Text Only Page



Endowed Chairs and Professorships Policy Signals New Era in Faculty Recruitment and Philanthropy at Trent


From the Board of Governors’ Meeting – February 1, 2008

Friday, February 1, 2008, Peterborough

A new policy approved by Trent University’s Board of Governors to regulate the creation of Endowed chairs and Endowed Professorships will strategically position the University to recruit and retain high quality faculty as the institution approaches its 50th anniversary in 2014.

The “Endowed Chairs and Professorships” policy governs the establishment, designation and disestablishment of endowed chairs and endowed professorships.

Dianne Lister, Vice-President, External Relations and Advancement, indicated that the policy framework signals a new era in faculty recruitment and philanthropy. “The Endowed Chairs and Professorships policy focuses on securing new community investments in our faculty, the University’s most important intellectual asset,” said Ms. Lister. “With the first ever policy framework now in place to guide the creation of Endowed Chairs and Professorships, the University can now leverage our faculty recruitment and retention plans through significant philanthropic gifts made in perpetuity.”

An endowed chair is a prestigious position created through funds which are capitalized and which generate an annual expendable income stream. The minimum level required to establish an endowed chair is $2-million.

An endowed professorship is a position created through funds which are capitalized, and which generate an income stream in perpetuity. The minimum level required to establish an endowed professorship is $1-million.

On Wednesday, October 3, 2007 the Trent University community proudly celebrated its commitment to the humanities and critical thinking with the announcement of the Kenneth Mark Drain Chair in Ethics, the first Endowed Chair in the University’s history and the largest gift given to Trent by living donors, valued at $2 million. The generous $2 million gift was given to the University by members of the Patterson and Drain families as a tribute to the life of Kenneth Mark Drain.

Deferred Maintenance Update for the Board

Don O’Leary, Vice-President (Administration) updated the Board on the state of deferred maintenance issue, highlighting that the government announced $2.2-million in funding for Trent University on January 29 as part of an overall funding of $200-million for the university and college sectors.

Mr. O’Leary welcomed this investment from Minister Milloy and noted that Trent University continues to grapple with a significant deferred maintenance liability for academic facilities now exceeding $17.2-million. At the provincial level, the total deferred maintenance liability for all universities is $1.7-billion and growing.

The provincial investment will be used by the University to address a number of projects:

  • Removal of PCB transformers
  • Roofing projects for the Alumni House, Bata Library, and the Science Building
  • Refurbishing of four Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) units in the Bata Library and conversion to a digitally controlled HVAC system
  • Window replacements in Champlain College
  • Various health and safety projects

Mr. O’Leary commented on the recent Auditor General’s report examining how three other Ontario universities manage their facilities.

Contrasting the Trent performance with findings contained in the report, he noted that Trent’s facility management practices meet or exceed standards of performance in a number of benchmark areas: the creation and maintenance of a facilities database; integration of cost accounting practices into the management function; RFP processes and use of qualified contractors who sign off on completed projects; reliance on cleaning standards and the overall performance of cleaning staff; accountable purchasing procedures; use of qualified and trained security staff; creation of a new Office of Risk Management; and a classroom utilization rate of 72 per cent versus an average of 58 per cent.

Conflict of Interest

The Board of Governors approved a new Conflict of Interest policy to provide a framework about conflicts in decision making. The purpose of the policy is to provide a consistent response when conflicts of interest are identified.

Policy highlights note:

  • “Employees (including student employees) acting on behalf of Trent University or carrying out their University duties and responsibilities, and students serving on University committees or bodies, are obliged to place the interests of the University ahead of their personal interests.
  • No employee or student shall engage in activities which create for him or her a conflict of interest as defined below.
  • Employees shall disclose to their immediate supervisors (or to AVP Research in the case of conflicts involving research) all conflicts of interest or potential conflicts of interest when these arise.
  • Students shall disclose conflicts of interest to their committee chair when they arise.
  • Failure to comply with this policy constitutes misconduct and will result in appropriate disciplinary action.”

As defined in the policy, “Conflict of Interest occurs when there is an actual, perceived or potential discrepancy between a) an individual’s private interest or benefit and b) his or her obligations to the University or the University’s interests. One test of conflict of interest is “could an impartial observer reasonably question whether a person’s actions or decisions were influenced by consideration of his or her private interest or benefit?”

The policy also notes that Employees and students who are also members of the Board of Governors are also subject to the Board’s conflict of interest policies with respect to their Board responsibilities. To access a copy of the complete policy click on the following link.

Conduct of Student Elections – Special Resolution

The Board authorized the University Secretariat to conduct elections for seats on the Board and the Presidential Search Committee. Advances in the University’s WebCT technology will now allow the elections to be administered electronically by the Secretariat.

- 30 -

For more information contact:

Elizabeth Kowacz, Planning and Administrative Assistant (705) 748-1011, ext. 6180