Evidence of innovation, change and inevitable progress is always visible on a university campus. The university community at Memorial is evolving and responding to the need for new or expanded programs to support cultural, social and economic development while adjusting the lens through which it views the changing demographic of students.
Guiding Memorial are the university’s vision, mission and values and three frameworks — Teaching and Learning, Research Strategy and Public Engagement.
Currently, that activity is focused in the following areas: growing Memorial’s research intensity; aligning institution-wide enrolment efforts; fully leveraging internationalization opportunities; and, ensuring that infrastructure planning supports the university’s needs today and into the future.
Plans to address each of these areas have been released or are in various stages of consultation and development.
Research intensity is a critical measure of a university’s research impact and speaks to our ability to attract and retain world-class faculty and students. The Strategic Research Intensity Plan (SRIP), led by the vice-president (research), is meant to initiate an historic, generational transformation of Memorial University. One of the primary targets of SRIP is to double scholarly output by 2020. This plan will increase Memorial University's ability to:
- Accelerate the production and dissemination of scholarly outcomes, and strengthen its capacity to compete successfully for grants from Canada and abroad;
- Expand its capacity to supervise master’s and doctoral degree candidates, and thereby grow the pool of highly qualified people so important for building Newfoundland and Labrador, and Canada;
- Address the research priorities of government, industry, and society at large in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Directly connected to SRIP is the Enrolment Plan 2020, led by the provost and vice-president (academic). The shrinking pool of Newfoundland and Labrador high school graduates is forecasted to decline by an additional 1,000 students by 2020. As a result, work has started now to ensure Memorial is attracting the right students to the right programs — at both at the undergraduate and graduate levels — to meet the workforce needs of Newfoundland and Labrador. The current efforts to double the number of engineering graduates and increase overall graduate enrolment by 35 per cent, both by 2020, are just two examples of targets in this plan. The planned increase in graduate enrolment will have a direct impact on research and scholarly activity.
Attracting increasing numbers of international students is one element of the Enrolment Plan 2020. But being prepared to fully leverage internationalization opportunities requires a broad approach. The draft Strategic Internationalization Plan 2020 looks beyond international student recruitment to how Memorial can maximize the benefits and opportunities for students and faculty here and abroad, and ensure that it has the right structures and services in place to support success. The vice-president (research) is leading the development of the plan and a draft has been shared with the university community for feedback.
These strategic growth activities are focused on ensuring continued success of students, faculty and the province as a whole. To that end, Memorial needs world-class teaching and learning spaces, leading-edge laboratories and healthy, green living spaces.
That’s why about $125 million worth of infrastructure projects have recently been completed, with an additional $525 million underway across all campuses. All of that activity is guided by a multi-year infrastructure plan that is updated annually and allows for effective and prioritized capital project management.
Operations and Budget Review
Underlining all of Memorial’s activities is the understanding that the institution has been entrusted with public funds that must be managed in the most effective and efficient manner possible. An institution-wide review process was established in 2013, the goal of which is to be able to say with confidence and certainty that resources are being used to advance the university’s most important priorities. Savings found through the ongoing operations and budget review will be invested back into the institution in the areas of academic programming, students and other priorities.