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Trent University Affirms Its Commitment to Teaching Excellence with 25 New Faculty Appointments


Transformative gift creates Distinguished Visiting Teaching Scholar Endowment

Friday, May 12, 2017

Trent University today announced 25 new faculty positions, which include a major investment in teaching excellence via 21 new teaching-intensive positions and a transformational $1.25 million donation to establish the Distinguished Visiting Teaching Scholar Endowment.

25 New Faculty Positions

With burgeoning enrollment for the third year in a row, the Trent University Board of Governors has approved a balanced budget which will include 25 new faculty positions. Twenty-one of these positions will be new teaching-intensive positions. The positions will be distributed across a number of departments in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, education and nursing, as well as Trent’s Durham – GTA campus in Oshawa. These positions will be focused on teaching and research on teaching that ensures that Trent is at the forefront of pedagogical research that can improve university education. The new appointments will also include four tenure-track positions. In addition, the University is extending limited-term positions from nine to 12 months.

"It is exciting to be part of an institution that is bucking the trend and investing in the renewal of the permanent faculty complement and working toward making every academic job a good job,” said Dr. Jocelyn S. Williams, Associate Professor, Anthropology and President of the Trent University Faculty Association. “An investment in permanent faculty and improving the working conditions of our contract employees is an investment in the academic mission of the institution and in our students."

“The University has taken a number of measures to ensure a balanced budget. Now and in the future, it plans to create new faculty positions as the budget allows. This year we are focusing on initiatives that will promote teaching and learning at Trent,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “Today’s announcement underscores Trent’s commitment to undergraduate teaching at a time when our interactive approach to student learning is in high demand among students from across the country and around the world.”

To further emphasize Trent’s commitment to teaching, the University is making investments in its Centre for Teaching and Learning (CTL) and Trent Online. These investments include the appointment of an associate dean of teaching and learning who will oversee the Centre for Teaching and Learning and Trent Online. Together the new initiatives highlight Trent’s commitment to teaching that prepares students for their future success.

“A dedication to teaching has always been a hallmark of Trent and its faculty,” said Dr. Jackie Muldoon, provost and vice-president academic at Trent University. “This is a very significant investment which will reinvigorate our long-standing emphasis on teaching and learning that is personal and purposeful.”

$1.25 Million Donation Creates Distinguished Visiting Teaching Scholar Endowment

In a further enhancement to its renowned teaching focus, the University also announced a generous donation of $1.25 million to create the Distinguished Visiting Teaching Scholar Endowment. Through the philanthropic gift from a Trent alumnus, the Trent Centre for Teaching and Learning will annually host a visiting teaching scholar. The visiting scholar will bridge research and practice; infuse new ideas and energy to teaching across the University; support the design and development of research on pedagogy and practice; enhance professional learning opportunities available across disciplines; and inspire teaching excellence.

This announcement is part of Trent University’s $50 Million Campaign: Unleash the Potential. It builds on two significant gifts to the Centre for Teaching and Learning last year. The Deborah Berrill Teaching Excellence by Design Studio and the addition of four new Trent Teaching Fellowships.

The Deborah Berrill Teaching Excellence by Design Studio will be a state-of-the-art studio in the transformed Bata Library that will offer professional development for all teachers (faculty, TAs, instructors and trainers). It will be a place to engage in professional learning that improves teaching and studies best pedagogical practices. The Studio will enable teachers to focus on improved course design and delivery as well as student assessment through professional development opportunities, creative collaborations and knowledge mobilization strategies.

The four new Trent Teaching Fellowships come with a one-time grant of $6,000 over a three-year period to support faculty focused on teaching scholarship, curriculum leadership and teaching innovation through implementing a specific teaching and learning initiative.

“The teaching-intensive visiting scholar endowment will allow teaching fellows to research, develop pedagogy, and share new models and practices,” said Dr. Cathy Bruce, dean of Education and director of the Centre for Teaching and Learning. “Together with initiatives like the development of the Deborah Berrill Teaching Excellence by Design Studio in the soon-to-be-transformed Bata Library, this endowment will keep Trent on the forefront of new innovations in teaching.”

In case you missed the announcement, you can still watch the live stream video!

About Trent University

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham – Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.


Kate Weersink, media relations & strategic communications officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6180 or

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