Maclean’s Rankings of Canadian Universities came out yesterday and Trent’s administration was quick to share: “Trent University Ontario’s #1 Undergraduate University 12 Years Running”. Now we might quibble and say that Trent actually slipped a spot down to fourth overall in Canada, but we don’t begrudge the celebration. After all, Trent’s accomplishments are largely a reflection of TUFA members’ commitment to the students we teach and the knowledge we pursue.
What does jump out from the report, however, is the extent to which TUFA members do all these things with a metaphorical hand tied behind their backs. Our reputation may rank second, but our student/faculty ratio comes in dead last, a fact that will not come as a surprise to many members. In preparation for the current bargaining round, we heard you loud and clear. TUFA members want academic renewal and workload relief. To add some context for newer members, fifteen years ago we had more than 330 members, fewer than 8,000 students, and Trent ran a $3,000,000 surplus. Last year, there were fewer than 300 members, more than 12,000 students, and the University’s surplus rang in at almost $11,000,000.
Please enjoy a safe and happy Thanksgiving and be assured that your Bargaining Team is VERY KEEN to engage the Employer on precisely these issues when negotiations begin in a few short weeks. It is imperative that we address the University’s deficiencies now if we want to continue celebrating Trent’s successes in the future.
Moira and Marcus
Dr. Moira Howes
Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy
President, Trent University Faculty Association
Dr. Marcus Harvey
Executive Director, Trent University Faculty Association