary education, as well as anticipating the need to plan for possible future investments.”

The Aurora College Foundational Review has been met with heavy criticism from the Town of Fort Smith, while it has been endorsed by the City of Yellowknife. The government’s response is expected this fall. So far, no recommendations have been accepted or rejected.