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President's Breakfast serves dose of reality

Credit: ANGELA MCINNES

Peter Devlin said he was optimistic about a changing future at the fifth annual President's Breakfast on Aug. 28.


Angela McInnes | Interrobang | News | September 6th, 2019




On Aug. 28, Fanshawe’s fifth edition of the annual President’s Breakfast saw hundreds of College faculty, staff and community members come together for coffee, eggs and a look into the future.

After the crowd ate breakfast, Fanshawe President Peter Devlin gave his insights into the upcoming year and beyond, emphasizing the importance of adapting to the reality of a transforming workforce.

“By 2024, 40 per cent of the workforce could well be independent contractors,” Devlin said. “Fast forward to 2040, where 40 per cent of the jobs that we know today will be gone – history – due to automation.”

According to Devlin, today’s graduates of Fanshawe College are predicted to have 17 different jobs in five different industries over their lifetime.

“I wonder if Fanshawe College has a role in helping all of us understand that change more, and understand the opportunity that comes from that change and the opportunity that is presented by that change,” he said to the crowd.

Devlin added that he was optimistic about the future, citing data from the Economic World Forum that predicts 75 million jobs less because of automation, but 132 million more.

Throughout the presentation, he also touched on Fanshawe’s student population, saying that this year domestic enrolment is down at 12.6 thousand students, while international enrolment is up at 6.7 thousand.

He introduced several of the College’s new programs: occupational therapy assistant/physiotherapy assistant; teaching English to speakers of other languages & intercultural competence (international only); mental health nursing; business management (international only – London south campus), and business and information systems architecture (international only – London south campus).

For facilities upgrades, Devlin noted that the London south campus will be officially opening its doors on Sept. 4. The former Westervelt College facility, located at 1060 Wellington Rd., will welcome 275 new students to four programs: agri-business management, business and information systems architecture, business management and retirement residence management.

In addition to the new campus, Devlin mentioned A Building redevelopment, wayfinding signage implementation and preparation for adding the new Innovation Village i4C Hub to Fanshawe’s main Oxford Street campus, developed in collaboration with the Fanshawe Student Union (FSU). The hub will transform several student spaces, including Forwell Hall and the library, to become more collaborative and digital. According to fanshawec. ca’s Corporate Info page, the project will cost $30 million and be built by September 2020.

The President’s Breakfast ended with the presentation of the 2019 President’s Distinguished Achievement Awards. This year’s recipients are:

• Administrator Award: Terry Dobson

• Part-Time Staff Award: Leanne Mayer

• Staff Award: Jeannie Whitty

• Part-time Teacher Award: Cathy Urquhart

• Teacher Award: Hans Reimer

• Leadership Award: Kim Cechetto

• Program Award: Broadcasting - Radio and Journalism - Broadcast programs

• Team Award: School of Contemporary Media program coordinators
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