Gervan Fearon (Ph.D., M.Sc., B. Sc., CPA, CGA, ICD.D) received his PhD in Economics from the University of Western Ontario, and received his Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Agricultural Economics at the University of Guelph. He also holds a Chartered Professional Accountant designation and Institute of Corporate Directors designation.
Fearon is passionate about the role of post-secondary education in supporting regional development, and has served on numerous community boards and helped champion significant community development initiatives.
When he arrived as Brock University’s President and Vice-Chancellor in August 2017, he began working with students, faculty and staff all across the campus as well as members of the community across the region to draft a new Institutional Strategic Plan that would clearly communicate the University’s values, priorities and goals.
He recognized that, from its earliest history, Brock was created by the citizens of the Niagara region. In the 1950s and ’60s, area residents worked passionately to establish a local university where successive generations could remain part of the community while obtaining a high-quality post-secondary education.
Given this heritage, Fearon ensured that the steps for creating a 21st-century strategic plan would include talking to local groups and individuals, to hear what they felt should be key aspects of the University’s plan.
In 2018, the University’s Senate and Board of Trustees gave final approval to the new Institutional Strategic Plan, which emphasizes not just academic excellence and student experience, but commits Brock as a local partner who strengthens its host communities.
During Fearon’s presidency, the University has pursued formal agreements with numerous agencies and organizations, seeking ways for Brock’s research and academic assets to strengthen health care, citizen supports and economic development for local communities.
This approach has only enhanced its reputation for research and academic excellence, and outstanding student experience. In an era when many North American institutions are coping with shrinking demographics, Brock has become the school of first choice for unprecedented numbers of students, experiencing successive years of record enrolment, and a strong community partner such as being the site for the upcoming 2021 Canada Summer Games in the Niagara Region.
Fearon came to Brock from Brandon University, where he served as President and Vice-Chancellor and also as Provost and Vice-President Academic. Earlier academic roles included Dean of The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education at Ryerson University; Associate Dean at York University’s Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies; Visiting Scholar at the University of Washington; and as an Associate Professor at York University.
Besides academic achievements, his career includes several years in the Ontario government in roles as a senior analyst at Treasury Board Division, Ontario Ministry of Finance, and an executive assistant to Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.