By Kristine Hamlyn
Chris Decker has fond memories of his time on Memorial’s
Board of Regents. Mr. Decker had been a member of the board
since 1999 and was appointed chair effective November 2002.
He held this post until October 2003 when he resigned to serve
as co-chair for the Liberal Campaign Management Committee
for the provincial election.
“I am aware of what Memorial has done for the province
of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Mr. Decker. “I
consider it a great privilege to have served on a board which
plays a great role in the running of the university.”
As chair, Mr. Decker played a key role in bringing resolution
to a number of important matters at the university. During
this time, the board approved a balanced budget for 2003-2004,
approved a tuition reduction for undergraduates and approved
an increase in tuition fees for international students to
help fund new academic programs, support services and financial
During Mr. Decker’s tenure, the board also ratified
a labour agreement with the faculty association and approved
a new policy ensuring that all clothing sold by the university
would be manufactured in conditions with fair labour practices.
Mr. Decker brought a great wealth of experience to his role
on the Board of Regents. The Roddickton resident was elected
to the House of Assembly in 1985 and subsequentlyserved as
minister of health, minister of education and training, and
minister of justice.
Prior to provincial politics, Mr. Decker was mayor of the
Town of Roddickton and owned/operated several businesses.
Even further, he served on several school-related boards and
councils throughout the province. Mr. Decker is also a Memorial
alum, having graduated with a bachelor of arts (English) from
Memorial University and a master of divinity from Pine Hill
Georgina Hedges, now acting chair of the board, recalls Mr.
Decker as being a team-player. “He respected everyone’s
point of view and always invited active participation in decision
making,” she commented. “In his short time on
the board he demonstrated a great commitment to Memorial and
made a meaningful contribution to the future of this university.”