At its May meeting, Trent University’s Board of Governors approved a number of initiatives, notably a balanced budget for 2017/18 and the elimination of the institution’s cumulative deficit.
Balanced Budget and Elimination of the Cumulative Deficit
The Board received the financial update, approving a balanced budget based on new student enrollment that surpassed projections for an intake of 607 full-time equivalents more than the previous year. This increase, combined with fiscally-responsible management over the past several years, allowed the institution to eliminate the cumulative deficit, which was once as high as $10 million for the University.
“Sound financial management has been a cornerstone philosophy of the Board and senior administration over the past several years,” said Steven Pillar, vice-president, Finance and Administration. “Together with two years of enrollment growth, this rigorous approach has set the University on more sound financial footing, allowing us to pay off the cumulated deficit and support efforts to reinvest in areas core to our mission, such as teaching.”
The balanced budget was pivotal in allowing the University to announce an investment in 25 new faculty positions following the meeting.
Awarding of Contract for Bata Transformation Project
At the meeting, the Board authorized the president to enter into a contract with Bondfield Construction Co. Ltd. for the Bata Research and Innovation Cluster (BRIC). The BRIC proposal was among several projects announced by the federal government as part of the Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Initiative Fund (SIF). The contract is key to launching an $18 million transformation of Trent’s iconic Bata Library to become the library of the future integrating book and print collections with modern and expanding digital resources, collaborative spaces, research centres labs and studios. Design elements will emphasize environmental sustainability while honouring the heritage architectural legacy of the Ron Thom’s original vision.
Athletics Highlights and Successes
The Board’s May meeting was held at the Trent Athletics Centre, due to the renovations currently underway at Bata Library. In light of this, the Board received a special presentation on a number of successes and news initiatives at Trent Athletics. Director of Athletics Deborah Bright-Brundle shared highlights from an outstanding 2016/2017 varsity season where the women’s lacrosse team won the OUA Gold Medal championship; the Men’s Lacrosse Team won silver at the Baggataway Cup; the Trent Excalibur rowing team achieved outstanding medal placements at the Canadian University Rowing Championships; and the men’s rugby team, and men’s and women’s volleyball teams joined the OUA league. The Board also learned of a number of recent initiatives including a strong list of new programs for students, members and guests, as well as a new Kinesiology Lab at the Athletics Centre providing students with hands-on learning experience.