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December 11, 2003


Simpson set to step down


By David Sorensen

Dr. Evan Simpson
Dr. Evan Simpson

Evan Simpson doesn’t hesitate when asked what he considers the most important contribution of his five years at Memorial University.

“When I think of matters that I’ve been partially responsible for, I think first of all of the strategic framework.

“When the deans and directors and I looked at this recently, we were pretty gratified that so much had happened consistent with the strategic framework. We are clearly going in the right direction.”

The seven strategic areas of development for the university identified in the report are: the university and community; student recruitment and retention; research and creative activity; renewal and development of faculty and staff; resources and resource management; academic and administrative reforms; and the external community.

Dr. Simpson, who arrived to take up the position of vice president (academic) and pro vice chancellor in January 1999 and will leave the post Dec. 31, included the new system of academic program review among his accomplishments. “(This) brings a planning focus and accountability into our academic programs that is consistent across the university.”

He called the development of the course evaluation questionnaire system, “A serious step forward in the maturity of the university.”

If the university can be characterized as not a ship, but a flotilla, as someone suggested to him recently, Dr. Simpson said “the flotilla is sailing in a little tighter formation than it was five years ago.”

He said this is partly due to his involvement in the selection of almost every academic dean and director at the university. “The fact that I’ve been so closely connected with so many of the chief administrators of the university means we work in concert. The deans and directors really do work very well together in the interests of the university, as well as the interests of their own units.”

In the new year, Dr. Simpson will go on administrative leave and retain his appointment as a professor in Memorial’s Department of Philosophy until his retirement. He said he’s had a recent discussion with the head of philosophy over how best to put his talents to use.



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Next issue: January 8, 2003

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