On Campus

Unresolved autonomy issues at Memorial & Grenfell

From The Western Star:

Not only will the search for a new head administrator of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College have to wait, but so will the search for a permanent president of Memorial University itself, until outstanding issues of autonomy regarding both entities are resolved.

Grenfell College, Memorial’s Corner Brook campus, is being positioned to become a full-fledged university of its own, though its increased autonomy will still have close affiliation with Memorial.

Grenfell’s university status is dependent on the provincial government amending the Memorial University Act, legislative changes which are expected to take place during the fall sitting of the House of Assembly . . .

A similar situation faces the parent institution in light of the perceived political interference by the provincial government in the ongoing search for a permanent replacement for former president Axel Meisen. When Education Minister Joan Burke interviewed potential candidates for the job earlier this year and government subsequently told the Board of Regents to restart the process and find a new slate of candidates, it drew criticism from within the university community and from across the country.

The university’s Senate recently passed a motion requesting the Board of Regents to strike an ad hoc committee to look at potential changes to the Memorial University Act that would enhance and protect the university’s autonomy as a whole. The Board has since responded with a notice of motion that the presidential search committee be dissolved and a new one not be struck until the issue of autonomy has been clarified.

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