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Posted: Monday, November 3, 2003




Dr. Larry E. Seeley appointed honorary board member

It was a morning of new faces and new places for Trent's Board of Governors as they met with some of the University's 29 new tenure track faculty members over breakfast and toured Peter Gzowski College at Argyle Street. The board meeting followed, at Trent's newest college.

President’s Remarks

President Bonnie Patterson advised the board that Mr. Reid Morden, Chair of the Board of Governors, recently received an honorary degree from his alma mater Dalhousie University. The degree was presented in recognition of Mr. Morden’s contributions to Canada, higher education and his engagement on a variety of international issues.

The president highlighted the results from the recent Globe and Mail report that ranked Trent University number one for quality of education. In her comments, she noted that although concerns about the report’s methodology remain, the public recognition for Trent University was useful, as were the students’ comments that are central to the report’s findings. She noted that the student opinions contained in the ranking are valuable and add to the data that Trent collects from its own student satisfaction surveys.

Commenting on the usefulness of surveys, the president added that a report released yesterday by Research Infosource Inc. ranked Trent second for growth in research income in the last year. Trent’s research income grew by 69.3 per cent, moving Trent’s position among the 50 top Canadian universities from 33rd to 32nd.

Provincial funding from the Quality Assurance Fund has been received. The funding is dedicated to addressing issues of quality on campuses. The Chemical Sciences Building remains on track for substantial completion by mid November. The Peter Gzowski College construction timeline is on track for a spring completion, allowing for the opening of conferencing operations beginning in May. It was noted that the new conference facility is fully booked for the summer. A temporary wet lab portable is being installed in the parking lot at Otonabee College to ensure the delivery of course content for chemistry courses. Federal I.C.O.R. funding (Indirect Costs of Research) has been received but the total remains to be announced by the federal government. The president indicated that the amount of I.C.O.R. funding that Trent will receive will exceed last year’s amount and that continued research performance at the University holds the promise of additional I.C.O.R. funds in the future.

President Patterson commended colleges and the faculty for their efforts to bring various speakers to the campus to meet with students and faculty. It was noted that Trent received confirmation of three additional Canada Research Chairs who will be joining the Trent faculty – Dr. James Conolly (Archaelogical Studies), Marrie Mumford (Aboriginal Arts and Literature) and Dr. Davide Panagia (Cultural Studies). The Chairs Program will provide each Tier 2 researcher with $100,000 in research funding. In addition, the new researchers will bring to Trent a total of $212,537 in infrastructure support funding from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI).

Student organizers of the Trent Model United Nations program were commended by the president for their efforts. The event drew 80 student participants from high schools and featured a keynote address by author and political analyst Dr. Marwan Bishara. The president also recognized faculty and staff organizers of the United Way campaign. The campaign goal of $52,000 has already been exceeded, with a total of $55,425.35 having been raised to date. Special praise was given to campaign co-chairs Prof. Eric Helleiner and Julie Crook of Physical Resources, and Trent’s United Way coordinator Brenda Blackburn of the University Secretariat.

Honorary Board Membership - Recommendation

The Board approved the appointment of Dr. Larry E. Seeley, President and CEO of Lakefield Research Limited, and a former long serving member of the Board, to the position of honorary board member. Dr. Seeley’s term as an honorary board member will extend from November 1, 2003 to October 31, 2013.

Fundraising Council

Susan Mackle, Vice-President (Advancement) advised the Board that the Fundraising Council had raised $840,000, an increase from the $760,000 reported at the last Advancement Committee meeting. The Board was reassured that extensive preparations continue to be made to support donor calls, resulting in positive responses. Special praise was given to Board member Ana Lopes for her leadership on the Peter Gzowski College Campaign.

Strategic Plan Overview

Susan Clark, Vice-President (Academic) provided board members with an overview of the process for developing the draft Strategic Directions document and the method for seeking input from the Trent community. She noted how the draft builds on last year’s "Building on Success" paper and was developed in the context of other studies completed at the University in the last five to seven years.

The draft plan outlines: the external circumstances for universities in Ontario; Trent’s mission and objectives; a vision for Trent; academic strategies for attaining a preferred future; suggestions for strengthening the University’s national reputation; recruitment and retention strategies; strategies to strengthen the reputation of graduate programs; Trent’s presence on the Lakeshore; a plan to maintain Trent’s prominence as a research institution; connections to the community; priorities and resource implications; administrative alignment; academic administration; colleges; and administrative services.

In November an updated draft will be presented to the Senate and at a retreat for the Board of Governors.

Human Rights Annual Report

The annual report from the Human Rights Office was received by the board.

Next Board Meeting
Friday, December 19, 2003

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

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Last Updated December 10, 2003