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Government announces new board chair

St. John’s lawyer Robert Simmonds has been appointed the new chair of Memorial’s Board of Regents. The announcement was made Nov. 18 by Joan Burke, minister of Education.

Mr. Simmonds is a Memorial University alumnus. He replaces Gil Dalton, whose term as chair concluded on Nov. 21.

Ms. Burke also announced the appointments of Donna Stone, Gilbert Bennett and Jerry Byrne for three-year terms on the Board of Regents, as well as Sheila Ashton, who will assume the final year of the term held by Gaylene Buckle.

“Gil Dalton and Gaylene Buckle have provided exemplary service and I thank them for their contributions to the Board of Regents,” said Ms. Burke. “I am very pleased that Mr. Simmonds has accepted the appointment of chair. His dedication to and enthusiasm for this great institution will provide invaluable leadership as we continue to work with Memorial University, which plays such a vital role in the social and economic life of our province.”

The Board of Regents is responsible for the management, administration and affairs of the university. It comprises a diverse group of individuals representing business, social and educational sectors, as well as students.

Minister Burke noted that the board is central to the growth and development of the province’s university, which is the largest in Atlantic Canada.

“Working with the chair and members of the board, government has continued to place a high priority on our post-secondary system,” she said. “Our goal is to ensure students have the best educational experience possible. Through investments such as the three-year, $90 million White Paper, as well as funding for infrastructure needs and research and development, we are committed to seeing MUN expand.”

The White Paper on Public Post-secondary Education recommended a more integrated approach to governance between Memorial University and College of the North Atlantic with three members serving on both the MUN Board of Regents and the College of the North Atlantic Board of Governors.

Legislative changes to support this direction were made in 2006. Ms. Burke noted that it is government’s intention to recommend that Ms. Stone, Mr. Bennett and Mr. Byrne, the new members of Memorial University Board of Regents, be put forward to also serve on College of the North Atlantic Board of Governors.

For more on the chair and new board members, see