The provincial government has appointed Grant Devine to the University of Saskatchewan’s board of governors.

The former Saskatchewan premier is one of three new provincial government appointees, according to a university news release.

He, Deloitte partner Shelley Brown and March Consulting Associates vice-president of operations Ritu Malhotra will replace outgoing board members David Dube, Kathryn Ford and Greg Smith.

The Opposition NDP says naming Devine to the board is a “crass partisan” appointment by the Saskatchewan Party government.

“This Sask. Party decision reeks of political interference, and this partisan appointment is clearly an imposition on what should be an autonomously run university,” NDP advanced education critic Ryan Meili said in a news release.

“How, at a time of budgetary challenges created by the Sask. Party, could they even consider appointing to the board of one of our universities the person who lead (sic) our province to the brink of bankruptcy?”

Devine served as Saskatchewan premier from 1982 to 1991.

A statement from the province said it was pleased Devine accepted the appointment.

Devine is a University of Saskatchewan agriculture graduate who holds a PhD from Ohio State University. He helped start Ag-West Bio on the University of Saskatchewan campus and spearheaded the building of the Agriculture Building.

“Agriculture is a very important part of the Saskatchewan landscape,” the province’s statement read. “The College of Ag generates 50 per cent of the research income at the U of S, and Dr. Devine’s background in Ag Econ will be a great benefit to the board at the U of S.”

Roy Romanow, the NDP premier who replaced Devine, is one of eight others on the board who will be joined by the three new appointees.