(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – October 4, 2017): Today, Asima Vezina, Algoma University’s incoming President and Vice-Chancellor, met with the University’s students, staff, faculty, and administration on campus, and was warmly welcomed into the University community.
During the internal meet and greet, welcomes were extended from various members of the University community. Acting President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Celia Ross formally introduced Asima. “We are pleased to welcome Asima as Algoma University’s fourth President and Vice-Chancellor. Her extensive experience in the educational sector, her lifelong advocacy for student learning and success, and her commitment to cross-cultural partnerships are truly the attributes that will guide Algoma University as we grow and thrive. I applaud the decision of the Presidential Search Committee in selecting Asima as our next University President and Vice-Chancellor.”
During her opening remarks, Asima thanked Ross and acknowledged her leadership over the past year and beyond.
“It is an honour to be named the newest President and Vice-Chancellor of Algoma University,” she said.
Asima spoke passionately about the importance of community and shared leadership. Her welcoming address began with a quote from Chief Shingwauk, “No one among us is King.” Asima shared her beliefs about leadership “not being about what one person with a title does, but instead about recognizing and mobilizing the individual and collective strengths within and across an organization, bringing people together collaboratively, in focused action toward a common vision and in Algoma University’s case, a uniquely special mission.”
She stressed her commitment to a safe, welcoming, and inclusive campus culture for all, guided by the values and grandfather teachings outlined in the University’s Strategic Plan.
Asima highlighted the importance of supporting an innovative, creative, and transformational culture, one that encourages risk taking and opportunities to try new ideas and different approaches. Her message focused on placing student success and excellence in teaching and learning at the centre of all decision making and planning.
Her leadership style is characterized by a commitment to community, teamwork, pride, and accountability; she also emphasized the importance of finding opportunities for the University community to play, have fun, laugh, and celebrate achievements together. Asima stressed the importance of caring about the personal well-being of and for each other.
Algoma University’s Staff Association representative on the Presidential Search Committee and Alumni and Development Officer, Bev Teller, spoke during the event and noted, “Asima’s love for education, and for what Algoma University has to offer, is what made her stand out as the best person for this leadership opportunity. Her enthusiasm for what Algoma University is today, and what it can be going forward, is infectious and inspiring. She is truly proud of the accomplishments of our students and alumni. She believes in and values the contributions of all employees in providing the best possible experience for students.”
“Asima is committed to improving the student experience and helping to enhance institutional pride amongst our student body. I look forward to working with her over the next year,” said Bushra Asghar, President of the Algoma University Students’ Union (AUSU) and member of the Presidential Search Committee.
During the meet and greet, Asima connected with every student individually who attended. “It was nice to meet with students today, hearing about their positive experiences and what brought them to Algoma University. I look forward to meeting all of our students over the next few months,” said Asima.
Asima will transition into the role on Monday, October 23rd.