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New LakeheadU President: Universities Can Change the World

Universities Play Pivotal Role in Societal Transformation

(November 5, 2010 – Thunder Bay, Ontario) Today, Dr. Brian Stevenson was officially installed as the sixth president and vice-chancellor of Lakehead University, with campuses in Thunder Bay and Orillia.

Dr. Brian Stevenson, Lakehead's sixth president and vice-chancellor
Dr. Brian Stevenson, Installed as Lakehead University's sixth president and vice-chancellor, on November 5, 2010
Since taking the helm of Lakehead University in August 2010, Dr. Stevenson has set his sights on taking the institution to the next level of excellence and growth among Canada's comprehensive universities, with a focus on becoming one of Canada’s top 25 research-intensive universities.  This goal, among other strategic priorities in the University’s three-year strategic plan, relies on increased activity among faculty and researchers in developing research initiatives that partner with communities.

In his address to a packed auditorium, Dr. Stevenson stressed that universities can change the world. According to Dr. Stevenson, universities exist not only to educate and do research – universities must be active players in economic development and the economic aspirations of society. He also believes universities must engage First Nations communities, support their educational, cultural, and economic aspirations, and be instrumental in improving their quality of life. To this end Lakehead, which already has over 11% Aboriginal students, is embarking on an enhanced Aboriginal recruitment program.

Dr. Stevenson emphasizes, “Lakehead University can be an active player in changing the very nature of society by providing opportunity, and by validating the aspirations of the various peoples comprising its communities.”

Dr. Stevenson also touched on the importance of opening up global opportunities. He said, “By offering our voice and our abilities to a global community, Lakehead University can add the talent of its faculty, students, and staff to an increasingly globalized world.” Lakehead’s chair of the Board of Governors, Colin Bruce, states, “This is only Dr. Stevenson’s third month in office but we are already seeing positive changes. The Board is very pleased with the progress he has made so far.”

Since taking office on August 3 for a five-year term, Dr. Stevenson has met with various representatives and groups from area businesses to assess opportunities for Lakehead to play a more active role in strengthening the local economy in the communities it serves.

Lakehead University Chancellor Dr. Arthur Mauro, whose term began on January 1, 2010, said he looks forward to working with Dr. Stevenson and the Lakehead University Board of Governors to strengthen the University’s ties with business, government, and other community leaders in Thunder Bay, across Canada, and internationally.

Dr. Stevenson’s installation was attended by many distinguished guests, notably the Hon. John Milloy, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, who addressed the assembly briefly; the Hon. Michael Gravelle, Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry; Dr. Lloyd Axworthy, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Winnipeg; Dr. Bob Rosehart, former President of Wilfrid Laurier University and Lakehead University; Dr. Michael Hawes, Executive Director of the Canada-US Fulbright Program; Dr. Daniel Woolf, President and Vice-Chancellor of Queen's University; Dr. Sheldon Levy, President of Ryerson University and the Council of Ontario Universities (COU); Dr. David Perrin, President of St. Jerome's University (University of Waterloo); and Dr. Richard Myers, President of Algoma University. Faculty, staff, alumni, representatives from the business community, friends, colleagues, and supporters of Lakehead University filled the Installation venue. The ceremony was preceded by a series of events including a regional conference on November 4 that presented expert speakers who discussed The Role of the University in Economic Development in the Community.

Dr. Stevenson's bio and web-ready photo, high-res photo, and Installation speech are available online.  

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MEDIA: To speak with Dr. Stevenson, please contact Communications Officer Heather Scott at commun@lakeheadu.ca, 807-343-8177, or Director of Communications Eleanor Abaya at eabaya@lakeheadu.ca, 807-343-8372.

About Lakehead
Lakehead is a comprehensive university with a reputation for innovative programs and cutting-edge research. With a main campus located in Thunder Bay, Ontario and a campus in Orillia, Ontario, Lakehead has over 8,280 students and 2,250 faculty and staff, and is home to the west campus of the Northern Ontario School of Medicine. In 2006, Research Infosource Inc. named Lakehead University Canada's Research University of the Year in the undergraduate category. For more information on Lakehead University, visit www.lakeheadu.ca

Last updated November 05, 2010

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