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Vol 40  No 6
November 22, 2007


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In Brief

Memorial drafts whistleblower policy

Memorial has drafted a protected disclosure, or whistleblower, policy. The policy is designed to allow members of the university community to report wrongdoing without fear of reprisal.

The policy, which was approved by the Board of Regents at its Oct. 18 meeting, applies to all students, faculty and staff.

The policy protects anyone disclosing an actual or perceived wrongdoing, provided it is not “frivolous, vexatious or made in bad faith.”

Gregory French, Memorial’s associate general counsel, said many universities and other organizations have implemented whistleblower policies in response to some of the major financial and accounting scandals over the last number of years.

“The Board of Regents asked that the university research the matter and later decided that it would be beneficial for MUN to have such a policy,” he explained.

The policy calls for the appointment of a protected disclosure co-ordinator who will receive and review all disclosures. The co-ordinator will not be a university employee but will report to the Board of Regents annually.

Wrongdoing is described as any violation of federal, provincial or municipal law; violations of university policy; breach of the university code of conduct; or unethical or gross misconduct.

The policy also spells out that those making disclosures will be protected from retaliation and that anyone subjecting that person to retaliation will face disciplinary action that could involve termination.

“The university will protect the person who makes the report from any retaliation as a result,” said Mr. French.

Paragon for new writers

Emerging writers at Memorial have a new opportunity to start publishing their work, thanks to two enterprising students and the enthusiastic support they’ve drawn.

Lacey Decker and Paul Fowler, both writers themselves, wanted to create a venue where students could launch their publishing careers. Armed with advice from some “incredibly supportive” English professors – including Drs. Danine Farquharson, Alex Ambrozic and Jennifer Lokash – they developed a proposal to create an anthology of creative work written primarily by Memorial students.

Impressed with their proposal, Dr. Reeta Tremblay, dean of Arts, granted the aspiring editors funds to cover the cost of printing, while the English Department offered to help publicize the initiative. This month, Mr. Fowler and Ms. Decker began soliciting work for their upcoming anthology, Paragon.

While Paragon isn’t solely for students – the editors haven’t placed any restrictions on eligibility – they say they intend to target students or recent alumni of Memorial.

Emerging writers are encouraged to submit original, unpublished poetry, short fiction, creative non-fiction, excerpts of novels, novellas or plays electronically to paragon@mun.ca. Submissions are limited to 3,500 words, and the editors request that contributors submit no more than three prose works or five pages of poetry. The deadline is Jan. 31, 2008.

Pharmacy student wins Killam fellowship

Pharmacy student Ammara Ghumman will spend this summer at Ithaca College in New York after receiving a prestigious Killam Fellowship Award. She is enthusiastic about the opportunity to study in the United States and plans to take liberal arts electives during her time at Ithaca.

Ms. Ghumman has an outstanding academic record and has received a number of scholarships, including the Ratiopharm Entrance Award to pharmacy, the Charles E. Frosst Scholarship in pharmacy and the Augustus Stafford Memorial Scholarship in pharmacy.

Killam Fellowship Award winners usually spend a semester at a U.S. university, but because of the structured nature of the pharmacy program Ms. Ghumman was able to arrange to take up the award during the summer.

Killam Fellowship Awards are made on the basis of academic achievement and extra-curricular activity. While attending high school in Clarenville, Ms. Ghumman was a frequent hospital volunteer and she is regularly involved as a participant and organizer for charity runs. She is currently involved in the Canadian Association of Pharmacy Students and Interns.

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