Lakehead University and the City of Thunder Bay sign MOU to pursue shared opportunities

Photo of Mayor Keith Hobbs and Dr. Brian Stevenson, Lakehead University's President and Vice-Chancellor, signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, Dec. 20.

Mayor Keith Hobbs, left, and Dr. Brian Stevenson, Lakehead University's President and Vice-Chancellor, signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday, Dec. 20.

December 20, 2017 – Thunder Bay, ON

Dr. Brian Stevenson, Lakehead University’s President and Vice-Chancellor, and Thunder Bay Mayor Keith Hobbs signed a memorandum of understanding today to pursue new collaboration opportunities that will build on mutual strengths and interests.

“The City of Thunder Bay and Lakehead University have a shared interest in making our city attractive to businesses, investors, highly skilled jobseekers, entrepreneurs and innovators, students and a diverse work force,” Mayor Hobbs said. “We will work together to foster dialogue, partnerships and economic development initiatives that build an innovative and prosperous City.”

Dr. Stevenson explained that the purpose of the MOU is to introduce more strategy into the relationship between the Lakehead University and the City of Thunder Bay.

“Our University and City have a long history of working together and benefitting from each other,” said Dr. Stevenson, who made a presentation about the MOU to Thunder Bay City Council at its Monday, Dec. 18 meeting. “This MOU serves to take our relationship to the next level in the interest of fostering a more strategic means of growing Lakehead and Thunder Bay, and furthering our success, together.”

Some of the shared goals include:

  • Supporting policy development through shared expertise
  • Supporting collaborative opportunities for engagement in areas of mutual expertise and interest
  • Improving opportunities and outcomes related to making Thunder Bay a better place to live, work and prosper
  • Raising the profile of both Thunder Bay and Lakehead University as leaders and collaborators

A few specific areas of collaboration may include:

  • Joint partnerships
  • Funding opportunities from other entities
  • International engagement
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Advocacy with other levels of government

City Councillor Brian McKinnon is Council’s representative to the Lakehead University Board of Governors and he engaged in a discussion with Dr. Stevenson and University staff about creating a Memorandum of Understanding between the University and the City of Thunder Bay.

This MOU formalizes and gives momentum to the pursuit of future cooperative efforts and initiatives that the City and University can undertake. Meetings with City Administration to review this concept led to the motion below, approved by Thunder Bay Council on Monday, Dec. 18.

That with respect to entering into a formal partnership with Lakehead University to foster dialogue, partnerships and economic development initiatives, we recommend that City Council authorize the Mayor to execute the proposed Memorandum of Understanding, together with the President of Lakehead University; And that the City Manager be directed to assign such personnel deemed appropriate in support of the intent and purpose of this Memorandum of Understanding. And that periodic joint reporting on progress and activities made be provided to City Council.


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Lakehead University has approximately 9,700 full-time equivalent students and 2,000 faculty and staff in 10 faculties at two campuses in Orillia and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Lakehead is a fully comprehensive university: home to Ontario’s newest Faculty of Law in 44 years, the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, and faculties of Engineering, Business Administration, Health & Behavioural Sciences, Social Sciences & Humanities, Science & Environmental Studies, Natural Resources Management, Education, and Graduate Studies. Maclean’s 2018 University Rankings place Lakehead University among Canada's Top 10 primarily undergraduate universities, as well as first in Total Research Dollars, second for Citations, and third for Scholarships and Bursaries. In 2017, Research Infosource named Lakehead Research University of the Year in its category for the third consecutive year. Visit