Raymonde Gagné

Born in Manitoba, Raymonde Gagné has worked in education for over thirty-five years. Madame Gagné has been President of Université de Saint-Boniface (USB) since September 1, 2003. Before becoming President, she served as Director of New Programs as well as Director of the Community College and of the Continuing Education Division of the university, and she also held the position of professor in business administration. Prior to her arrival at USB, she worked as a high school teacher, as a high school principal and as a consultant in regional and industrial expansion.

Since her appointment as President of USB in 2003, Raymonde Gagné has overseen many positive changes to the institution. From the start, she has worked to establish tighter controls and improved accountability while optimizing management and governance processes. In order to ensure a steady rate of enrollment, she developed a successful international recruitment strategy to attract students from the francophone countries of Africa and Europe. As needs were identified with respect to the increased student body, she developed a structure for orientation, so that international students could integrate more readily into student life. This new structure included the purchase of student residences.  Acting on her thorough knowledge of all aspects of the institution, she established the services required to offer all students a unique and rich experience in a francophone environment.

During her tenure, she has increased the number of complete, relevant and high-quality programs offered, while investing in state-of-the-art equipment. Recent policy changes have reinforced the institution’s orientation towards training programs in the health sciences as a response to the shortage of health professionals and in order to improve access to French-language healthcare services for francophones.

Raymonde Gagné has made governments aware of the need for stable funding. As well, she has increased development capacity by spearheading a $18 million fundraising campaign, the largest in the history of USB, for the construction of a new health sciences building (Pavillion Marcel-A.-Desautels), for research and for the scholarship and bursary program. This represents the first substantial expansion to the campus since the 1970s. The success of this project, along with a broader ongoing fundraising campaign, has significantly enhanced USB’s capacity for healthcare training and research.

As President, Raymonde Gagné has improved relations with faculty and staff and created a working environment for all employees that fosters learning and discovery. She has raised the profile of USB, provincially, nationally and internationally, and established partnerships with the greater community to enable USB to play an active role in Manitoba, and in Canadian society.

At the national level, Madame Gagné sat on the Board of the Réseau des cégeps et des collèges du Canada from 1995 to 1998, acting as Chair in her final year.  She contributed significantly to the establishment of the Consortium national de formation en santé (CNFS); in particular, she chaired the task force on program planning for the CNFS.  In 2002-2003, she was also involved in program planning for the Regroupement des universités francophones hors Québec as a member of the Program Planning Committee.  On September 1, 2003, Raymonde Gagné became President of Université de Saint-Boniface.  She was appointed President of the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne in October 2005, a position that she held until September 2010, and was also a member of the Advisory Committee on Official Languages. Madame Gagné sits on the Board of Directors of the Consortium national de formation en santé, which she has co-chaired since October 2009, of the Centre canadien de leadership en évaluation and of the Canadian Institute for Research on Linguistic Minorities.

Raymonde Gagné has also contributed immensely to various areas of community service, especially by enhancing business opportunities and promoting development and growth in the fields of health care and the economy. She served as a member of the Board of Directors of both the Taché and Valade nursing homes for ten (10) years, two (2) of which she served as Chair. She is a founding member of the Francophone Chamber of Commerce of St. Boniface, to which she has devoted four (4) years, one (1) in the capacity of Vice-Chair. In addition, she has been very active as a member of other community-based boards; namely, the Official Languages Committee of St. Boniface General Hospital, the Economic Development Committee of Manitoba, and the Council of Adult Literacy Education for Manitoba.  Since September 2003, Madame Gagné has sat on the Board of Governors of St. Boniface General Hospital and on its Strategic Planning Committee, for which she served as Chair until 2010. She was also a member of the Executive Committee of this hospital from 2003 to 2010. Moreover, she helped to create the Conseil communauté en santé du Manitoba and was a member from 2003 to 2011. As founding member of the Centre de santé Saint-Boniface, Madame Gagné plays an active role in the task force responsible for drawing up a strategic development plan for access to healthcare for francophones in the Winnipeg area. In November 2010, Madame Gagné was appointed by the Premier of Manitoba, the Honourable Greg Selinger, to the Order of Manitoba Advisory Committee. Madame Gagné was a finalist for the YMCA-YWCA Women of Distinction Award in the Education, Training and Mentorship category in 2011. In 2012, she received the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal recognizing her exemplary service to her community and country.