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Trent Appoints New University Secretary/Secretary to the Board


From the Board of Governors Meeting – Friday, December 12, 2008

Trent University is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Lon Knox as the new University Secretary/Secretary to the Board effective January 5, 2009.

Mr. Knox assumes this new position from Ms. Nancy Simmons Smith, who is retiring at the end of December 2008. She served in the position for 21 years and led the University in creating the first official Secretariat and developing strong, professional governance practices.

Mr. Knox assumes the role at Trent with considerable experience and expertise in administrative law, governance matters and an understanding of natural justice.

He is currently the Senior Solicitor with the City of Oshawa and recently completed a successful secondment as the Director of Legislative Services with the City. In this role, Mr. Knox was principally responsible for managing the secretariat functions for City Council and its various committees. As part of this statutory role, he advised the City Clerk and Council on matters related to governance, and procedural regularity and legality. Mr. Knox also represents the City of Oshawa on Freedom of Information complaints, mediations and appeals. Most recently, he participated in special City projects related to accountability, transparency and ethics. Prior to working for the City of Oshawa, Mr. Knox was the Town Solicitor for Aurora.

Mr. Knox is a member of the Canadian Bar Association; Ontario Bar Association; Canadian Corporate Counsel Association; Municipal Law Departments Association of Ontario; Prosecutors’ Association of Ontario; Durham Region Law Association; and, Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks and Treasurers of Ontario.

The University Secretary is responsible for managing and coordinating the activities of the University’s governing bodies (the Board of Governors, the Senate and their respective committees) and the staff of the Secretariat.

The University Secretariat provides the governing bodies with administrative services, research and analysis, and counsel. The office manages the senior academic appeals process, is the University’s agent for administering freedom of information requests under FIPPA and provides institutional guidance with respect to privacy protection and related policy. The Secretariat is a resource for members of the University community, providing information on Senate and Board of Governors decisions, policies, procedures, precedents and records. A new focus on corporate records management will be introduced in 2009. The Secretary of the Board of Governors serves as the chief of staff to the Board and is responsible for preparing Governors to meet their fiduciary duties and governance responsibilities, and to function efficiently and effectively. We welcome Lon to this community.

At the Board of Governors meeting, President Patterson paid tribute to Nancy Simmons Smith for her years of service to the Board and the University. “It is difficult for any organization to replace the corporate knowledge, experience and skills Nancy embodies. Trent owes her a debt of gratitude for her enormous contributions over these years” said President Patterson.

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For more information contact:

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