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(April 6, 2000, Gazette)

Budget outlines education spending

The March 22 provincial budget allows Memorial to continue a tuition freeze for a third straight year. Last year government increased grants to Memorial and the College of the North Atlantic, allowing the two institutions to freeze tuition cost for two academic years – 1999/2000 and 2000/2001. Now, the freeze will also apply for the academic year 2001/2002, bringing government’s total investment for tuition freezes to approximately $36 million over a three-year period.

As well, government has extended its commitment to Memorial University’s Opportunity Fund. In 1995, government agreed to match private sector contributions up to $25 million. When the $25 million mark was reached, government agreed to continue to match funds until the end of 1999. The total amount of private donations to the end of last year was $29 million, and government will now increase its contribution to $29 million.

Another $2.1 million was allocated for refurbishment of the Sir Wilfred Grenfell College campus of Memorial University in Corner Brook.

Reunion for muse alumni

The muse, Memorial’s official student newspaper since 1950, is planning an alumni reunion celebration. This will take place on Saturday, April 22, on the St. John’s campus of the university. If you are an alumni of the muse, RSVP by April 12 to confirm your space. The muse can be reached by phoning 709-737-8919 or e-mailing muse@mun.ca.

Grenfell tackles falling bricks

Grenfell College is further improving safety measures with respect to the condition of the bricks on the residence and Arts and Science building.

On Saturday, March 18, a brick fell from the exterior of the building and broke through an open residence room window. The awning-type windows in residence open outwards; the brick passed through the glass surface and landed on the ground below the window. The resident was in a neighbouring room at the time of the incident, and no one was injured.

The recent provincial budget announced that Grenfell will receive $2.1 million in provincial funding to address the problem of the deteriorating bricks. The college is taking further precautionary measures in the interim. Students have been advised not to open their windows more than an inch or two in order to prevent similar incidents.

“In addition to the permanent signs that were attached to affected areas of the building, snow fences have been erected, and wooden canopies built over all entrances,” added Principal Adrian Fowler. “We are taking all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of our staff, faculty, students and members of the public.”

Mr. Fowler says repairs will be undertaken as soon possible after the funding is received and a contractor engaged.

Interlibrary Loans moved

In order to serve its patrons better, QE II Library Interlibrary Loans office is moving to the space vacated by the Memorial Bookstore. Interlibrary Loans will be re-integrated, with both the lending staff (currently in media) and the borrowing staff (level 2) moving to the same work area. There will be no public service counter in the new space. To contact Interlibrary Loans staff, you may use the telephone at circulation (near the cash register) or e-mail qe2ill@mun.ca.ILL. Service hours will be 9:00 -4:30.

NSERC extends awards to Aboriginals

The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council will extend its University Faculty Awards to Aboriginal men and women being appointed to university faculty positions.

Since its launch in 1998, this competitive program has been open exclusively to universities wishing to appoint women scientists and engineers to academic posts. Now it will be open to universities seeking to appoint Aboriginal male and female candidates to science and engineering faculty posts.

NSERC’s president, Dr. Tom Brzustowski welcomes the inclusion of natives in the program.

“This is an area where Aboriginal peoples have been under-represented for far too long. We hope that this initiative will stimulate and encourage talented native men and women to consider an academic career in science and engineering.”

Under the UFA program, NSERC makes a substantial contribution to the salary of all those who are selected by a multidisciplinary selection committee in an annual competition. There are currently 19 women on the faculty of Canadian universities who hold these awards. Up to 25 more outstanding female researchers will be offered a University Faculty Award by the end of the month. In order to ensure that the highest academic standards have been met, only those nominees who have successfully competed for NSERC Research Grants are considered for these awards.

NSERC (the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council) is the primary federal agency investing in people, discovery, and innovation. The council supports both basic university research through research grants and project research through partnerships of universities with industry. NSERC also supports the advanced training of highly qualified people in both areas.