With a genuine enthusiasm for student success and an unwavering dedication to his college and the community, Dan Patterson, PhD, has been Niagara College’s president since 1995.
Under his leadership, the College has doubled its enrollment to over 10,000 full time students in over 100 programs with an operating budget of over $145 million.
In 2008, the College launched a $90-million campus redevelopment project to expand student capacity, and provide new and renovated state-of-the-art learning environments at its Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses. A new $55-million campus expansion and redevelopment is now underway. Patterson has played an integral role in establishing and strengthening partnerships with a variety of industries and public sector organizations – a key priority under his leadership. Prior to joining the college system he held senior executive positions within the federal and provincial governments.
Patterson is known as a leader in the Ontario College system and is former chair of the Committee of Presidents, which advocates on behalf of Ontario’s 24 Colleges of Applied Arts and Technology. Patterson led the Committee of Presidents through a critical time for the College system, resulting in the introduction of baccalaureate degrees in Ontario Colleges and a new provincial mandate.
Patterson has a strong sense of service and shares his knowledge and expertise on a number of boards at the national, provincial and local levels including the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Colleges and Institutes Canada (CICan). He is also a strong proponent of experiential learning for students preparing for the work world. As president, he has overseen the creation of Canada’s first teaching winery and teaching brewery, and the development of applied research centres for advanced manufacturing and culinary innovation.
Patterson’s public service has been recognized with various awards including the Canadian Red Cross Power of Humanity, Niagara-on-the-Lake Citizen of the Year, RBC Business Citizen of the Year, St. Catharines Rotary Club’s Paul Harris Fellow, Community Leadership Award, and the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal as well as a Visiting Fellowship at Green Templeton College (Oxford University, U.K.). He is a passionate advocate for the important role that colleges play in the economic life of their communities. Patterson is the post secondary education representative on the Niagara Region’s Economic Development Advisory Panel.
Patterson received his BA from the University of Windsor, his MSc from The London School of Economics, and his MEd from the University of Toronto. He later attended Oxford to complete its Senior Management Development program. Committed to lifelong learning, he earned his PhD from the University of Toronto in the field of higher education. In recognition of his achievements within the college system, Patterson was conferred an Honourary Doctorate from Niagara University in 2003 and an Honourary Doctorate of Laws from Brock University in 2009.
For more information
President, Niagara College
135 Taylor Road, S.S. #4,
Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON L0S 1J0
Phone: 905-641-2252 x 4000