Statement from Dr. Andrew P. Dean – Regarding NOSM and Lakehead University

Lakehead University


To our Lakehead University faculty and staff,

Following the legislation tabled by the Government of Ontario on April 15 to establish NOSM as a stand-alone university, we have received overwhelming support in favour of maintaining the Northern Ontario School of Medicine as the faculty of medicine for Lakehead University, and keeping our Senate-approved medical degree programs – the MD and the new Masters in Medical Studies. To date, this support has included thousands of e-mails and letters to the Government of Ontario, as well as a motion from Lakehead’s Senate opposing the proposed legislation in the strongest possible terms.

At this time, Lakehead University has still not received any details or information from the Government on what the implementation of the proposed legislation to sever NOSM from Lakehead would entail, nor how many additional taxpayer dollars will go to administration rather than supporting student learning. I believe that the loss of NOSM medical degrees from Lakehead will negatively impact academic and research partnerships that benefit students, staff and faculty at Lakehead and at NOSM.

Our partnership with NOSM has established significant benefits, cost-savings, and efficiencies for the health system while nurturing and supporting significant growth in research partnerships. The existing model works well and we should be celebrating, and not dismantling it. Lakehead is integral to the success of NOSM in Northern Ontario.

Under the current model, research initiatives proposed and undertaken by NOSM faculty, staff and students located at the Lakehead Thunder Bay site are supported by Lakehead University.

Through the Office of Research Services at Lakehead, NOSM researchers have access to specialized research facilitators, research grant application services that have resulted in millions of dollars in joint research funding and projects, support with research ethics approval processes, and a broad range of perspectives from Lakehead’s Research Ethics Board.

NOSM faculty members have the same access privileges to Lakehead’s centralized research facilities as all Lakehead faculty, including access to the Lakehead University Instrumentation Lab for analytical services and the Lakehead University Animal Care Facility.

The cooperation and integration of NOSM faculty within Lakehead’s research ecosystem allows for Lakehead University graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate researchers to support programs of research for NOSM. Students benefit from joint supervision, and NOSM faculty members also sit on Lakehead’s internal research committees, including graduate supervision and thesis defense committees.

NOSM’s Northwest researchers, faculty and staff are valued members of Lakehead’s academic community.

In the interest of keeping health research growing strong in the north, I invite you to express your support of Lakehead University’s position on this matter by clicking this link to send a pre-populated email to members of the Standing Committee on General Government.

Thank you for your support.


Dr. Andrew P. Dean
Vice-President, Research and Innovation
Lakehead University

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