University of Guelph

Libro professorship on regional economic development

The professorship was created to serve as a catalyst for enhancing regional economic development in southwestern Ontario through world-class research, teaching, outreach, and collaboration. 

Ryan Gibson is the Libro Professor in Regional Economic Development at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph.  

"University of Guelph Logo"

With a contribution of $500,000, Libro committed to endow the professorship for  10 years. 

The Libro Professorship is conducting research topics that matter to communities across the region, including workforce development, wealth strategies, immigration and migration, economic development, transportation, and regional planning. Each research initiative engages communities, organizations, and businesses throughout the region to better understand challenges and create new opportunities. To date, over $1 million has been secured by the Libro Professor to support research in southwestern Ontario – leveraging Libro Credit Union’s support 2:1 in the first five years!  

Over 40 graduate students have been supervised by Dr. Gibson in the first five years. These students are working on incredibly timely and important issues, such as agritourism as a diversification strategy, barriers of newcomers in accessing recreational activities for their children, how communities are using big data, and understanding foreign workers in the agricultural sector to name a few! Many of these students are now working in southwestern Ontario as economic development officers, planners, policy analysts, and consultants.  

Dr. Gibson actively shares knowledge and recommendations emerging from research to encourage changes to local governments, businesses, community organizations, provincial governments, federal government, and governments of other countries. Check out recent online webinars on Philanthropy, Wealth, and Prosperity and Attracting Immigrants to Rural Communities 

Research and Interviews with Masters Students

Municipal Planning and Capacity Report

On Farm Diversification


Place Based Transit Solutions for Rural Communities


University of Guelph students on a field trip

Students with former OMAFRA Minister

Research team

OGRA conference

Learn more about Libro’s other partnerships