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Trent University's New Academic Plan Outlines Action Steps to 2015

Signature programs a highlight of new Academic Plan

(Oshawa) At today’s Board of Governors meeting held at Trent University’s Thornton Road Campus in Oshawa, approval was given to a new Academic Plan titled, “Radical Recovery: An Academic Plan for Trent University (2012-15).”

“Trent University’s new Academic Plan is distinct from other strategic plans in that it is focused on concrete action plans versus listing high level goals that are only aspirational in nature,” said Dr. Gary Boire, Provost and Vice-President Academic. 

The plan was previously approved in February, 2012 by Senate and endorsed by Faculty Board and the Academic Planning and Budget Committee.

“The new Academic Plan is the culmination of an intensive consultation process across Trent’s two campuses in Peterborough and Oshawa that included meetings with academic departments, students, faculty, staff and alumni.  The plan identifies strategic action steps going forward and signature programs that will resonate with prospective students, builds on the University’s strengths and reflects Trent’s distinct educational experience.”

The four signature programs showcased in the plan include:

  • Sustainability and Environment
  • Canadian Studies and Indigenous Studies
  • Life and Health Sciences
  • Critical Cultural Inquiry

Each of these program areas builds on Trent’s traditional teaching and research expertise.  “Trent has a long standing tradition of valuing a traditional liberal arts and science model supported by a vibrant college system,” says Dr. Boire.  “On the other hand, Trent is a thoroughly contemporary, research-focused institution with cutting edge researchers in the sciences, humanities, social sciences, education, and nursing.  The new Academic Plan embraces both of these perspectives and differentiates the value of an undergraduate and graduate education at Trent University.”

The Academic Plan is premised on five principles and 10 overarching goals with each supported by detailed action steps and timelines.  Overarching strategies include:

  • Remaining a liberal arts and science university with access to small classes compared to national standards
  • Developing a research focus at the undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Eliminating unsustainable undergraduate and graduate programming activities in order to adjust to resource limitations
  • Differentiating the Trent experience through interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity, intra-disciplinarity
  • Adopting robust policies and practices of enhanced inclusivity and diversity, focused on a student-centered interactive pedagogy
  • Creating new undergraduate programs (primarily in Health Sciences and the Environment)
  • Marketing that celebrates interactive pedagogy, the college experience, research activity, and the mentorship and preparation of students for fulfilling professions and intellectual lives characterized by engaged citizenship and a strong sense of social justice
  • Introducing more on-line course delivery
  • Marketing of new signature programs
  • Valuing equally the roles of teaching, research and community service
  • Building Trent’s reputation to become one of the top 100 employers

Additional strategies focus on creating a more academically challenging environment, increasing the entering grade averages, creating a Trent ideas centre, strengthening the existing decanal structure, achieving more financial stability, and making the organization more nimble and capable of taking advantage of emerging opportunities.

To read the Academic Plan, visit:

Posted on Friday, March 30, 2012.

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