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UB Establishes Partnership with Brock University in Ontario

By John Wood

Release Date: October 8, 2007

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The University at Buffalo has established a major new exchange partnership with Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario, that calls for a variety of cooperative research and educational initiatives, with a particular focus on the shared border region of Western New York and Southern Ontario.

A major feature of the new agreement is a commitment to jointly establish a bi-national Institute on Border Studies that would be the first joint institute of its kind established by U.S. and Canadian universities.

The affiliation will enhance already extensive Canada-related endeavors at UB, including the university's new Graduate Certificate Program in Canadian studies. The agreement calls for Brock and UB to offer cross-listed and team-taught courses, and for faculty from each campus to develop jointly new courses and curricula that will strengthen not only Canadian Studies, but other programs of shared interest.

The agreement also makes provision for student and faculty exchange between the two universities and commits the partners to providing significant seed funding to support joint research activities by UB and Brock faculty across a range of disciplines.

The partnership will build on and formalize UB's longstanding ties to Brock. These include a continuing collaboration between Brock and the Urban Design Project of the UB School of Architecture and Planning on regional and public policy planning for the bi-national region.

Brock currently is developing its own regional policy institute and is drawing on the example and expertise of the UB Regional Institute. Brock's institute, provisionally named the Niagara Observatory, will gather, analyze and interpret data about the Niagara Region of Ontario for the benefit of scholars and policymakers.

The agreement was signed on Oct. 1 by UB President John B. Simpson, who hosted a delegation of 10 senior administrators and faculty from Brock, and Brock President Jack N. Lightstone.

Brock has undergone rapid growth in recent years, and Lightstone has plans for increased expansion in coming years. It enrolls some 17,000 students in seven faculties -- Applied Health Sciences, Business, Education, Humanities, Mathematics and Science, Social Sciences, and Graduate Studies.

UB and Brock share the distinction of being major universities in close proximity to their respective sides of the American-Canadian border. Border issues, including border security, trade and investment, regional economic development, and tourism, will continue to be among the key areas of shared interest between the two institutions.

In his remarks at the signing ceremony, Simpson recalled a recent visit to Brock. "I was most impressed by the Brock campus and by the ambitious plans that President Lightstone has already begun implementing to grow and enhance his institution while working in close concert with the local community of St. Catharines, Ontario, and the larger bi-national region we share," he said.

"At UB, we have similar aspirations not only to increase the size and to enhance the quality of our university, but to do so in ways that benefit the larger Western New York community," he added. "In many respects, President Lightstone and I have similar agendas and both of us see our universities playing a key role in the future development and success of the bi-national region.

"Our shared commitment to exercising a leadership role in the future development of our surrounding communities will help strengthen and advance all of the collaborative activities that Brock and UB undertake, and will help promote increased understanding and cooperation between the leaders and communities on both sides of our shared border," Simpson said.

Lightstone noted, "Brock University and the University at Buffalo share a common commitment to partner with their respective communities in order to spur economic, social and cultural development.

"We have many complementary strengths and our communities face similar challenges in an age of globalization and similar opportunities as gateways of trade between our nations. Therefore, both the universities and our host regions have much to gain by deepening cooperation between Brock University and the University at Buffalo," Lightstone added.

Accompanying Lightstone in the delegation from Brock were Terry Boak, provost and vice president, academic; David Siegel, dean, social sciences; Marilyn Rose, dean, graduate studies; Rosemary Hale, dean, humanities; Ian Brindle, acting associate vice president, research and international development; Jane Koustas, associate dean, humanities; Kim Meade, associate vice president, student services; Sheila Young, associate director, Brock International; and John Kaethler, director, international services.

Also attending the signing ceremony were representatives from the Consulate General of Canada in Buffalo and the U.S. Consulate General in Toronto.

Representing the Canadian Consulate were Consul General Stephen Brereton; Kerry Mitchell, program manager, political/economic relations and public affairs; and Daniel Kolundzic, political and economic relations officer. Nicholas Giacobbe, public affairs officer, represented U.S. Consul General John Nay for the U.S. Consulate in Toronto. Officials from both consulates have expressed strong support for the new UB-Brock agreement.

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, the largest and most comprehensive campus in the State University of New York. UB's more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.