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Vol 38  No 2
September 1, 2005


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Grenfell’s governance focus of meetings

More discussions this fall

The recently-released Ivany Commission Report has generated letters and newspaper articles, including one quoting Premier Danny Williams, calling for changes in the governance structure and status of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University’s campus in Corner Brook.

The Ivany Commission was an independent body tasked with reviewing the operating and reporting mechanisms in place at Grenfell and making recommendations for positive, future change. The commission members were appointed by the President of Memorial University, Dr. Axel Meisen, in consultation and in full agreement with the Principal of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Dr. John Ashton.

The commission was chaired by Dr. George Ivany, former president of the University of Saskatchewan and a distinguished Newfoundlander and alumnus of Memorial University. The other two members were Dr. Jim Greenlee of the faculty at Grenfell and Dr. Jack Strawbridge, the university’s director of Faculty Relations.

Dr. Meisen said that the discussion and debate are all part of the process of change that the university is contemplating at Grenfell. “The Ivany Commission Report was released earlier this month and is generating the kinds of discussion as would be expected,” he said.

The report was made public upon its receipt to inform all those with an interest in the college and to provide guidance on its future development, to which Memorial University is committed. The full report is available at http://www.mun.ca/univrel/grenfellreport.php.

The commission’s findings and recommendations were presented unanimously by its members. They will be considered by members of Grenfell and others at Memorial, including members of the senior administration and the Board of Regents, this fall. An open meeting to discuss the report has been scheduled for Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. at the college.

In response to the report, some commentators have called for the conversion of Grenfell into a second, independent provincial university.

“This viewpoint is not new,” said Dr. Meisen. “It was expressed by some in the public consultations undertaken by both the Ivany Commission and the province’s White Paper on Public Post-Secondary Education. There are other viewpoints that suggest that having a one-university system is one of the inherent strengths of post-secondary education in the province and that Grenfell College can thrive and grow as an integral part of Memorial University,” said Dr. Meisen. “That certainly is one of the prime tenets of the White Paper. As we move into the fall, as befits a university, we expect to have more frank and open exchanges of opinions around these ideas and to move ahead, collegially towards a bright future of Grenfell College.”

“I think that a desire for growth and development for Grenfell College is one goal we all share,” said Dr. Meisen.

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