$7.9 million provincial investment helps Brock emerge from pandemic as strong community partner

FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2021

The Government of Ontario is investing $7.9 million in Brock University, helping the University emerge from the global pandemic and continue its role as an important catalyst for economic recovery and growth, and community development for Niagara and the province.

“Thanks to this support from the Government of Ontario, Brock University is in a strong position to continue to deliver a world-class education, conduct groundbreaking research and fulfil our efforts in supporting Niagara’s economic recovery and vitality,” said Brock President Gervan Fearon. “This funding helps ensure the University is in a sustainable position to advance our academic mission and support job creation across the region. Our students, faculty and staff are very appreciative of this ongoing partnership with the province.”

At Brock, the $7.9-million investment will significantly assist the University to enhance and expand its academic offerings and meeting the needs of students in support of the Niagara community, research and business sector competitiveness. It will allow Brock to advance its academic and research plans, including continuing to progress in the development of services and programs to serve our students that may have otherwise been delayed or even altered by the financial impact caused by COVID-19.

The funding is part of a more than $100-million investment announced by the provincial government Friday, March 19 that will help post-secondary education institutions most financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s estimated the financial impact of COVID-19 on the college and university sector has been significant for 2020-21. Minister of Colleges and Universities Ross Romano said the government investment will help ensure students continue to get the skills and education they need for the current and future job market.

“Our post-secondary institutions are critical to the prosperity of our province and local communities and will contribute significantly to our economic recovery,” Romano said. “Post-secondary institutions are a key source of job creation, skills training, research and innovation. That’s why our government has established the emergency fund to help address the financial impacts of COVID-19 and ensure they have the tools, technologies and resources they need to support students throughout their studies.”

“Brock University is a significant contributor to the economic, social and cultural life of Niagara and Ontario,” said Brock Board of Trustees Chair Gary Comerford. “We are thankful for the Government of Ontario’s strategic investment in our teaching, learning and research.   It further demonstrates the important role Brock plays across the Niagara region and the opportunities forged by the entire University in partnership with the local community.”

Sam Oosterhoff, MPP for Niagara West, called the investment “welcome news for our local institutions of learning.”

“It will help ensure Brock University and Niagara College are able to continue the work of preparing young people for the fulfilling careers and jobs of today and tomorrow,” he said.

Brock continues to be optimistic that the public health situation will allow for the resumption of on-campus classes and activities this fall. Brock has also been identified as a mass immunization site for St. Catharines and Thorold by Niagara Region Public Health.

“Our students, faculty and staff have overcome significant challenges this past year,” said Brock Provost and Vice-President, Academic Lynn Wells. “Today’s investment from the Government of Ontario helps Brock University strongly transition into the next phase, when we are excited to welcome back students to our campus in September.”

Fearon agreed, saying he commends the outstanding effort made by Brock faculty and staff, as well as student leaders over the past year to ensure academic continuance for students while prioritizing their health and safety.

“This has been an incredibly challenging time for all, and I want to personally thank our students, faculty and staff for their resilience and innovative approach. Brock is an amazing university, which has been demonstrated through this period,” Fearon said. “I want to thank the Government of Ontario and Minister Romano for their efforts in supporting the work being done at Brock to build a prosperous future for our students and the communities across the Niagara region.”