Dr. Axel Meisen, president and vice-chancellor of Memorial
University, officially released the university's 2002-2003
President's Report at Memorial’s fall convocation
The university’s report is available on the Web at
and contains the university's complete audited financial
statements (April 2002-March 2003), as well as a thorough
review of some of the achievements and accomplishments from
the last year in the areas of teaching, research and community
service. A printed brochure featuring highlights drawn from
the on-line report will also be distributed widely.
This year’s report is titled Where We Are, and this
theme is intended to suggest both progress in time, and,
for the report’s out-of-province audience, convey
a sense of place, providing information about the province
and how the unique geographic and cultural context has shaped
“There is perhaps no other university that has been
so shaped by its surroundings as Memorial University,”
Dr. Meisen said in the introduction to his report. “The
province of Newfoundland and Labrador is a truly special
place and this has a way of permeating all aspects of the
university: our learning, teaching, scholarship and environment.
To understand the university, we want you to give you a
sense of this place and how it relates to the world.”
During the reporting period, student enrolments increased
3.6 per cent in the fall of 2002 and another 3.9 percent
in the fall of 2003 so that Memorial's total enrolment is
now over 17,000 students. As well, there was sharp growth
in graduate enrolments so that, for the first time in the
university's history, the number of graduate students now
Research funding at Memorial University also increased this
past year to over $51 million, supporting projects on aquaculture,
rural development, health and many other issues tied to
the university’s unique location.
One such project was the discovery of new gene in psoriatic
arthritis (a long-lasting form of the disease associated
with psoriasis), discovered by a research team led by Dr.
Proton Rahman, a rheumatologist with the Faculty of Medicine
at Memorial, and Dr. Dafna Gladman of the University of
According to Dr. Rahman, there is a growing body of evidence
that psoriatic arthritis has a strong genetic component.
“This disease often runs in families,” Dr. Rahman
said. “The homogenous population in Newfoundland provided
an ideal setting to identify a novel gene for this disease,”
The full President's Report 2002-2003 is also available
as CD-ROM which features selections of music composed and
or performed by Memorial students and faculty.