Provost search committee is representative of community

Re: “Provost search committee composition questioned (campus, issue 7, October 29)

Dear Arthur,

I was glad to see you devoting some attention to the Provost Search last week, but a little disappointed that my own view of the committee was not conveyed well.

I think it best that I don’t make a habit of responding to comments, but the appointment of the Provost is a key initiative and I would, in this particular case, underscore the careful considerations behind the process.

I am surprised to find the search committee being criticized as being in some way non-representative in a situation in which I have expanded it by adding three members to ensure that there is more, not less, representation from the Trent community.

It is understandable that students are particularly interested in the students on the committee, but it is faculty, not students, who are the key players when it comes to the hiring of a Provost.

If one had to boil the Provost’s job down to a few words, it could best be said that they are the person who supervises Trent’s faculty. Of course this means that they deal with student issues, but their first job is working with professors, chairs and deans.

I would add that faculty are our academic experts, are typically with us for 25 or more years, and have an especially deep knowledge of universities and academic matters. These are good reasons why they should play the lead role guiding me in a decision on who should be appointed Provost.

In terms of the individuals on the search committee, I think your commentary misses the key point, which is that the members of the committee are there because they have been elected by their peers. Picking people who fit one’s preconceived notion of what representatives should look like is not the way to achieve real representation. Allowing people to elect their representatives is preferable.

More deeply, I would say that the idea that someone can’t understand or appreciate the interests of others who are not exactly like them is undemocratic and unworkable (it would mean that a fourth-year student cannot represent a first-year student; that someone who lives in residence can’t represent someone who doesn’t; that only alumni can represent alumni; that gay people cannot represent people who are not gay, and so on and so forth).

My own view is that we have a strong search committee for the new Provost, and that it is very well equipped to attract a strong person to the role.

We have a good start on the search process, and I would expect us to have hired a search consultant and have an advertisement by the end of this term. I am very much looking forward to working with the committee.

Best Regards,

Leo Groarke,
President, Trent University

Trent Radio is back in business for another season

We are in another year of Trent Radio, all the radio shows are doing well. We are happy to have James Kerr, Jeff Stewart, John Muir, and Jill Staveley back at the helm again.

We would all like to say that we are back at Trent Radio and we are loving it. We have our operators doing such a good job again and we don’t know what we would do without them.

We have lots of great music again this year. As Rogers and Hammerstein said: “The Hills are alive with the sound of music” and all you have to do is turn your dial to 92.7 FM and you can here the sound of Trent Radio’s music. We would be glad to have you listen to us.

Sincerely,

Jefferey Stewart,
Trent Radio Historian