Trent Press Release


FRIDAY, MARCH 28, 2003



DNA Cluster Update

President Bonnie Patterson and Professor Bradley White provided the Board with an update on the status of the DNA Cluster.

The President elaborated on the partnerships that have been established through the GPAEDC, the activities in progress related to the project, the search for an Executive Director to provide leadership for the DNA Cluster, the development of a governance structure, provincial and federal funding support, plans for a new R&D centre and the infrastructure proposal to the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Innovation Trust.

Professor White reviewed the nature of the Profiling and Forensic Centre’s partnership with the Ministry of Natural Resources, attributes of the Cluster model, the functioning of the Wildlife Forensics DNA Lab, Trent’s current and planned DNA academic programs, the Trent University DNA camp, Trent’s research initiatives since 2001, applications of technology, private sector partners, data management systems, robotic automation and forensics, and business opportunities.

Research Report

Professor Chris Metcalfe, Dean of Research and Graduate Studies, informed the Board about the positive research stories at Trent University for the 2001-02 year. He commended faculty for their role in doubling the University’s research funding in the last four years. The University has been successful in increasing the value of research grants from major funding councils and has successfully cultivated new partnerships with other public and private sector organizations. In the area of specialized funds, it was noted that Trent now has five Canada Research Chairs and is preparing a nomination to create three additional research chairs. The Office of Research and Graduate Studies is currently managing 11 different Canada Foundation for Innovation and Ontario Innovation Trust projects.

President’s Remarks

The President highlighted the success of this week’s inaugural Don Tapscott-Ana Lopes Business and Society Lecture. The lecture brought Trent business administration students together with business leaders to hear keynote speaker Don Tapscott share themes from his upcoming book The Naked Corporation: How the Age of Openness Will Revolutionize Business.

President Patterson updated the Board on administration’s response to the conflict in Iraq and the support and communication services that are being provided to international students studying at Trent and Trent exchange students studying abroad. Highlights from the recent provincial budget announcement were reviewed including the province’s commitment to provide multiyear funding to the university sector. Double cohort plans were explained including investments in administrative services to receive a larger student population. It was noted that the Council of Ontario Universities has completed its grade analysis that confirmed that there is little difference in the averages and the distribution of grades for graduates of the old and new secondary school curriculum. Meri Kim Oliver, Senior Director of Student Affairs, briefed the Board about new strategies to support a younger cohort of students and to address the issue of students’ use of alcohol. She reviewed the both the insurance implications and educational programs being developed to support students and their parents.

Honorary Membership

Approved, special resolution 111.7 establishing a policy framework for Honorary Board Memberships. The policy outlines the nomination process, criteria, eligibility and the term of the appointment.

Studying Student Space Update

The Board was advised that an administrative committee is being formed and will report back by November, 2003 on the issues cited by students regarding the need for student space.

University Budget Parameters

The Acting Vice President of Administration outlined the parameters for the 2003/04 – 2005/06 fiscal years. Some of the assumptions reflected in the parameters include:

  • a goal for a balanced budget in 2003-2004
  • no inflation adjustments on base provincial grants for the next three years
  • 2 per cent increases in tuition for undergraduate, international and graduate programs
  • total full time and part time undergraduate heads enrollment for all years projected to increase from 5,681 to 6,352 in 2003-2004, 7,014 in 2004-2005, 7,539 in 2005-2006 (increases of 12 per cent, 10 per cent and 7 per cent respectively)
  • salary expense increases projected as per the collective agreements
  • supplies expense projected to increase 3 per cent (electricity, water, gas)
  • double cohort related expense commitments forecasted at $5 million in 2003-2004, $8 million in 2004-2005, and $9.2 million in 05-06
  • a commitment to hire 26 net new Peterborough tenure track faculty plus 178 teaching stipends

In addition, the Board was advised that the University was successful in obtaining more government funding in 2002-03 than originally projected. It was stressed that these funds have been redirected to information technology upgrades and preparations for the double cohort, and that a balanced budget is still being projected for this current fiscal year.

Build 2000 Update

The Director of Physical Resources highlighted for the board the progress of the Build 2000 projects. He reported that the Science building schedule is on target and remains within the budget parameters. The Integrated College/First Peoples House of Learning project has entered the final stages of reviewing purchase orders to be issued to suppliers. The College construction schedule is on track with a revised schedule and budget.

Advanced planning for entry into the leased Argyle Street residence continues. The preplanning will allow for completion of the minimal fit up work required before September (e.g. changing locks, installing a parking machine, rebuilding one washroom, fire detection, limited room conversions, and installation of a ramp for disabled access and a stair lift). The Physical Resources department will host an open house on April 3 to showcase the Build 2000 projects. A copy of the latest Build 2000 update flyer was circulated to the Board.

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For more information contact:
Don Cumming, Senior Director, Public Affairs, (705) 748-1011, ext. 1224

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