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Trent University's Catharine Parr Traill College Set to Evolve as Vibrant Collegial Community

Creation of undergraduate residence rooms at Trent's downtown college to accommodate increased enrolment numbers

In response to growing undergraduate enrolment, and following recommendations made in the much-anticipated Traill College Review, released today, Trent University’s Catharine Parr Traill College will become home to new residence rooms for first-year students and will enjoy a renewed focus on the traditions of the college system for which Trent is known. This evolution of Traill will ensure Trent’s downtown college remains a sustainable and vital part of the Trent University community for years to come.

The review of Traill College, which was completed by Dr. Christopher Tindale, former senior tutor at Traill College and current faculty member of the University of Windsor, was undertaken with input from members of the Trent and Peterborough communities from January to June 2015, and was shared with Trent University’s Board of Governors on Friday, June 24, 2016. 

“The history of Trent’s downtown colleges has many twists and turns. I think this exercise has provided all stakeholders with a wonderful opportunity to discuss and debate some controversial issues in a frank but collegial way,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “Professor Tindale’s review can be a guidepost as we reinvigorate Traill College in a way that allows it to make a unique contribution to Trent, and to the students and faculty that make it their community.”

In the review, Professor Tindale wrote: “It is apparent that what continues to attract students to Trent University are the ways the University differentiates itself from other institutions in the system. Traill College has the potential to complement that differentiation in exciting and attractive ways.” Commenting on the findings of the review, he said: "Returning residences to Traill is a good step forward, and is in keeping with the recommendations in the Traill report. Not only will this add an important future revenue stream to the college, but I believe it is an essential step in returning a full sense of college life to Traill."

Concurrent with the release of the review, the University announced the appointment of Dr. Michael Eamon, current principal of Traill College, as principal for a transitional three year term. Under Trent’s provost and vice-president Academic Dr. Jackie Muldoon, Professor Eamon will work with Dr. Muldoon, Dr. Nona Robinson, Trent’s associate vice-president Students, and engaging members of the Trent and Peterborough communities as appropriate, to review recommendations of the review, and determine which to implement fully, with revisions, or not at all.

Following recommendations from the review, and to support the increase of incoming students for fall 2016 – an influx not seen since the double cohort, the University also announced that undergraduate residence spaces would be reintroduced at Traill College. To accommodate the creation of an initial phase of new residence rooms in time for September, graduate student offices on the third floor of Wallis Hall at Traill College will be converted over the summer. With the reintroduction of undergraduate students to Traill, the College will remain a centre for graduate education and students eligible for offices will be accommodated elsewhere on the Traill campus.

Speaking of the broader impact of Traill College on the community, Julie Davis, vice-president of External Relations and Advancement at Trent, said: “The reinvigoration of Traill College is an exciting development, not only for the Trent community, but for the broader Peterborough community as well. Trent is a significant contributor to the economic and social health of our community, and to arts, culture and heritage in particular. Traill College can be a catalyst for bringing Trent and the community together in many ways.” Just last week. Trent released its annual community impact report noting that the University contributes almost $500 million of economic impact. With an increase in student numbers and revitalization of Traill College, this impact will continue to grow.

» The full Traill College review by Prof. Tindale

Posted on Tuesday, June 28, 2016.

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