Memorial University’s loss is UNB’s gain

Campbell accepts UNB presidency a year after rejection by Newfoundland gov’t

Memorial University’s acting president has been recommended to take on the presidency at the University of New Brunswick, a year after the Newfoundland and Labrador government rejected him for Memorial’s top job.

In a message posted Tuesday on Memorial’s website, Eddy Campbell said the University of New Brunswick’s presidential search committee is unanimously supporting his candidacy for the position.

“While my belief in the strength and potential of Memorial University and our students, staff, and faculty remains as strong as ever, I am excited by this new opportunity and eager to explore it further,” Campbell wrote.

“I will be travelling to New Brunswick next week to meet with a wide variety of people within the UNB community as well as the external community. Both parties will be in a position to make a final decision following that visit.”

New Brunswick’s endorsement comes almost a year after the Newfoundland and Labrador government rejected Campbell’s application for Memorial’s presidency.

Faculty members at Memorial accused the government of violating the school’s autonomy – an allegation the provincial government denied.

Education Minister Joan Burke has not elaborated on why she rejected Campbell, except to say she did not want to “settle for anyone.”

Under provincial law, the cabinet has the authority to approve or reject an independent search committee’s selection for Memorial’s president, though approval has long been considered a formality.

In many other provinces, universities do not need the approval of their provincial governments to select incoming presidents.

Memorial has asked the government to amend that law, but Premier Danny Williams has rebuffed calls to change it.

– The Canadian Press