President's Report 2006 | Home

President's Message

Dr. Axel Meisen

Since its establishment, Memorial University of Newfoundland has been true to its founding principles of innovation, exploration and the provision of a stimulating, world-class academic environment that nurtures the intellect and ambitions of our students, faculty and staff. While Memorial University has a unique relationship with Newfoundland and Labrador, our work is equally important to the wider world.

It is this commitment to both home and abroad and a tradition of innovation that has put Memorial University at the forefront of higher education.

During 2005-2006, Memorial continued to develop its national and international profile. I encourage you to delve into this Web site which contains a rich body of information on our university’s progress.

Student enrolment was level this year after an eight year trend of increases. Our total enrolments for graduate, undergraduate and international students for September 2005, now stand at 17,803. A new study showed that our first-year students are getting better grades than ever before. Not only is their overall average mark increasing, but a greater proportion of students are receiving grades of 80 per cent or more and fewer have marks below 50 per cent.

I am also pleased to report that we continue to build a stronger university by enhancing the quality of our teaching programs and others have recognized our efforts. For example, after undergoing a review by the Canadian Engineering Accreditation Board (CEAB), all five programs in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science at Memorial University were granted full six-year accreditation, the maximum accreditation period possible for engineering degree programs in Canada. We introduced a new International Bachelor of Business Administration (iBBA) program in 2005, which provides our students not only with standard business skills, but also the hard and soft skills necessary for business in the international marketplace.

Research funding from external sources continues to rise. In 2005-2006, our research funding increased by $8.5 million and now exceeds $90 million per year. These funds were used to support a wide range of research projects including high-profile projects such as the Department of Geography’s tracking the impact of climate change on fish stocks in the Northwest Atlantic, to basic studies aimed at understanding more about the causes of Parkinson’s disease. In addition, we moved forward with research infrastructure projects like ACEnet, a $23 million high-performance computing network organized in collaboration with a number of universities in our region.

This year, Memorial researchers were awarded $8.5 million from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency under its Atlantic Innovation Fund and we also established five new Tier 2 Canada Research Chairs worth

$2.5 million. Our technology transfer arm and high technology incubator, the Genesis Centre, won a national award for the innovative ways in which it helps fledgling technology-based ventures get a healthy start in business.

This past year, we also engaged in a re-branding project to promote our university more widely and effectively. Starting from the idea of Memorial University as a place of transformation and potential, the new institutional brand highlights the university as a place where people and ideas “become”. Some of the re-branding is reflected in the new logo, colour schemes and silhouettes which you see in this brochure.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, our campus on the province’s west coast has also grown. This year, it celebrated its 30th anniversary and construction was begun on a $1 million extension to its Arts and Sciences Building. It also saw the creation of a new Separately Incorporated Entity (SIE). The university began leasing the Pepsi Centre from the City of Corner Brook. Memorial will operate the facility for the next five years for the benefit of the people of Corner Brook and surrounding areas. The property includes two large ice surfaces, meeting and convention facilities, a sound stage suitable for film and television productions, as well as a privately operated fitness centre.

We also initiated a strategic planning process this past year. This plan will chart the university’s future the over the next five to 10 years. Eighteen strategic issues were identified, including undergraduate and graduate enrolments, student success and services, recruitment, distance education, funding, graduate studies, health, safety and environment.

Of course, building a university of Memorial’s caliber takes hard work on behalf of all of our employees. This past year the university was honoured with the prestigious Employer of Distinction Award by the Newfoundland and Labrador Employers’ Council. The Employer of Distinction award goes to organizations which encourage excellence in all areas of a progressive employment relationship and recognizes leadership, innovation and a fundamental belief in the value of a healthy, safe and motivated workforce.

I am confident that Memorial University will continue to grow and serve the needs of our students, faculty and staff as well as the wider provincial, national and international communities. I am very proud of the accomplishments of our faculty, staff and students.

I hope you enjoy learning more about Memorial University.

Axel Meisen, PhD, P.Eng.
President and vice-chancellor

President's Report Highlights

Cover of the President's Report Highlights

The President's Report Highlights is available as a downloadable PDF (1.6MB). If you would like to receive a printed copy, please contact:

Ivan Muzychka
Manager, Communications
Division of Marketing and Communications
(709) 737-8665