Brandon University welcomes William Ashton as Director of the Rural Development Institute

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BRANDON, MB – Brandon University is pleased to announce the appointment of William Ashton as the Director of the Rural Development Institute. Mr. Ashton will begin at BU effective August 17, 2009.

“We are very happy to welcome Bill Ashton to Brandon University,” says Vice-President, Academic and Research Dr. Scott Grills. “The Rural Development Institute has emerged as a key research engine for this University. With more than $800,000 in research activity over the past year, RDI has undertaken research projects that have benefited all Manitobans. I know that Bill’s diverse experiences in government, in rural life, and in leadership preparedness will support this strong and important unit. Bill brings to the job a strong track record of success. We are fortunate to have him join us.”

Mr. Ashton received his Bachelor of Environmental Studies from the University of Waterloo. He then completed a Master of Environmental Design, Urban/Regional Planning from the University of Calgary, a Diploma in University Teaching from the University of New Brunswick and now completing his Doctorate in Philosophy with an emphasis on forest policy and leadership decision making at the University of New Brunswick.

At the University of New Brunswick, Mr. Ashton is currently the Director of the Ecological Sustainability Leadership Project in the Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management. He has also held positions at UNB as Research Director and Analyst and Program Director – both within the College of Extended Learning. Mr. Ashton has also held various positions at Mount Alison University, Dalhousie University, the University of Guelph and as well as being employed outside the universities with Alberta Municipal Affairs, the Government of New Brunswick, and consulting.

Mr. Ashton’s major research efforts are in public policy related to land uses, natural resources, and public governance including leadership and public participation. His research interests also include the scholarship of teaching and learning – with a hope to better understand the fundamental impacts of learning programs for leaders.

This breadth of experience will allow Mr. Ashton to bring leadership knowledge, meaningful university teaching experience, applied research and practice in public policy to his new position at Brandon University.

“Rural Manitoba and indeed rural Canada are important economically, socially, and environmentally to us locally and others globally,” says Mr. Ashton. “Through meaningful research, the Rural Development Institute contributes important knowledge for rural residents and many others. I’m proud to be contributing to that tradition.”

Brandon University established the Rural Development Institute in 1989 as an academic research center and a leading source of information on issues affecting rural communities in Western Canada and elsewhere. It is a centre for excellence in rural development helping strengthen rural and northern communities through research and information on issues unique to these areas.

Please join us in welcoming Mr. Ashton to Brandon University and to the Brandon community!

For more information, or to arrange interviews, please contact:

Brant Batters
Communications Officer
Brandon University
Phone: (204) 727-9762


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