Doug Kirk and Saad Rafi Appointed as Vice-Chairs of Trent University’s Board of Governors
May 12, 2022
Board receives updates on new residence, Anti-Racism Task Force and Indigenous Community Relations at May meeting
The Trent University Board of Governors held its fifth regular meeting of the academic year on Friday, May 6, 2022 with the following highlights.
In her opening remarks, Board chair Debra Cooper Burger highlighted University news including extending congratulations on behalf of the Board to vice-president of Finance and Administration, Tariq Al-Idrissi, who was recently appointed for a five-year term
Board of Governors Appointments & Reappointments
Trent University’s Board of Governors approved the appointment of vice chairs – Doug Kirk and Saad Rafi – each beginning a one-year term effective July 1, 2022.
Governor Doug Kirk joined the Board July 1, 2020 and will conclude his first term on the Board as of June 30, 2023. Governor Kirk currently serves as chair of the Finance & Property Committee and has demonstrated strong leadership regarding finance, property, and development. He has been a strong advocate for the Durham GTA Campus including being a member of the Trent University Durham GTA Advisory Council, co-chairing the Trent Durham Building Campaign, and being a member of the Trent’s Philanthropic Advisory Council.
Governor Saad Rafi joined the Board in July 2017 and will conclude his second term on the Board as of June 30, 2023. Governor Rafi currently chairs the Executive Committee and held the role of vice-chair of the Board for the 2021-22 term. Governor Rafi brings to the Board table a strong record of leadership, including provincial government leadership roles in infrastructure, long term care and pension.
Additionally, Trent’s Board of Governors approved the appointment of Dr. Hasmet Uluorta, and the re-appointment of Chris Nelan, to the Board (in the seats designated for faculty and staff, respectively), each for a two-year term commencing July 1, 2022.
As the coordinator of Student Life at Trent University Durham GTA, Chris Nelan has been re-appointed to the Board of Governors, through to June 30, 2024. As a staff member who has been at the University for more than 10 years, he plays an integral role in supporting student success by collaborating with faculty and student services to assess needs and develop targeted programming.
Professor Hasmet Uluorta, chair of the Political Studies Department at Trent University, will serve his first term on the Board through to June 30, 2024. Prof. Uluorta first joined Trent in 2012, as a cross-appointed faculty member (Political Studies and International Development Studies). He serves on numerous departmental and University committees and is an active faculty member at Senate.
The following external candidates for the Board, Yancy Craig, Kristi Honey, Michael Lavallée, and Jennifer McGarrity were appointed to the seats designated for members of the external community, for a three-year term, effective July 1, 2022.
Yancy Craig (’95) has a degree in History and Sociology from Trent University and brings 20 years of public administration and policy experience in the government and not-for-profit sectors. Prior to joining Indspire as vice president Indigenous and Government Relations, he was a senior advisor at the Assembly of First Nations, having previously been director of Strategic Development at the National Association of Friendship Centres. Prior to 2014, Mr. Craig had a career in the federal government in a variety of policy and program administration roles in various federal government departments including Environment Canada, and Aboriginal and Northern Development Canada.
Kristi Honey is the chief administrative officer for the Township of Uxbridge. Ms. Honey has over 20 years’ executive leadership in both the private and public sector, and currently serves as chair of the Board of Durham College. A graduate of Durham College, recognized as an alumnus of distinction, Ms. Honey was recognized for her efforts by Women of Influence in their Global Series as one of Canada’s leading women driving equality, diversity, and inclusion nationally and internationally.
Michael Lavallée joined Seasons Retirement Communities in 2009 as the chief operating officer where he launched the Seasons operating platform and brand. Promoted to CEO in 2018, Mr. Lavallée has continued to strengthen the Seasons brand and integrate new assets into the platform. A noted expert and accomplished speaker on the Canadian Seniors Housing sector, Mr. Lavallée has successfully advocated for resident qualify of life and care. He holds the ICD.D designation and, until recently, was the Board chair of the Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA).
Jennifer McGarrity (’88), an alumna of Trent’s Philosophy program is the vice-president of Strategy & Enablement for RBC Insurance. As a seasoned professional with more than 28 years in the financial services industry, most of those with RBC, she joined RBC Insurance in 2009 after several years in progressively senior roles within RBC’s Business Financial Services and Operations areas. Ms. McGarrity believes strongly in continuous learning and the importance of active mentorship. She is currently pursuing an MBA through Dalhousie University and is passionate about supporting the advancement of women in sport.
New Residence Building
Governors received an update on the new residence building to be built on the East Bank of the University’s Symons Campus in Peterborough. In consultation with the campus community, Housing Services has developed a strategy to continue to create new student residence spaces on campus in order to meet demand, while enhancing the student experience. The Board also received an update from administration which included a brief history of the housing demand, due diligence completed and an update on the University’s procurement process. The University’s request for pre-qualifications for this project is currently active with a closing date of May 19.
Anti-Racism Task Force Report
Provost and VP Academic, Dr. Michael Khan provided the Board of Governors an update on the University’s Anti-Racism Task Force’s Final Report entitled: A Path Forward. The Task Committee engaged with stakeholders and subject matter experts and consulted widely across the University community to formulate a comprehensive list of recommendations (with specific actions) related to the following areas: 1) budget and planning; 2) representation and hiring; 3) training and professional development; 4) community engagement and partnerships; and 5) support for the Trent community.
Alumni Engagement Report
The Board of Governors received an annual report on alumni engagement. Presented by Lee Hays, director of Alumni Engagement and Services, the report, prepared in partnership with the Alumni Association, included an overview of results from the recent survey of alumni. The response pointed to an higher than average community of engaged alumni. The report also emphasized the priority areas for Trent alumni engagement, pointing to the continuation of smart investments in strategic communications, data integrity, expanded campus partnerships, and the vital role of meaningful programming and initiatives.
Indigenous Community Relations
The Board also received the annual report on Indigenous Community Relations, presented by Julie Davis, vice-president of External Relations & Development. Guided by the four principles of recognition, respect, sharing, and responsibility, the following actions from the past year were highlighted: 1) the unveiling of a highly-visible ‘treaty rock’ and ‘treaty wall’ installations on both campuses; 2) incorporating Indigenous Traditional Knowledge (ITK) in the stewardship of Trent campus lands; 3) sharing presentations on how Trent and Curve Lake First Nation built a ‘gold standard relationship’ through the creation of the Trent Lands and Nature Areas Plan; and 4) Continuing to meet regularly with Michi Saagiig Lands and Resource Consultation Liaisons and the Elders Council.
Dr. Leo Groarke, president and vice-chancellor of Trent University, drew attention to the Eagle Feather that is present at each Board of Governors meeting – a symbol of Trent’s long-standing relationship between Trent and Curve Lake – that was gifted by a former Chief of Curve Lake First Nation to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of Trent.
About Trent University
One of Canada’s top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that’s personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent’s unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent’s students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent’s Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham Greater Toronto Area, delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.
For more information contact:
Cara Walsh, Communications & Media Relations Officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6240 or [email protected]