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Dr. Cathy Bruce Appointed as President & Vice-Chancellor of Trent University

Dr. Bruce brings over 30 years of experience in teaching, research, and administration to the role

The Board of Governors of Trent University has announced the appointment of renowned academic, educator, and administrator, Dr. Catherine (Cathy) Bruce as the University’s ninth President and Vice-Chancellor. Dr. Bruce will assume the role on July 1, 2024.

Dr. Bruce’s 35-year career in education includes over 20 years in higher education. Her dedication to excellence in teaching, research, and leadership at Trent has been evident since she joined the institution in 2003. Dr. Bruce has significantly contributed to the University’s growth, serving as a professor, director of graduate programs, founder of the Centre for Teaching and Learning, dean of Trent’s School of Education, and, most recently, as vice-president of Research and Innovation.

In her role as VP of Research and Innovation, Dr. Bruce served as a key member of the Management Committee of the Cleantech Commons research park, helping to steer the park through its formative stages.

Dr. Cathy Bruce (centre) at the AURP 2022 International Research Park Conference in Toronto with Martin Yuill, executive director, Cleantech Commons.

Our Trent-affiliated Cleantech Commons is all about new green economy innovations, net-zero entrepreneurial collaboration, and putting in place a support network designed to ignite imagination and ingenuity – in Peterborough and beyond.

The park is designed to serve as a launchpad for exciting new technologies that address pressing environmental and climate challenges.

Our vision at Cleantech Commons is to become a key economic driver that helps reshape our entire region by attracting and retaining top research and entrepreneurial talent, generating new job opportunities, and becoming a hub that spearheads the commercialization of critical clean, green, and low-carbon products and services through an interconnected community of tenants, industry, Trent University researchers, and key partners.

It is well-recognized that university research parks such as Cleantech Commons are vital engines for regional economic growth and development.

Our friends at the Association of University Research Parks (AURP) point out that 76% of research parks report having a significant impact on strengthening industry clusters in their particular regions.

Phase 1 municipal servicing at Cleantech Commons – with Trent University’s DNA Building in the background

At the end of 2023, we celebrated the completion of municipal servicing at Cleantech Commons.

Our 85-acre park in Peterborough, Ontario now offers shovel-ready sites for immediate development.

If you are interested in opportunities at Cleantech Commons, please click here to learn more:



The chair of the Trent University Board of Governors, and head of the Presidential Search Committee, Debra Cooper Burger, said of Dr. Bruce’s appointment: “We sought a leader who profoundly understands the unique qualities of Trent University. Dr. Bruce embodies this spirit, bringing an impressive track record of excellence here at Trent and beyond. She is indeed the right person to build upon Trent’s successes and propel the University into an exciting new chapter. Her appointment as only the second woman to lead the University as president signifies our ongoing commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion, while her dedication to academic excellence and robust governance aligns perfectly with Trent’s ambitious vision.”

Dr. Bruce (front right) with Cleantech Commons executive director, Martin Yuill (front centre), hosting an Ontario Centre of Innovation and Ontario Vehicle Innovation Network delegation at Trent University

During her tenure as vice-president, Dr. Bruce has demonstrated remarkable leadership overseeing all research activity at Trent, spearheading the development of new strategic research priorities for the University, establishing the Early Career Researcher Awards, and creating a Trent-specific Research Grant Incentive Program.

She has worked with faculty to grow Trent’s international research collaborations, most recently positioning Trent as the number one undergraduate university in Canada for growth in international partnerships, as part of a special spotlight in 2023 Research Infosource rankings.

“Trent University is an extraordinary place of learning that is deeply committed to student success in a vibrant learning community. I am honoured to serve as Trent’s ninth president, ushering the University forward into our next period of strategic growth and sustainability,” said Dr. Bruce.

“This is a pivotal moment for Trent as we undertake some major projects including the development of the Seniors’ Village, new colleges and residences, the Trent Research Farm, and continued expansion of the Durham campus in Oshawa.

“There are also some significant challenges on the horizon, but Trent has grit and a highly capable community of staff, faculty, Board members, and students. I look forward to the exciting developments on the horizon and to navigating challenges through engagement and creativity.”

For detailed information, photos and video content on Dr. Cathy Bruce’s achievements and publications, visit