University of Regina President Vianne Timmons is on a northern Saskatchewan tour this week.

The U of R President was in La Loche Wednesday, Meadow Lake Thursday and La Ronge Friday morning.

Timmons said the northern tour is an annual event and part of the university’s mandate to reach out to all the communities it serves, no matter how remote.

“What we do in the communities is meet with community leaders, meet with regional college reps, find out what are the issues they face and can we partner and be better partners with the communities,” she said.

The of U of R President said it is important to touch base with communities to find out which types of educational programming best meets their needs.

As part of this process, she said they always learn something new.

“Another area that there’s a big need that we’re hearing, and we’re going to follow up with our dean of business, is a business certificate that is really geared to northern municipal management. Because many of the communities are having trouble hiring qualified accounting staff that stay in the north. So, we’re looking at is there a possibility of doing something in the north for northerners that helps them stay.”

Timmons also said university officials heard northern communities would like to see more local clinical nursing programs and teacher education training.

The U of R has recently partnered with the Lac La Ronge Indian Band and Gabriel Dumont Institute to offer a bachelor of education program and Clearwater River Dene Nation to offer a Dene teacher education program.

The U of R President was in Wollaston Lake Friday afternoon and also made stops in the Birch Narrows Dene Nation and Flying Dust First Nation earlier in the week.

(PHOTO: University of Regina President Vianne Timmons. File photo.)