Trent University’s Board Appoints Dr. Leo Groarke as Trent’s Eighth President and Vice-Chancellor


From a special meeting of the Trent University Board of Governors

Friday, February 21, 2014, Peterborough, Ontario


The chair of the Board of Governors of Trent University, Ms. Anne Wright, today announced on behalf of the Board of Governors the appointment of Dr. Leo Groarke as the University’s eighth president and vice-chancellor. Dr. Groarke will begin his tenure in July 2014.

The appointment was confirmed at a special meeting of the Board of Governors today, where Dr. Groarke’s nomination was unanimously endorsed by the Board.

“Dr. Groarke is an excellent choice for Trent, bringing extensive leadership experience across all aspects of university administration and an impressive record of scholarly accomplishments,” said Ms. Wright.

Dr. Groarke has extensive executive experience acquired at two major post-secondary institutions: Wilfrid Laurier University and University of Windsor. He currently serves as vice president, academic and provost at University of Windsor, a 16,000 student comprehensive university. Dr. Groarke has valuable experience in virtually all aspects of university operations, including government and community relations, fundraising and residence operations. At Laurier, he spearheaded the development of a new and highly successful downtown campus in Brantford, Ontario, as documented in his book Reinventing Brantford, A University Comes Downtown.

“I'm excited to be assuming this role at an outstanding university which is widely known for innovative thinking, for the quality of its teaching and research, and for its commitment to the Peterborough and Oshawa/Durham communities,” said Dr. Groarke. “Trent’s size and structure has allowed it to make a unique commitment to individual student experience. I am flattered to assume the presidency at the onset of Trent's 50th anniversary, which will be a time to celebrate what Trent has accomplished. I want to thank President Steven Franklin for all the work he has done to prepare the way for this key milestone."

Mr. Bryan Davies, who assumes the role as the chair of the Board of Governors effective July 1, 2014, led the Presidential Search Committee. “As the University prepares to celebrate its 50th anniversary, we are truly delighted to announce the appointment of Dr. Groarke,” he said. “The Committee was impressed by his demonstrated success in a variety of key areas of university administration and a deep commitment to student success. His understanding of government and community relations will serve Trent University well at a pivotal time for the institution and the sector as a whole.”

Dr. Groarke has led wide-ranging organizational transformation. At Brantford, he oversaw growth in student enrolment from an original cohort of 40 students to over 2,000. At Windsor, he oversaw a Strategic Priority Fund designed to promote new program development and innovative strategic initiatives; the restructuring of recruitment and domestic and international admissions to promote enrolment growth; and many initiatives in teaching and learning including an Office of Open Learning; Teaching Leadership Chairs; a Provost's Committee on Teaching and Learning; a new partnership between Windsor's Centre for Teaching and Learning and Faculty of Education; and a major international forum on the future of university teaching. In 2014, the Organization of Part-time University Students at the University of Windsor awarded Dr. Groarke the "OPUS Friend of Students Award." A more comprehensive listing of Dr. Groarke’s accomplishments is attached and his resume is available at www.trentu.ca/president2014

“I was delighted to learn of Dr. Groarke’s appointment,” said Dr. Steven E. Franklin, who assumed the role as Trent’s seventh president in 2009. “His combination of administrative and scholarly achievements in the University sector provide a balanced perspective essential to the role of president and vice-chancellor. It is clear that his skills and experience will set the stage for Trent’s success in its 50th year and beyond.”

The presidential search commenced following an in-depth end of term review of the current presidency and a separate consultative process undertaken by the Board of Governors in the early spring of 2013, followed by the development of the Presidential Mandate for 2014-19. The Presidential Search Committee included board members, faculty, staff, undergraduate and graduate students and alumni representatives. Details are available at www.trentu.ca/presidentialsearch/. Mr. Davies thanked the search committee, which was assisted by the search firm Amrop Knightsbridge, for their significant commitment to the process and the time involved in conducting the search.