Dr. Annette Trimbee addressed many topics during her State of the University address on October 26th, 2023. The President of MacEwan University spoke very proudly of not only the progress made by the university as a whole, but also of all the professors and sessionals teaching at MacEwan.
Dr. Trimbee spoke about MacEwan’s goals regarding the growth of the student body. With 12,500 students enrolled as full-time students last year, Dr. Trimbee explained that MacEwan is well on its way to achieving its goals for full-time student enrolment in the next few years.
“We are experiencing incredible growth in our student body, some of the highest increases in our history, and we’re not done yet. We are on track to achieve our goal of 14,000 by 2025 and 20,000 by 2030,” she said.
The construction of the new School of Business building will also help in achieving this goal. The building, which is set to be completed by 2027, was also at the forefront of Dr. Trimbee’s address: “It will allow us to grow to accommodate the school’s business students in that building., but it also frees up space all over campus…. we really need the School of Business building to achieve our vision of teaching greatness. It will allow us to grow and allow us to stay in motion and to grow to 30,000 students or 20,000 full load equivalents by 2030.”
The addition of the School of Business building will provide additional classrooms and offices for the university, thereby creating more spaces to accommodate both students and faculty. There are, however, concerns that with the university’s tremendous growth at the current moment that it lacks spaces for research and other activities.
As Dr. Cameron MacDonell explains, “…it’s an important issue for teaching and also research. We’re right downtown and finding space downtown is a challenge. I spoke to Dr. Trimbee after about it and she certainly acknowledges it’s something that we need to work on. She mentioned some things like expanding to the north and finding spaces, maybe, that are already ready to help us with faculty offices, classrooms and all sorts of things.”
The addition of more classroom spaces for teaching will go a long way towards MacEwan’s desire for teaching greatness.
“Students are at the heart of teaching greatness,” Dr. Trimbee explained. “For students to excel, they need to be inspired by great teachers, and excelling is about being as great as you can be. Our students go on and do wonderful things and they do that because they are inspired by the teachers here. So we need to keep that as we grow.”
With so many new projects going on at MacEwan, Dr. Trimbee is excited to watch as MacEwan continues to grow.
“I’m really excited that we are finding our own way, our own place, and putting students front and centre and remembering who we are,” she said.
Dr. Trimbee also explained that the role of MacEwan in the community is important, especially with the university situated in the downtown core.
“Universities serve the public good. We do that by teaching, by doing research and scholarly work, by serving the community. And here our research and scholarly work is aligned with our teaching. It’s not, do we teach or do we do our research, they all go together, serving the community all goes together. So I like that we’re focused on being a premier undergraduate university.”
As MacEwan continues to grow, there will be challenges, but along that road Dr. Trimbee hopes that the university will continue to remain unique, carving out its own space in the province’s academic landscape.
“We’re not chasing somebody else’s dream. We’re chasing our own dream,” she said.