Sue introduced Dr. Brian Stephenson who has 'taken the helm' at the Orillia campus.  Before that he worked for the federal government, the University of Alberta and with the Organization of American States.  His BA and MA were taken at the University of Victoria and his Ph D at Queen's.  He's on the Board of the publication Foreign Affairs and also acts as a professor of Business Administration.

Dr. Stephenson declared that Lakehead is Simcoe County's university and he and the staff are working on 5 priorities.

Promotion of Excellence in teaching, research, student experience, and graduate programs.  To this end they have started but need to pursue  much needed infrastructure in both the physical structure of the University and the HR resources.

Maintaining financial sustainability through economization, efficiencies and developing other revenues.

Growth of the campus - from 100 students now to a projected 1,100 in five years.

Internationalization.  At U of A he saw the number of international students grow from 500 to 3,500 as well as growth in the English as a second language program.  Simcoe County is a very attractive location - the shield is iconic overseas - and will be a draw as the program grows.  The exchange goes two way - bring foreign students here but give locals exposure to the students  through exchange programs etc.  He proposes to recruit aggressively.

Community - first to promote economic development by, partly, just being here and pursuing construction and hiring faculty, etc and partly by spinning off research and developing start ups.  They held a conference last year and there are a series of round table discussions being organized that will seek input on how to pursue these ideas.  Second by outreach to the aboriginals - their population is growing and he hopes to harness their energy through special programs and scholarships.  At Lakehead in Thunder Bay over 1,000 of the 8,000 strong student body is aboriginal.

Dr. Stephenson said the Orillia campus is already a presence here and the campus is growing.  Higher education is a $30 billion enterpise nationally and a huge economic presence locally.  Graduates earn an aveage of 75% more than non-grads and that will continue as we move to the knowledge based economy.  Simcoe County has above the Ontario average of High School grads but is below the national average for university with only 12% compared to 23%.  By being here $25 million is already being injected into the local economy and when the school is up to a projected 7,000 students the average budget will be $200 million.  

Look to places like Kitchener-Waterloo where universities worked with the private sector and helped develop industry.  The University brings young people here - 38% of the students are from outside the County, and it helps keep young people in the area - they don't have to leave to get an education.  It provides and accessible and economical alternative to going away to school, helps to reverse the brain drain, develops business and the workforce and will generate higher incomes locally.

The school will pursue partnerships, will promote regional economic development and will create jobs through co-op placements.  The Innovation Management Office will develop companies and intellectual properties and will provide marketing.

His vision is to a long term commitment to educate them here and have jobs for them here.

Sue thanked Dr. Stephenson for his remarks and thanked him for his commitment to the community.