SEDRD Welcomes New Professor in Regional Economic Development
The School of Environmental Design and Rural Development in the Ontario Agricultural College is pleased to announce with Libro Credit Union (Libro) the appointment of Prof. Ryan Gibson to the Libro Professorship of Regional Economic Development for southwestern Ontario. The professorship is focused on building economic development and innovation across the region, through world-class research, teaching, outreach and collaboration. Dr. Gibson as an assistant professor in rural planning and development and joined the School on July 1, 2016.
“We are absolutely thrilled to partner with the University of Guelph and are very excited to have Ryan as part of the Libro family,” said Stephen Bolton, Libro Credit Union President, CEO and Head Coach. “Libro exists to grow prosperity in southwestern Ontario by transforming banking, and the professorship will help us to discover the opportunities for future economic development. It’s a tremendous chance to leverage the strengths of this region and enhance the place more than two million of us call home.”
Gibson joins the University of Guelph from St. Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He is now a faculty member in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development.
“The opportunity created through this innovation position is truly exciting,” said Gibson. “I am looking forward to working with communities, indigenous groups, and others interested in enhancing the prosperity of southwestern Ontario.”
Gibson’s research examines key issues related to the future of rural communities and regions, and topics such as governance, public policy, immigration and revitalization. He is also president of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network, a national organization committed to strengthening communities by creating economic opportunities that enhance social and environmental conditions.
“Ryan’s expertise and experience are a perfect fit for this new position,” said Rene Van Acker, Dean of the Ontario Agricultural College (OAC). “His focus on community-engaged scholarship combined with his enthusiasm, assures me he will do great things while working with the communities of southwestern Ontario.”
Originally from rural Manitoba, Gibson has a deep respect for rural communities, rural people and the events that shape their futures. Growing up witnessing the transformations in rural development, agriculture and their influence on communities instilled a fascination and commitment to rural issues.
Libro has committed to endow the professorship with $500,000 over 10 years, which has been combined with two gifts from the Roberts and Klosler families totalling an additional $500,000.