Revitalizing the Colleges at Trent University

New structure celebrates University’s roots as collegiate institution

Published Monday, July 23, 2018


Trent University has announced a plan to revitalize the colleges as a model central to the institution’s origins, identity and core mission.

The new structure follows a Board review of the colleges. It aims to enhance the academic identity and autonomy of the five colleges by appointing academics to the role of college principal. Each will be supported by an academic advisor, academic skills instructor and college assistant. The new principals are: Michael Eamon (Traill College), Christine Freeman-Roth (Lady Eaton College), Melanie Buddle (Gzowski College), Tina Fridgen (Champlain College), and Stephanie Muehlethaler (Otonabee College).
The new structure reflects an ongoing evolution of the college system which was last revisited and changes implemented to strengthen student support in 2014. Led by Rosalind Morrow, a past member of the University’s Board of Governors, the Colleges Review Committee met with a broad range of stakeholders and solicited feedback through email and a survey which received close to 700 responses. 

“Today’s announcement reflects Trent’s commitment to its collegiate roots,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University. “By reinvigorating the colleges, and by giving them more autonomy, we will make Trent stronger – and enrich the experiences of our students and faculty. I’d like to thank Rosalind Morrow and the Colleges Review Committee for their excellent work – and the team who has been working so hard to make the colleges successful.”

“I’m pleased to see the new structure that has been implemented as a result of the Colleges Review and believe that these will increase the relevance and impact of the colleges at Trent University,” said Ms. Morrow. “It was clear throughout the process that students benefit from being part of a smaller community within the larger university and that the individual character of each college community contributes to student success and to the uniqueness of the Trent experience. The changes will enhance this experience for the university community and the colleges’ sustainability over the long-term.”

The 201718 Colleges Review Committee was tasked with a mandate to review the administrative changes to the colleges implemented in 2014 to see if they achieved their intended goals, and to make recommendations on how further progress toward these goals might be achieved.

In enhancing the academic value of the colleges as well as their alumni and community connections, the new structure will see college principals reporting to the provost and VP academic on all academically-related matters and to the president on matters relating to external relations. The latter will include building endowments to continue to support students and the events that take place at their colleges. Principals will continue to evolve unique identities for their colleges to further define them as distinctive communities of scholars across the University.