It's been an eventful year at Memorial University, full of progress and challenges.
The faculty, students and staff of Memorial have continued to advance the university in the direction outlined by our three frameworks, in research, teaching and learning and public engagement.
While the university community was engaged in developing these frameworks over the past few years, since last year we have focused on successfully implementing the strategies and plans that flow from the frameworks.
The Public Engagement Framework underscores that mutually beneficial relationships and partnerships are vital for a public university dedicated to serving the public good.
Along with countless partnerships this year, there have been a number of firsts that directly support the objectives of the Public Engagement Framework. The most visible was the first move-in day for graduate student residents at the Battery Facility. It’s a significant step towards our vision for this iconic facility on Signal Hill in St. John’s as a provincial hub for university-community interaction.
In addition, we are now offering more ways to support the public engagement work of people at Memorial, including quick-access funding programs and a new post-doctoral fellowship. We are also committed to find new ways to strengthen and support the connections between Memorial and the people of the province we serve.
The goal of the Teaching and Learning Framework is to connect learners and educators to each other, the community and the world in the service of knowledge generation and exchange, and the advancement of society.
In 2014 Vice-Presidents Council approved an annual allocation of $1.2 million to support university activities that foster the development of the desired qualities in our graduates, contribute to the enhancement of our teaching and learning community and address the other recommendations of the framework. A cross-campus Chairs in Teaching and Learning Program was established, and an annual funding competition on the St. John’s campus was also launched.
The development of the Research Strategy Framework represents a significant step in Memorial’s growth and evolution as a research-intensive institution. The operational strategy flowing from it, the Strategic Research Intensity Plan, is already showing impressive results.
Over the past year the Office of the Vice-President (Research) supported greater opportunities for undergraduate training and engagement, more prominently demonstrating to our students the impact of research on their education and their futures. The office has also provided research funding through the Seed, Bridge and Multidisciplinary Fund. This will support our researchers to undertake innovative research projects, provide valuable bridge funding for researchers between grants and encourage their development of multidisciplinary research activities that align the priority research themes of the Research Strategy Framework.
In addition to the frameworks, our activities are guided by several key operational plans, including the Infrastructure Plan and the Internationalization Plan. New infrastructure projects such as the Battery Facility, the Core Science Facility and the Boreal Ecosystem Research Labs will support the research, teaching and learning, and public engagement of our people in new and exciting ways.
Of course, we recognize that the fiscal situation has changed considerably from when I took office as president five years ago. While we continue to be funded generously by the provincial government, its own financial challenges are being shared with the university. Our attention will therefore increasingly be turned to developing new revenue sources and partnerships to continue to implement our plans. You will hear more about this in the weeks and months ahead.
It continues to be a privilege for me, as I embark on my second five-year term as president, to share this annual report with you. Please take a few moments to look through this online publication, where we more fully outline our planned progress over the past year.
Read on to learn about the exceptional people at Memorial University, and how our university is contributing to the social, economic and cultural life of our province, Canada and beyond.
It is through activities of a modern university that we embody the aspirations of those who founded Memorial University College — to be a living memorial to those who served and died in the First World War and in subsequent conflicts — a legacy dedicated to the advancement of civil society through education.
As we continue our WW100 Commemoration Program over the next few years, we remind ourselves that through teaching, research and public engagement, we work towards a better world.