The Board of Governors of Trent University met on Friday, June 16, 2017 at the Symons Campus in Peterborough for their last regular meeting of the 2016/17 academic year.
During his remarks, President Groarke thanked outgoing Board chair Rod Taylor for his leadership and dedication. During Mr. Taylor’s term the board approved a five-year new strategic plan for the University, and advanced planning for the Trent Lands, especially with regards to the new Research and Innovation Park.
In addition to receiving annual reports highlighting the year’s accomplishments, the Board approved several key items.
Trent Lands Committee
The Board approved the establishment of the Trent Lands Committee, a committee of the Board, to advance the Trent Lands Master Plan and meet the Board’s strategic goal to “accelerate development of Trent’s endowment lands.” The work of the current Endowment Lands Committee will transition to the new Trent Lands Committee to lead thoughtful development of the endowment lands to generate revenue, create learning and employment opportunities for students, forge academic and research partnerships, and contribute positively to the region. In preparation for the formation of this committee, in the fall the Board will undertake community consultation to update the Trent Lands Master Plan.
Trent Lands Revenue
The Board also approved policy revisions that recognize the unique nature of revenues derived from implementation of the Trent Lands Plan, and create a framework for the investment and utilization of the revenues. The policy commits at least 50% of net proceeds generated by Trent Lands to an endowed fund for strategic projects deemed to have long-term benefit to the University.
“One of the specific goals for developing Trent lands is to create a revenue stream to invest in strategic University priorities,” said Steven Pillar, vice-president Finance and Administration. “These revenues will help contribute to the long term sustainability of the University.”
Trent Research and Innovation Park Master Plan
As developments continue on the University’s east bank, the Board approved the Trent Research and Innovation Park Master Plan and received an informational update on priority items related to the Trent Research and Innovation Park project. The Master Plan informs the 85-acre land development partnership between the City of Peterborough and Trent University and comprises six key design principles:
1. Campus integration; 2. Fostering of innovation community culture; 3. Sustainable design; 4. Landscape-led design strategy; 5. Flexibility to accommodate a range of enterprises and uses; and 6. City and region connection.
The Board heard the results of the Natural Heritage Evaluation and Species at Risk Screening Assessment. Indigenous Land Consultation is a continuing priority in the process, with Trent’s Indigenous Studies leadership and administration facilitated through the First Peoples House of Learning. The input of Indigenous communities will continue to help shape the research park as it develops.
“Approval of the Master Plan is a key step in the timeline to realize the potential of the Trent Research and Innovation Park,” said Dr. Neil Emery, vice-president Research and Innovation at Trent. “This is an exceptional opportunity for both the University and the City to capitalize on local innovation and attract green tech companies in ways that will shine a light on Trent and the Greater Peterborough Area.”
Information on the park, associated studies, and the Master Plan itself are available at trentu.ca/trentlandsplan.
Heritage Stewardship Policy
Recognizing the institution’s responsibility to the award-winning architectural and heritage assets on campus, the Board also approved its first Heritage Stewardship Policy. The policy will provide direction on the identification and maintenance of significant University structures, spaces and cultural resources. The policy also provides guidance on how to maintain the integrity of important heritage elements while meeting changing academic and administrative requirements of the University.
“This is an important policy that acknowledges the need for the University to change and grow, while respecting the intrinsic value and continuity that traditional spaces, buildings and cultural items offer to the University experience,” said Julie Davis, vice-president, External Relations and Advancement at Trent University. “There are many people over the years, including students, who have worked hard to draw attention to the special buildings, spaces and furniture at Trent. This policy supports their work to ensure future generations can enjoy the beautiful natural and built features of the campus.”
Two new governors were appointed to the Board commencing July 1, 2017. Gwyneth James was appointed as an external at-large member of the Board of Governors for a three-year term. Sara Pieper was appointed for a one-year term as an internal governor in the seat designated for staff.
Ms. James has been a senior partner at Cody & James Charter Professional Accountants since early 2009. Prior to this she was controller and manager of Business Development at Nexicom for 11 years. Ms. James holds a Bachelor of Science and Microbiology from the University of British Columbia and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Ottawa. She received her Certified General Accountants designation in 1997. Ms. James has a wealth of volunteer experience in the Peterborough community. She currently serves on the Peterborough Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors in addition to being the 2016 United Way Campaign chair.
Ms. Sara Pieper previously served on the Board of Governors until 2015 as student appointee. Currently a lab demonstrator in the Department of Biology, she is also a Ph.D. candidate working on the genetic consequences of, and mechanisms behind, hybridization in cattails. The recipient of many prestigious scholarships, Ms. Pieper has also been a logistics and volunteer coordinator for the Peterborough Regional Science Fair.