Faculty of Graduate Studies celebrates 10th anniversary

The Faculty of Graduate Studies has seen substantial growth since its inception 10 years ago.

A celebration was held on campus Tuesday, March 21 to mark the Faculty’s milestone anniversary, with the Brock community invited to reflect on the progress made over the past decade.

“In the span of 10 years, the Faculty of Graduate Studies has come a long way,” said Jens Coorssen, Dean of Graduate Studies. “Our reputation as a comprehensive University continues to grow and more and more people across the globe are taking note of the exceptional research happening at the graduate level at Brock.”

Graduate education at Brock dates back to the early days of the University, with the first graduate program, a MSc in Chemistry, launched in 1967.  Graduate education gradually expanded over the years until a spike in growth beginning in 2000.

Guiding the progress over many years of significant growth were former deans, Jack Miller (1999-2004), Marilyn Rose (2004-2011) and Mike Plyley (2011-2016).

“Their vision and leadership contributed greatly to our growing reputation for excellence in graduate education,” Coorssen said. “Working alongside faculty and staff, they created a driving force to move the Faculty forward and to firmly plant Brock in the minds of funding agencies, grad studies councils and prospective students across the country.”

It was on March 21, 2007, that the University’s Senate unanimously endorsed the creation of Brock’s seventh faculty, the Faculty of Graduate Studies, taking a substantial step forward in enhancing the University’s research and graduate studies profiles.

“Becoming a Faculty was not without its challenges,” Mike Plyley, Professor of Applied Health Sciences and former Dean of Graduate Studies.

“A main area of concern was what changes would occur for graduate programs and graduate students as a result of the Office of Graduate Studies becoming a Faculty,” he said. 

“We had to weigh our options and ultimately we felt that becoming a Faculty would aid Brock in becoming a truly comprehensive University where students had the opportunity to complete their undergrad degree all the way through to their PhD.”

Brock now offers 49 graduate programs, including nine PhD programs, and has 1,700 registered graduate students — the Faculty’s largest number on record.

“The Faculty of Graduate Studies has accomplished a lot over the past 10 years,” Coorssen said. “We are looking forward to even more growth and development in the years to come.

“We are working towards building more international research collaborations and we are focused on growing our PhD programs in the near future. Our focus on excellence is helping build our reputation and I look forward to growing the Faculty of Graduate Studies during my tenure as Dean.”

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