I am gratified to see that my article on the review of Traill College has already generated a great deal of conversation. I welcome the differences of opinion I have heard – they are a good sign of a healthy discussion. I will let others drive the conversation but in the wake of some misunderstandings I have heard, I would like to clarify a few aspects of the review.
I have initiated a conversation about Traill and what needs to be done to make it a dynamic, viable and sustainable part of Trent’s future. My article was an invitation to take part in that conversation. I want everyone in the Trent community to have an opportunity to participate.
One of the famous maxims of Confucius is the dictum that good government is calling things by their right names. With this in mind I want to emphasize that the Tindale review isn’t a “committee” set up to make decisions about Traill. It is no more – and no less – than an attempt to have someone knowledgeable look at different aspects of Traill and the way it operates.
Inside and outside of academe, it is common practice have external people who have no stake in the outcome of a decision review complex issues. Last year, we had an external reviewer look (very successfully) at Trent’s Recruitment and Marketing operations. Every academic program at Trent is regularly reviewed by external reviewers who provide feedback on its strengths and weaknesses.
In the case of Traill, I am confident that Professor Tindale is well situated to comment and shed light on the questions we need to discuss.
A few people have asked me why they should participate in the review. Of course, no one is compelled to. That is a personal decision. I have provided an opportunity that individuals can pursue or not.
I will say that one good reason to participate in the review is because one cares about Traill.
The best way to make it succeed is by honestly and openly addressing the issues and opportunities that lie before it.
This will include some difficult questions the Trent community needs to ask, answer, and argue about. I remain hopeful that doing so will be the first step in making Traill College be the best that it can be.
President of Trent University