On Campus

College president pushed out over aboriginal course

Critics says mandatory program pushes 'white guilt'

Denise Henning was ousted out of her role as president of University College of the North, for opposing a course that promotes “white guilt,” the Winnipeg Free Press reported. Henning had sided with UCN’s Learning Council, roughly equivalent to an academic senate, which wanted the class on native awareness to be optional. The Governing Council wants to keep the class mandatory for all staff and students. It is the Learning Council that has official authority over course content.

“Right from day one, there were complaints about the course, because it was mandatory and in your face, pushing white guilt,” a source who spoke to the Free Press on the condition of anonymity said. Henning also found herself in conflict with UCN’s elder-in-residence after she appointed two non-aboriginals to senior administrative posts.

In late December, the Governing Council refused to renew Henning’s five-year contract. Despite the fact her term does not officially end until June, UCN has stated that she is a no longer a spokesperson for the college. Henning has since been appointed president of Northwest Community College in British Columbia. Her term starts March 1.

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.