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April 10, 2003, Gazette

President supports weather office
Memorial President Dr. Axel Meisen has joined the chorus of provincial voices asking that the national weather office in Gander remain in place. In a letter to Environment Minister David Anderson, Dr. Meisen said that he supports the findings of the provincial position paper on the regional importance of the station, and added that scientists at Memorial working on environmental science prediction have indicated their support of the general arguments in the position paper.

Environment Canada announced March 13 that forecasting and research staff would be integrated into units in five offices across Canada, with much of the capacity at the Gander weather office transferred to Halifax.

“The diversity of conditions and the geographic scale support the case for a centre that can develop awareness of and a focus on the relevant, regional meteorological processes,” writes Dr. Meisen, noting that the province spans a geographic range equal to that of Western Europe and that Miami is nearly as far from Halifax as is northern Labrador.

Dr. Meisen also indicated to Mr. Anderson that Memorial University strongly endorses a proposed partnership arrangement leading to a joint research program between the university and the Meteorological Service of Canada (MSC). Memorial has a strong program in environmental science and marine science, one of its areas of strategic concentration.

Board approves oil and gas program
A new graduate program aimed at executives in the oil and gas sector was approved at the recent meeting of Memorial University’s Board of Regents. The University Senate, the university’s governing body on academic affairs, had previously approved the new master’s in oil and gas at its March 11 meeting.

The master’s in oil and gas studies is a professional, non-thesis, interdisciplinary degree program aimed at educating professionals already working in the oil and gas industry. The program is open to individuals with an undergraduate degree and who have several years experience in the petroleum industry, either in the private sector or with a government agency and who have been earmarked as having senior executive potential.

The Board also appointed Dr. Alex Faseruk as academic director for the program for a three-year term beginning April 1, 2003.

Recognizing very important volunteers
The Student Volunteer Bureau and the Centre of Career Development and Experiential Learning launched the new Volunteer Incentive Program (V.I.P.) March 26, during MUN Volunteer Day. Designed to promote, recognize, and reward student volunteerism, the V.I.P. challenges participants to achieve at three levels: bronze, silver, and gold. Each level requires V.I.P. participants to complete a set number hours of volunteer work on campus and in the community.

During Volunteer Day ceremonies, Michelle Biles was named recipient of the Volunteer of the Year Award, recognized for her work with Students for Literacy. Also, Dr. Lilly Walker, dean of student affairs and services, presented Edward Roberts, Lieutenant-Governor of Newfoundland and Labrador, with a honorary Gold Level V.I.P. pin and certificate for his work as chairman of the Board of Regents of Memorial University from 1997-2002.

A dialogue on traditional music
Who Owns Traditional Music: A Dialogue is a one-day symposium taking place April 10 in room M-1032, School of Music, Memorial University of Newfoundland. The symposium is designed to initiate a dialogue about issues of access to traditional music. The symposium will bring together musicians, archivists, folklorists, and ethnomusicologists.

“The issues we will consider include legal definitions of copyright, international conventions concerning oral traditions, diverse cultures' customary “law” regarding intellectual property, the impact of contemporary systems of circulation such as the Internet, the responsibilities of archives to collectors and communities, and the ethics of rearrangements of traditional music, said Dr. Beverley Diamond, Canada Research Chair for Traditional Music.

Guest presentations will be made by John Joy (Lawyer) and Dr. Michael Taft (head, Archive of Folk Culture, Library of Congress). For further information, contact Dr. Beverley Diamond, 737-3701 or

Board makes key admin appointments
The Board of Regents has made several key appointments at its March meeting. Glenn Collins was appointed acting vice-president (administration and finance) for the period May 1, 2003, to Dec. 31, 2003, or earlier if a new vice-president (administration and finance) is appointed. Maire O'Dea appointed acting registrar, effective May 1, 2003, and continuing until the registrar returns to his position or vacates it. The board also approved a change in the reporting structure of the International Centre from the portfolio of the vice-president (research and international relations) to the portfolio of the vice-president (academic). The Board approved a recommendation that the portfolio of the vice-president (research and international relations) be renamed the portfolio of vice-president (research).