Video: Brock University picks its new President and Vice-Chancellor


Published August 16, 2022 at 11:56 am

Dr. Lesley Rigg, a highly accomplished academic leader, research scientist and professor, has been chosen as Brock’s new President following an international search.

In a year-long search while Lynn Wells served as Interim President, Brock University was finally selected its new President and Vice-Chancellor.

Dr. Lesley Rigg, a highly accomplished academic leader, research scientist and professor, has been chosen as Brock’s new leader following an international search.

Rigg currently serves as Vice-President (Research) and Professor of Geography at Western University in London, Ont.

“Dr. Rigg brings more than 25 years of academic and research leadership experience to Brock, having served in Canada and in the United States as a vice-president, dean, scientist and professor,” says Mark Arthur, Chair of the Brock University Board of Trustees.

“Lesley’s many accomplishments in labs and in the field, in classrooms and across campuses, are matched by her inspiring and well-demonstrated commitment to inclusivity and diversity. It is an optimistic approach that puts students, faculty and staff first. We are truly fortunate to welcome her to our community.”

Rigg says it is a “distinct privilege to be invited to join Brock at this pivotal time in its history.”

“We are emerging from the challenges of the pandemic and the work of the University is essential as our community recovers and seizes new opportunities. I have long admired Brock’s impressive students, our outstanding faculty and researchers and our wonderful staff, who together make up a university striving to be welcoming, diverse and inclusive,” she says.

“Over the years, I have been excited to watch as Brock evolved and advanced to become a leading student-centred comprehensive university. As I arrive in Niagara, I am fortunate to be joining such an accomplished and welcoming community. I have a deep-seated optimism for the future of Brock.”

Prior to arriving at Western, she served as Dean of the Faculty of Science and Professor, Biological Sciences at the University of Calgary, where she led one of the largest Faculties on campus spanning six departments and five multidisciplinary programs.

Her experience also includes significant leadership at Northern Illinois University. There, she served as Vice-President for Research and Innovation Partnerships and other roles including Associate Dean Research and Graduate Affairs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Rigg says she was encouraged by Brock’s recent undertakings to recruit more Indigenous and Black scholars.

“I am particularly focused on partnering with our Indigenous communities to further the gains Brock has made in truth and reconciliation and in creating a more welcoming campus for equity-deserving students, staff and faculty,” she says.

Arthur had high praise for Wells stepping into the role for more than a year.

“On behalf of our entire community, I want to thank Interim President and Provost Lynn Wells for her superb leadership over the past year. It has been an incredibly complex and challenging time for all universities and for our students and staff,” Arthur says.

“Dr. Wells has led with integrity, compassion and a keen focus ensuring Brock emerges from this pandemic stronger than ever. We are deeply grateful for her commitment to Brock and to our students, faculty and staff.”

Incoming President Rigg will be spending time on campus this fall as she prepares to begin her role in November.

Here she describes how she’s planning to fill the new role.

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