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Board of Governors Approves Directional Framework for New Centre of Knowledge in Humanity and Culture


Board receives update on Facilities Renewal Plan

From the Board of Governors’ Meeting – Friday, June 20, 2008, Peterborough

Centre of Knowledge in Humanity and Culture

The Board approved a directional framework only to establish a new Centre of Knowledge in Humanity and Culture. The framework will be the subject of additional consultations with faculty in the fall 2008.

The proposed Centre of Knowledge in Humanity and Culture will be one of four to five Centres to be defined between 2008 and 2014 when the University celebrates its 50th anniversary.

The Humanity and Culture Centre will showcase faculty and alumni talent in the areas affiliated with the Centre including Indigenous Studies, History, English and Canadian Studies. Many of the Centres will include provisions for endowed chairs and professorships that are thematic and multidisciplinary in nature.

Dianne Lister, Vice President, External Relations and Advancement, noted that, “Each Centre will be virtual in nature and serve as philanthropic platform to promote Trent’s academic reputation for teaching and research excellence, and showcase Trent’s growing graduate programs.” The first Centre of Knowledge focusing on the Environment will be launched in the fall of 2008.

Facilities Renewal Strategy – Update

Don O’Leary, Vice President, Administration provided a brief update to the Board on a number of projects related to the University’s Facilities Renewal Strategy, which received Board approval in June, 2007. Renovations which are underway to support the repurposing of Traill College as a primarily graduate studies college are targeted for completion by September, 2008.

Provincial government funding of $9.8-million was secured in February to construct a new Health Sciences facility to accommodate Trent’s Nursing, Psychology and Anthropology programs. This module ‘C’ addition to the DNA Building complex will include science wet labs and limited space for other potential partnerships. Detailed design for the Health Sciences facility will continue through the summer with construction targeted to begin in late October, 2008.

Phase one of the Athletics facility renewal includes renovations of existing space and the addition of new space. The project will proceed to full design and tender in the fall with construction targeted to begin by November-December, 2008. Phase two of the Athletics expansion will include a future addition of a Student Commons facility when funding becomes available.

Future facility projects include the relocation of Physical Resources in Blackburn Hall to the east bank, freeing up space for student services, the repatriation of space on the ground floor of the Bata Library for library use, and the remodelling of space in Otonabee College once departments are relocated to the new Health Sciences facility.

Received - President’s Objectives

The Board received the President’s Objectives for 2008-09 which includes:

  • strategies for excellence, including making Trent an international and national destination of choice
  • increasing financial strength and self-sufficiency using conventional and innovative strategies
  • foster positive relations within the internal environment of the university
  • externally enhance the university’s competitive position, inter-institutional relations and active participation in Peterborough region, new linkages to enhance quality
  • protects academic freedom and institutional autonomy while remaining accountable
  • presidential participation in provincial and national efforts to protect, promote and further Trent University and postsecondary education

Received - Annual Report on Research (2007-08)

The annual report on research is divided into several sections reporting on overall external research funding, external research funding associated with personnel, external funding associated with research infrastructure, overall research activities at Trent examining them through different performance metrics and new strategic research priorities for the university. Dr. Jim Parker, Associate Vice President, Research noted that Trent is in the top one third of Canadian universities for its research performance. Over the past five years, external research funding has almost doubled to $17,500,000. The report demonstrates that Trent faculty publish their work at a rate that is higher than any other comparator university and is second in the average number of research funding dollars per faculty member. Trent has also had the most number of international and national Google “hits” connected to university research per current full-time faculty member.

The report highlighted Trent’s six strategic research clusters focusing on:

  • Biology and Forensic Science
  • Canadian and Indigenous Studies
  • Cultural Studies and the Humanities
  • Education, Health and Sustainability
  • Environmental Science, Materials Science and Quantitative Modelling
  • Understanding Peoples, Communities and Institutions

Received – Report from the Office of Human Rights & Conflict Resolution

The Office of Human Rights and Conflict Resolution submitted their annual report from May 1, 2007-April 30, 2008 to the Board of Governors. The report outlines the mandate of the office to support a healthy and inclusive environment where the dignity and worth of all members of the University community are respected. The office has focused on communication and outreach about the supports and services the office provides.

Received – Confirmation of Compliance with Privacy Legislation

The annual confirmation that the University is not in any material breach of any privacy protection legislation that applies to Ontario universities was received.

Accepted – Annual Occupational Health and Safety Report

The Occupational Health and Safety office addressed the goals identified in the 2006-07 annual report to increase enforcement of the Access Control Policy, present a health and safety orientation session to Faculty Board and adopt a new Fire Safety Policy.

The 2008-09 priorities include the completion of Fire Safety Plans and fire warden training, revisions to the Asbestos Management Plan, and promoting awareness of roles and responsibilities within the responsibility framework of the Health and Safety Policy.

Received – Annual Human Resources Subcommittee Report

The annual report of the Human Resources Subcommittee was received, profiling hires by employee group, a summary of academic staffing hiring, and a summary of sabbatical reports and merit awards.

Undergraduate Program Reviews

A review of the Department of Ancient History and Classics started in 2006-07 was completed this year. The next undergraduate program reviews that have been underway since 2007-08 are Environmental Sciences, Forensics and Biology. Programs in Women’s Studies, Sociology and Psychology will be under review in 2008-09.

Returning Board Member

At his request, current board member Larry Popofsky was reappointed to the board for a one year term.

Retiring Board of Governors

Trent University paid tribute to retiring Governors Peter Brieger (Board Member 2002-08), Deborah Kennett (Board Member 2004-08), Colin Whitfield (Board Member 2006-08), Reid Morden (Board Member 1999-2008, Board Chair 2002-2008). Trent University is sincerely grateful for their leadership and dedication over the past few years.


For more information contact:

Brittany Cadence, Communications Officer, (705) 748-1011, ext. 6185