First Algoma U Board of Governors Meeting for 2018-19 Highlights Enrollment Growth

President of Algoma University, Asima Vezina.

(SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – September 20, 2018): This evening, Algoma University’s Board of Governors convened for their first meeting of the 2018-19 academic year. The Board was apprised of progress on key institutional priorities, including preliminary reports projecting enrollment growth for the current academic year.

Algoma U School of Business & Economics Leads Enrollment Growth:
A bold new marketing campaign introduced last year, refined strategic enrollment management practices, and the recent launch of the School of Business & Economics have had a significant impact on enrollment levels at Algoma this fall.

“We are pleased with the outcome of our strategic enrollment efforts over the past several months,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Asima Vezina. “Due to a tremendous effort at the University, we are experiencing an enrollment increase this fall and are emerging from a forecasted enrollment decline two years earlier than originally projected — this is great news!”

The two key strategies that have contributed most significantly are the launch of the School of Business & Economics and expanded international partnership agreements with India. While the University is still focused on these two strategies for the January intake, they are also working diligently on a number of other strategic enrollment priorities that are expected to emerge over the upcoming year.

In April, the University approved the 2018-19 budget, forecasting an enrollment decrease of 2.7 percent. At present, enrollment is up overall by 2.2 percent. Brampton has experienced over 100 percent growth and Ontario secondary school student registrations are up 30 percent. Vezina shared that while the situation regarding the loss of Saudi Arabian students was challenging, the loss was not as great as anticipated. The University has been actively diversifying their international recruitment efforts to reduce and mitigate risks associated with different international cohorts.

Algoma U Board of Governors Welcomes New Members:
A number of new members were welcomed to the Algoma University Board of Governors including: Jessica Belisle, a local attorney who was appointed as an external representative; Dr. István Imre, a representative of the University’s Academic Senate; and Professor Noni Boyle, Algoma University Faculty Association (AUFA) representative. This was their first meeting as official members of the Board.

“These new members bring a wealth of experience that builds on the diverse perspectives and talent already present within our governing body,” said Board Chair Mark Nogalo. “The collective work of the Board in the post-secondary sector, industry, government, and Indigenous affairs will be invaluable for our efforts to enhance the overall student experience, increase experiential learning opportunities, and support ongoing work tied to our special mission, including our institutional commitments to truth and reconciliation.”

Jessica Belisle is a Métis Anishinaabe Kwe from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Belisle pursued a Bachelor of Arts in Anishinaabemowin at Algoma, attended the Program of Legal Studies for Native People in 2013, and graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with a Juris Doctor Degree in 2016. While in Law School, Belisle participated in a Clinical Placement at C.L.A.S.S.I.C., a poverty Law Clinic in downtown Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where she was drawn to Criminal Law. Belisle is currently practising law at Tremblay-Hall and Associates with a primary focus in criminal defence. She is a member of the Indigenous Bar Association and the Criminal Lawyers Association.

Dr. István Imre is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biology and presently serves as the Assistant Dean of Student Success and Well-being. Since joining Algoma in 2006, Imre has made significant contributions to the development of the degrees in Biology and Environmental Science, while conducting research aimed at controlling sea lamprey populations in the Great Lakes, and serving in a variety of academic leadership roles. Imre received the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2013. Imre holds a BSc in Fisheries Biology and an MSc in Zoology from the University of Guelph and a PhD in Biology from Concordia University. Prior to joining the faculty ranks at Algoma, Imre completed postdoctoral fellowships at Universite de Montreal and McGill University.

Noni Boyle, Associate Professor in the the Department of Music and Visual Art, has been a member of the Algoma faculty since 2006. In addition to her classroom and studio work, Boyle has held a range of academic leadership roles including Chair of Humanities, Chair of Music & Visual Art Department, Member (and Interim-Chair) of TPC/PRC, and Senate Executive. She has also served on a number of Senate committees including Academic Planning and Priorities, Curriculum Committee, Research Ethics, and Scholarship. She has been an active member of AUFA, including terms as President and Past-President. Before beginning her university teaching career, Boyle worked in arts administration for the City of Calgary, directing a busy arts centre, and working as an arts consultant. Boyle holds a BFA from Concordia University and an MFA from the University of Alberta.

The Board of Governors next regular meeting will take place on Thursday, November 29th, 2018.

Algoma University was established in 1965 and is located in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Algoma University is a small, undergraduate, teaching-focused university that places an emphasis on serving the needs of Northern Ontario. Algoma University offers a wide range of degrees spanning the liberal arts, sciences, and professional disciplines.  As a partner with Shingwauk Kinoomaage Gamig and the Children of Shingwauk Alumni Association, Algoma University has a special mission to cultivate cross-cultural learning between Indigenous  populations and other communities. Algoma University also offers satellite programming in Brampton and Timmins. For more information, please visit