VP Academic/Provost Candidates Visit BU Campus

File photo. (Brady Knight / The Quill)

Three candidates have been short-listed and interviewed by the Brandon University Appointment Committee for the Vice-President (Academic and Provost). The three candidates are Dr. Gervan Fearon, Dr. Lori Buchanan, and Dr. Thomas Dickinson. Each candidate has provided a public presentation for faculty, staff, and students.

The Vice-President (Academic & Provost) cultivates academics and research development, in concurrence with both the President and the Vice-President (Administration & Finance). Departments such as the Faculties of Arts, Science, and Education; Schools of Music and Health Studies; Graduate Studies; Campus Manitoba; Library Services; Information Technology Services; and the Centre for Learning Technology all report to the Vice-President (Academic & Provost). The Vice-President (Academic & Provost) also supplies funding, leadership, and administrative assistance, and coordinates faculty members with granting agencies and opportunities.

Dr. Gervan Fearon was the first candidate to present, doing so on Friday, November 16th. Dr. Fearon is the Dean of The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario. He is also an Associate Professor in the Economics Department, with research interests in public economics and applied microeconomics. Dr. Fearon received his Bachelor of Science in Economics and Master’s of Science in Agriculture from the University of Guelph, followed by his doctorate in economics from the University of Western Ontario. Dr. Fearon provided a thorough and academic PowerPoint presentation. His plan, if chosen, includes marketing Brandon University towards international students, and adding more student support services in order to maintain enrollment and increase graduation rates.

Dr. Lori Buchanan followed with her presentation on Monday, November 19th. Dr. Buchanan is the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, as well as a Canada Research Chair at the University of Windsor in Windsor, Ontario. She is a professor in the Department of Psychology, in the area of neuropsychology. Her research interests lie in cognitive and psycholinguistic processes.  Dr. Buchanan received her Bachelor’s of Psychology from Wilfrid Laurier University, with her Master’s and Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Waterloo. Her proposal included such ideas as changing lighting to motion sensor, to increasing class sizes, adding non-credit classes for the community, promoting the university to students from larger Canadian markets, and having the Applied Disaster and Emergency Studies host national clinics for universities for emergency preparation.

Dr. Thomas Dickinson was the last candidate to present, doing so on Thursday, November 22nd. Dr. Dickinson is the Dean of Science at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, British Columbia. He had previously served as the Interim Associate Vice-President, Research at Thompson Rivers. His research interests include bird communities in high elevation forests, and energy utilization by nuthatches. He teaches introduction to animal behavior. Dr. Dickinson graduated with an Honours BSc with both a Biology Major and a specialization in biology from Queen’s University, followed by graduate studies at the University of Calgary and then at the University of Pennsylvania. If selected, his strategy would include marketing Brandon University’s reputation as a small, community-supported university to individuals in larger Canadian markets and international countries such as India and Brazil for the reason that it would be easier to recruit new students instead of retaining the existing students.

Videos are available to be viewed in the Office of the President for those who were unable to attend the public presentations. Contact (204) 727-9711 to arrange a time to observe the videotapes. Any comments, concerns, or opinions regarding the three candidates are encouraged to send their feedback to The Office of the President by December 3rd.

Republished from The Quill print edition, Volume 103, Issue 13, November 27, 2012.