Province announces Grenfell study
A new study on the relationship between Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook and Memorial University will provide a detailed and objective analysis of the governance options for the college, said Memorial President Axel Meisen. The provincial government announced a feasibility study Dec. 21 that will look at governance options for Grenfell, up to and including full university status. Dr. Meisen said he welcomes the in-depth analysis, which will be headed by John Kelly, professor emeritus and executive director of the Ireland Canada University Foundation, and John L. Davies, dean of the Graduate School at Anglia Ruskin University in the U.K.
Dr. Meisen said the university will co-operate with the feasibility study’s authors.
“We will provide information, insights and ideas to the consultants for their consideration so that they can become familiar with what the situation was, what it is and what it might be,” he said. “Government has foreshadowed the study for some time and I am pleased that it has now been officially announced, together with the consultants and their mandate.”
The study will involve a benefit analysis, including infrastructure and student services, potential impacts on such aspects as programming and recruitment, and any educational, social and economic impacts on the region and province. The consultants will review all options for Grenfell College, including the possibility of an autonomous, independent university for Corner Brook.
This concept has not been explored in previous reviews.
The scope of the study also includes an analysis of university structures in Canada and internationally where appropriate. It will be conducted over a three-month period, and will build on recent reviews carried out on the reporting structure of Grenfell College, such as the Ivany Report.
Although Dr. Meisen welcomed the new study he stressed that his “overarching objective is to ensure that our students receive a first-rate education and that our faculty and staff have a good working environment, wherever they study or work.
“To date, we have been successful in this mission, with Memorial University (including Sir Wilfred Grenfell College) being the university-of-choice for Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, and now increasingly for people from outside the province. I look forward to working with the consultants to ensure that we continue to meet the needs of our students and employees in the best possible way.”
Education Minister Joan Burke said the feasibility study will provide her department with the information it needs “to make an informed decision on the future governance of the college, with the aim of increasing Grenfell’s autonomy.” She said all parties have been working together and with the department to address areas of concern, always with the goal of providing programming excellence in the province.
“The study will provide detailed, well-researched information to ensure any future changes offer the maximum benefit for all students, faculty and staff,” she added. “I look forward to seeing the report for government’s consideration in the spring.”
For biographies of the consultants, see www.releases.gov.nl.ca/releases/2005/edu/1221n04.htm.