Posted by John Hillhouse

Dr. Fearon, with his advanced degrees in economics, is now in his third year of a five year term as president of Brock University. Today, he gave us an overview of Brock, as well as his viewpoint and vision as its president.

At present, there are 21 universities in Ontario and 97 in Canada. In 1957, a regional grassroots community (Allenburg) expressed a desire for a local university for the purpose of economic development. This was followed by a fundraising campaign which raised $400,000. This significant local commitment eventually convinced the Ontario government to grant a university charter in 1964. Today, Brock is a comprehensive university with 19,000 students and a total of 120 degree programs. There are about 5,000 employees with an overall annual payroll of approximately $212 million! 

With this steady growth and significant regional economic impact, Gervan stressed the importance of Brock to the region and his broad perspective for the future impact in Niagara. He emphasized the increasing demands on universities generally and outlined the current priorities for Brock as follows:

  1. Continue to improve its reputation as a premier teaching and learning university. In a changing world, the primary aim of a university education is to teach students to think critically and to retain knowledge, to be able to adapt.

  2. Build its research capacity (currently there are 13 Canada Research Chairs at Brock).

  3. Increase the regional economic footprint and impact and continue to develop strategic partnerships with local organizations.

  4. Be a beacon of hope for the world’s developing countries.   

The economic impact of Brock to the Niagara region and Ontario are estimated to be approximately $450 and $640 million, respectively. Notably, Brock is a partner, along with Niagara Economic Development, in the upcoming Canada Summer Games scheduled for August 2021. 

Dr. Fearon was introduced by Lou Visentin and thanked by John Beyer.