New Ontario Tech chancellor excited to be part of ‘transformative educational institution’

New Ontario Tech University chancellor Mitch Frazier.

Ontario Tech University (Ontario Tech) has installed a new chancellor.

Mitch Frazer becomes the university’s fourth chancellor, after Lyn McLeod, Perrin Beaty and Noreen Taylor, who all contributed to the growth of the university throughout the years.

Frazer, 50, is taking over for Noreen Taylor, who served as the chancellor of Ontario Tech from 2016 to 2020. Frazer says he was approached by representatives of the university to see if he would have an interest in the position.

“To have an opportunity to mentor students, raise money for interesting projects and to be a part of what I think is going to be the most transformative educational institution over the next decade was pretty hard to pass up,” he says.

Frazer adds that he was impressed by his discussions about the university’s plan moving forward.

“When I talked to president Steven Murphy, he outlined the vision of Ontario Tech,” he says. “I think it’s the most forward-looking vision of any university in the province, if not the country.”

Prior to being named chancellor, Frazer was an associate professor at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and also taught Pension Law at Osgoode Hall, the law school at York University. In 2013 he wrote a textbook on pension called Pension Law that is frequently cited by the Supreme Court.

Since 2003, Frazer has been working as a lawyer for Torys LLP – a Canadian international law firm.

In addition to his background in law, Frazer is known for his philanthropy. He is the founder of the National Institute on Ageing at Ryerson University, which focuses on improving aging from both a financial and health perspective.

“My theory was always if you saved a lot of money, but you weren’t in good health, you’re making your retirement more challenging,” he says. “However, if you’re healthy but you don’t have any money, you’re also not going to enjoy your retirement.”

Frazer says the premise of all his work is to make sure people focus on both aspects of the aging cycle so that they can live longer, healthier and more prosperous lives.

“I’ve always been a proponent of the good work that you can do with higher education in order to make people’s lives better,” he says. “I think 20 years ago, the government was a great agent of change and were able to be the leaders in society but over the last 20 years universities have sort of taken over that role.”

As chancellor, Frazer is now recognized as the head of the university and is responsible for handing out degrees. However, he says his main goal is to be a resource for the students.

“My primary goal at the end of the day is to find ways to give the greatest opportunities for our students to succeed,” says Frazer. “I want to try to help as many of them get employment opportunities and help them in their various career paths.”

Frazer believes university is an important time for students to figure out their life path.

“I think that if you are intellectually curious and you’re passionate about learning, university is one of the best times to learn and figure out what you want to do with your life,” he says. “It can and should be the most transformative period of your life.”