Posted: Friday, September 26, 2003
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FROM THE BOARD OF GOVERNORS’ MEETING – FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 26, 2003
TRENT’S INSTITUTIONAL QUALITY PLAN SUBMISSION SEEKS FUNDING FOR TEACHING AND LEARNING, SERVICES TO STUDENTS AND PROGRAMS
Board and Presidential objectives approved
Institutional Quality Plan
The President provided an overview of the University’s submission to receive funding from the government’s Quality Assurance Fund.
The fund was established by the government to address issues of quality related to growth in student populations in Ontario’s universities.
If approved, Trent’s ‘Institutional Quality Plan’ will provide direct benefits for teaching and learning, student services, and programs. Investments include: hiring of additional full-time and part-time faculty to address workloads and reduce class sizes for first year students; new investments for library, classroom, laboratory hardware, and 130 new workstations to enhance the e-learning environment; greater support for Student Health services, the Registrar’s Office, and Student Affairs; and start up funding to support the Trent University-Sir Sandford Fleming College new Forensic Science Program, starting in September, 2004.
Preliminary Enrolment Report
The President advised the Board that enrollment at Trent has topped 7,000 students this academic year and emphasized that final enrollment figures will be tallied on November 1 and February 1. Trent experienced an 80 per cent increase in applications. This year over 12,218 applications were received versus 5,304 the previous year, placing tremendous demands on staff in the Registrar’s and Financial Aid offices. Registrations from final year secondary school students were up 52 per cent. While international enrolments are down slightly, the University attributes this change to tougher admission standards and tests for international students.
The University made important strides in improving the overall quality of its new students. Students entering with 60-69 per cent averages decreased by 14 per cent; students with 70-79 per cent increased by 66 per cent; and students with 80 per cent and above increased by 74 per cent. The entering average of graduate students is one per cent higher. Graduate students enrolled at Trent brought $742,200 in academic awards with them to the University, compared with $527,800 the previous year.
The Chair of the Board welcomed new Board members Doug Brown, Michael Gough, Ryan Kutschke and Prof. Peter Lafleur. He also welcomed Susan Clark, Vice-President (Academic) and Senate student representative Shantel Ivits.
The President noted the school year began smoothly and that universities across the province successfully responded to the challenge of accommodating qualified students.
Provincially, the take up of secondary school students into universities from the new secondary school curriculum remained constant, within .5 per cent of last year’s cohort that graduated from the older secondary curriculum; participation rates were also comparable, and varied only .5 to 1.0 per cent between the two cohorts.
Across Ontario average-entering grades for professional programs increased, while the overall cut off rates for professional programs remained the same. The preliminary enrolment information confirms that the double cohort phenomena has impacted Ontario’s universities more than the college system. Reports also indicate some 10-15 per cent of secondary school students returned to high school instead of enrolling in post secondary institutions. The Board was advised that the next wave of double cohort activity will be felt in 10 years time, when the demand for graduate programs is expected to double.
To plan for the future, a draft document identifying key strategic directions for the University is being finalized. Drawing on the ‘Building on Success’ strategy paper published last academic year, the new Strategic Directions plan will be discussed in the University community this fall and presented at the Board of Governor’s November retreat.
The President reported on the success of last week’s professional learning-teacher education conference. At the conference, Trent Chancellor Dr. Roberta Bondar offered inspirational comments about the value of the teaching profession and the importance of public education.
Trent students have been active throughout the community raising over $20,000 for the annual Shinerama campaign. Students also organized the inaugural boat race to support AIDS research, raising over $800 for the Peterborough Aids Resource Network.
Thirteen Board initiatives have been identified to support and move forward the Board’s overarching operating objectives in the areas of strategic direction, competitive positioning, financial strength and self sufficiency, and high quality governance.
Board Work Plan
The Board received a work plan outlining a schedule of upcoming regular Board business, new initiatives and objectives for September, 2003 to June, 2004.
Objectives for the President were approved. The objectives were first tabled at the June, 2003 Board meeting after which individual members of the Board provided input. The objectives focus on strategies for excellence at Trent, increased financial strength and self sufficiency, fostering positive relations with faculty, staff, students and alumni, enhancing the University’s competitive position, protecting academic freedom and institutional autonomy while remaining accountable, and Presidential participation in provincial and national efforts to promote Trent and post secondary education.
Ontario Disabilities Act
President Patterson outlined the attributes of the Action Plan developed in response to the province’s Ontario Disabilities Act. The plan, which is due to the government by September 30, details how the University will review their policies, practices, programs and services through the development of annual accessibility plans. Trent’s committee has met throughout the 2002-03 academic year and has developed a five-year plan for addressing accessibility at Trent.
Fundraising Council Report
The Fundraising Council report highlighted that $760,530 has been raised to date in cash or pledges. These funds represent 21 per cent of the goal for the ‘Building Capacity’ campaign which will support building projects, the Canada Foundation for Innovation and Ontario Graduate Scholarships.
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