Trent University president Leo Groarke stepping down in June 2024

After the end of his second term as the university's president and vice-chancellor, Dr. Groarke will continue as a professor

Trent University president and vice-chancellor Dr. Leo Groarke in his office in Bata Library in Peterborough. (Photo courtesy of Trent University)
Trent University president and vice-chancellor Dr. Leo Groarke in his office in Bata Library in Peterborough. (Photo courtesy of Trent University)

Dr. Leo Groarke has announced he will conclude his tenure as president and vice-chancellor of Trent University at the end of June 2024, but he will continue researching and teaching at Trent as a professor.

“President Groarke, through careful, critical, and compassionate leadership, has helped Trent University flourish as an academic institution, here in our local communities in Peterborough and Durham GTA, as well as globally,” says Debra Cooper Burger, chair of Trent University’s board of governors, in a media release. “We are confident in the future of Trent, due in large part to President Groarke’s work ensuring a strong and healthy position for our university.”

Dr. Groarke was installed as the university’s eighth president and vice-chancellor of Trent University in 2014 and was reappointed for a second term in 2019.

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Under Groarke’s leadership, Trent University has seen year-over-year undergraduate and graduate enrolment growth.

Among many other achievements, he spearheaded the launch of four schools of study at Trent, including the study of Canada, environment, business, and Indigenous studies. More than 20 undergraduate and 13 new graduate programs have also launched during his tenure, including conservation biology, social work, data science, logistics and supply chain management, the medical professional stream, and child and youth studies, as well as Master of instrumental chemical analysis, Master of nursing, Master of management, and Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Social Research.

“I have been very fortunate to work with a strong executive team, supportive boards of governors, and positive labour and student unions,” Dr. Groarke says. “Together it has allowed Trent to evolve in ways that are good for our students, our researchers, and our communities. I am inspired when I see the hustle and bustle on our two expanding campuses, note the growth of the reputation of our faculty, staff, students, and alumni, and witness the breadth of our community engagements. There is always more that can be accomplished and I hope to contribute more in the year to come, and then as a professor when I pass the torch on to a new president on June 30, 2024.”

Prior to joining Trent University, Dr. Groarke served as vice-president, academic, and provost at University of Windsor, and as principal and vice-president of the Brantford Campus of Wilfrid Laurier University. He holds a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of Western Ontario, studied at the University of Helsinki and Simon Fraser University, and received his B.A. Honours and M.A. in philosophy from the University of Calgary.

Celebrations to honour Groarke at the end of his term in June 2024 will be planned and announced at a later date, and the university’s board of governors will share details on the search for Trent’s ninth president and vice-chancellor as they are developed.