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(November 29, 2001, Gazette)

Movin’ on up
Memorial University has moved up one notch in the Maclean’s magazine annual ranking of universities. In the 2001 version of Maclean’s Guide to Canadian Universities, MUN sits at fifth place in the comprehensive universities list. And while a one-step move may not sound particularly significant, where the extra points come from is.

For the first time ever, Memorial has a presence on the reputational rankings – the results of Maclean’s surveying high-school guidance counsellors, university officials, heads of organizations, CEOs, and recruiters at corporations across Canada. Of the 11 comprehensive universities included, Memorial ranks fifth in the Highest Quality and Best Overall categories, and fourth in the Leaders of Tomorrow list, for an overall Reputational Survey ranking of 5.

Asked to suggest some reasons for the sudden move upward, Memorial President Axel Meisen said dozens of factors possibly contributed.

“Our Oil and Gas Initiative has had a fair degree of resonance around the country,” he said, “especially because it built on existing strengths at the university. There is also a growing recognition that our co-op programs are producing excellent graduates.”

Dr. Meisen also had praise for the “significant national and international recognition for the School of Music,” the work of faculty members such as Pat Horan, whose work with depleted uranium attracted international media attention earlier this year, and the “very consistent success of the Faculty of Business in national and international competition.”

He also noted “less visible” efforts such as staff members’ increased contact with guidance counsellors, who are surveyed for this reputational part of the survey, which counts for 15 per cent of the total mark.

Grad students need to get a GRIP
Starting September 2002, all grad students will have to get a GRIP on their transcripts to complete their programs. GRIP is a new mandatory graduate research integrity program designed to help graduate students understand the importance of integrity in research and ethics. The program consists of a plenary session, self-study component and case-study workshop to be completed over a four-week period. Upon completion of the program, students will receive an entry on their transcripts confirming they have undertaken a serious review of the ethical issues involved in research enterprise. GRIP is being developed and administered by the School of Graduate Studies with the assistance of the Instructional Development Office, School of Continuing Education in consultation with the Graduate Students Union and academic units offering graduate programs.

MUN in top 20 for research funding

Memorial University placed 19th in a national ranking of Canada’s top 50 research universities. Sponsored research income for all Canadian Universities was just under $2.8 billion in fiscal 2000. This represented a jump of 24 per cent over 1999 according to Canada’s Top 50 Research Universities List, released by Research Infosource Inc. Sponsored research income includes government and non-government sources. Memorial researchers received about $34 million in total research income for the 1999-2000 fiscal year.

“These results are encouraging and indicate that Memorial University is making progress towards the goal of increasing its externally funded research activity,” said Dr. Christopher Loomis, acting vice-president (research and international relations). “It is important that we continue to build on this progress and there is every reason to believe that our results for the 2000/2001 fiscal year will be even better.”

Tune in to Much Meisen
Have you ever wondered what’s in the CD player of Memorial president Axel Meisen? If you had one hour to just hang out and listen to music, what would it be like? Throw away the formalities and tune into campus student radio CHMR 93.5 FM for Much Meisen. Broadcasts take place on Nov. 29, Dec. 6 and Dec. 13 at 9 p.m. and Dec. 5 and Dec. 12 at 3 p.m. Broadcasts are also online at www.mun.ca/chmr

Calling for connectivity investment
Canada’s provincial and territorial education ministers are calling upon the federal government to provide significant financial investments in online connectivity, especially to promote the development of
e-learning. The Council of Ministers of Education, Canada (CMEC) believes it is essential for the federal government to commit itself to supporting Canada’s online learning infrastructure when it delivers its next budget, which would assist the provinces and territories in their efforts to develop online learning.

In calling for new investments, education ministers highlighted the fact that the National Broadband Task Force, appointed by the federal government, recommended that significant support for connectivity should be a priority for federal, provincial, and territorial governments. CMEC members were unanimous in calling for increased cooperation in this area between orders of government during their fall meeting, held in Moose Jaw in early October, and re-affirmed the need to evergreen the country’s online learning infrastructure in the years ahead.