Dr. Cathy Bruce appointed as the University’s second female president
Board of Governors Appoints Dr. Cathy Bruce Ninth President & Vice-Chancellor
Dr. Bruce brings over 30 years of experience in teaching, research, and administration to the role
The Board of Governors of Trent University today announced the appointment of renowned academic, educator, and administrator, Dr. Catherine (Cathy) Bruce as the University’s ninth President and Vice-Chancellor, following a comprehensive nationwide search. Dr. Bruce will assume the role July 1, 2024.
The chair of the Board of Governors, and head of the Presidential Search Committee, Debra Cooper Burger, expressed her confidence in Dr. Bruce’s appointment: “We sought a leader who profoundly understands the unique qualities of Trent University. Dr. Bruce embodies this spirit, bringing an impressive track record of excellence here at Trent and beyond. She is indeed the right person to build upon Trent’s successes and propel the University into an exciting new chapter. Her appointment as only the second woman appointed to a full-term to lead the University as president signifies our ongoing commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, while her dedication to academic excellence and robust governance aligns perfectly with Trent’s ambitious vision.”
Dr. Bruce's impressive 35-year career in education includes over 20 years in higher education. Her dedication to excellence in teaching, research, and leadership at Trent has been evident since she joined the institution in 2003. Dr. Bruce has significantly contributed to the University’s growth, serving as a professor, director of graduate programs, founder of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, dean of Trent’s School of Education, and, most recently, as vice-president of Research and Innovation.
During her tenure as vice-president, Dr. Bruce has demonstrated remarkable leadership overseeing all research activity at Trent, spearheading the development of new strategic research priorities for the University, establishing the Early Career Researcher Awards, and creating a Trent-specific Research Grant Incentive Program. She has worked with faculty to grow Trent’s international research collaborations, most recently positioning Trent as the number one undergraduate university in Canada for growth in international partnerships, as part of a special spotlight in 2023 Research Infosource rankings.
“Trent University is an extraordinary place of learning that is deeply committed to student success in a vibrant learning community. I am honoured to serve as Trent’s ninth president, ushering the University forward into our next period of strategic growth and sustainability,” said Dr. Bruce. “This is a pivotal moment for Trent as we undertake some major projects including the development of the Seniors’ Village, new colleges and residences, the Trent Research Farm, and continued expansion of the Durham campus in Oshawa. There are also some significant challenges on the horizon, but Trent has grit and a highly capable community of staff, faculty, Board members, and students. I look forward to the exciting developments on the horizon and to navigating challenges through engagement and creativity.”
As an accomplished professor, Dr. Bruce has received numerous accolades, including the Ontario Confederation of University Faculty Associations Teaching Award. With a focus on teacher and student efficacy, Dr. Bruce’s career has focused on exploring productive pathways to learning complex concepts and ideas, particularly in mathematics. Her most recent research has examined the role of spatial reasoning in mathematics learning, for which she has been nationally and internationally recognized. Dr. Bruce has co-authored multiple books and has a solid peer-reviewed publication record. Her lab (the Trent Math Education Research Collaborative), hosts a federally funded research program that enables collaboration with educators and administrators from both Public and Catholic school districts across Ontario, all with the support of the lab research team.
Dr. Bruce’s leadership and service extends from the local community as a member of the board of Peterborough’s regional Innovation Cluster, to the provincial community as a member of the Executive of the Ontario Council on University Research, and nationally as a past president of the Association of Canadian Deans of Education. On the broader stage, Dr. Bruce is a member of the International Program Committee for the International Commission on Mathematical Instruction for Advances in Geometry (ICMI 26). Dr. Bruce holds a Ph.D. and M.A. from the University of Toronto, as well as a B.A. and B.Ed. from York University.
"I am extremely pleased with the selection of Dr. Bruce as Trent’s next president,” said current president and vice-chancellor Dr. Leo Groarke, whose second term concludes on June 30. “Having worked closely with Cathy, I've witnessed firsthand her leadership and commitment to the University. Her blend of academic insight and administrative acumen positions Trent well for the future. I am happy to pass the Presidency on to someone with the passion and innovation that have been the hallmark of her work since she arrived at Trent."
The search for Trent’s ninth president and vice-chancellor commenced in fall 2023. The Presidential Search Committee included board members, faculty, staff, students, and alumni representatives.