Provost election: Voters get first look at campaign promises in candidates’ manifestos

Equality, research and climate change are recurring themes as candidates for Trinity’s next provost launch their campaigns

Staff and students have gained a first look this afternoon at the issues candidates for Trinity’s next provost are putting on their agenda.

Candidates for provost have launched their digital manifestos and websites today following the confirmation of nominees.

Professors Linda Doyle, Linda Hogan and Jane Ohlmeyer have successfully been confirmed as candidates in the race, establishing Trinity’s first ever election for provost with a ballot comprised solely of women.

The candidates have taken different approaches to outlining their priorities for the role, but consistent themes can be seen across all three manifestos.

A number of topics, including equality, research, and climate change, have been raised by candidates.

Professor Doyle’s manifesto outlines a commitment to “rebalance power structures and bring clarity to decision-making”.

“We have witnessed an increased concentration of power at the centre and a growth of more corporate managerial approaches driven in part by the homogenising of the university system at a global level,” Doyle says.

Her manifesto says that academics are currently “heavy with administration”, but that teaching and research must become the top priority for College.

Among her campaign promises are to “re-energise democracy” in Trinity, support student learning, promote equality, and create a “climate-first Trinity”.

Professor Linda Hogan has identified her priorities as strengthening education by investing in schools, providing supports for research, and placing Trinity in the top 50 universities.

Hogan says she wants to create a culture of respect, empowerment and trust in Trinity.

“This decade is make or break for climate change, and I am committed to making Trinity carbon neutral as a priority,” Hogan says.

“As I’ve listened to colleagues and students across the university, you’ve identified many challenges, support for research, lack of promotion, student welfare and the need for greater inclusivity. I’ve heard these concerns and I share them.”

Professor Ohlmeyer says she would know she had carried out the job of provost well if Trinity is a “serious player on the world stage” in a decade from now.

She says that, as provost, she would recognise the “significant challenges” that College faces internally and externally.

“This is a time for change. With your vote, I will bring new ideas grounded in broad experience, new energy, empathetic leadership, as well as a return to putting people first and trusting and valuing our Trinity community. Together, we will unlock Trinity’s full potential,” Ohlmeyer says.

“My commitment to you as Provost is that our shared history, collective understandings, and diverse and rich expertise will be nurtured and facilitated under my stewardship to impact society, to inspire the brightest minds and to support excellent research.”

In outlining their strengths, all three candidates have emphasised their experience in leadership roles in College and their record of publications and research.

Professor Linda Doyle was until recently Trinity’s Dean of Research, a role that she held since January of 2018. She is Professor of Engineering & the Arts, Computer Science and served as an elected member of the Board from 2001 to 2005.

Professor Linda Hogan is a former Vice Provost of Trinity. She is the Chair of the Board of the Marino Institute of Education and was the Director of the Irish School of Ecumenics.

Professor Jane Ohlmeyer is the current chair of the Irish Research Council, a role she has held since 2015. She was president of the Irish Historical Society from 2003 to 2005, and College’s vice-provost for global relations from 2011 to 2014.

Each of the candidates required nominations from twelve members of the electorate to appear on ballot.

Doyle has secured the backing of former Dean of Graduate Studies Neville Cox and Professor Carol O’Sullivan, Head of the School of Computer Science and Statistics and a former Dean of Graduate Studies, while Hogan was nominated by Trinity Hall warden Roja Fazaeli and Dean of Trinity Business School Andrew Burke.

Ohlmeyer’s nominees include Labour senator Invana Bacik and biochemist Dr Luke O’Neill.

The term of office for the current provost, Patrick Prendergast, expires at the end of this academic year on 31 July 2021.

The electorate is made up of full-time academic staff who have been in post for at least 12 months on the date of the election. Certain part-time members of academic staff are also eligible to be members of the electorate along with some student representatives. 

The election will take place on Saturday, 10 April 2021. 

The name of the elected candidate will then go to Board for approval and the new Provost will take up office on 1 August 2021. 

The provost is College’s chief officer and is responsible for academic, administrative, financial and personnel affairs.

They chair several governing bodies within Trinity, including Board, University Council, and the Finance Committee.

Lauren Boland

Lauren Boland was the Editor of the 67th volume of Trinity News. She is an English Literature and Sociology graduate and previously served as Deputy Editor, News Editor and Assistant News Editor.

Finn Purdy

Finn Purdy is the current Deputy Editor of Trinity News. He is a Junior Sophister English Studies student, and a former News Editor and Assistant News Editor.