Acting president has strong connections to Memorial, province
by Marcia Porter
Memorial’s acting president is a familiar face to many. Before stepping into the president’s shoes as of Jan. 1, 2008, Dr. Eddy Campbell served as vice-president (academic) and pro vice-chancellor, positions he’s held from 2004.
Outgoing and approachable, Dr. Campbell added a personal touch, getting out of his office in the arts and administration building to meet deans, directors and faculty, students and staff.
Though he was most recently the university’s chief academic officer, responsible for the academic programs of over 18,000 undergraduate and graduate students across a wide range of disciplines, Dr. Campbell knows the importance of the student experience. If you follow Memorial’s sports teams, chances are you’ve seen him at the Field House watching the men’s and women’s basketball games.
A former basketball player himself, Dr. Campbell is an ardent Sea-Hawks supporter. He was part of the crowd last year that cheered the women’s Sea-Hawks basketball team to their first ever national bronze medal in Canadian women’s interuniversity play.
Or you might have seen him taking part in one of last October’s I Love MUNdays events.
Mathematician, sports enthusiast, Memorial graduate, Dr. Campbell is passionate about the university and ready to lead Memorial as acting president.
“My own experience as a student here at Memorial was just fantastic,” recalled Dr. Campbell, who actually grew up in Ottawa but moved to St. John’s to study mathematics at Memorial. “The professors and the staff cared a great deal about me as a person, and in the classroom demanded the best of me. That had a big impact on the person I am today, and as a result, Memorial is a very important institution for me.
“I care deeply about Memorial, and the opportunity to contribute from the acting president’s chair is going to be tremendous,” he said.
Dr. Campbell’s desire to give back to his alma mater was key in his decision to leave a very good position as associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen’s University in Kingston back in 2004, where he’d had been working since joining the university’s Department of Mathematics and Statistics in 1983.
He holds two degrees from Memorial and a PhD from the University of Toronto.
Dr. Campbell takes over the job at Memorial as acting president with a good understanding of the institution and its people serving as VP (academic) has helped acquaint him with every nook and cranny of academic life at the university. Working closely with senior management on key issues has also helped
Tops on his to-do list as president is to continue implementation of Memorial’s Strategic Plan, the Five Pillars. The plan calls for ambitious growth from just over 18,000 students to about 20,500, and Dr. Campbell says this target hinges on infrastructure development.
“That growth can only happen with new infrastructure and we’ve have a plan in front of government now,” he said. “Overcrowding at Memorial these days is pretty much the norm and being able to address that is our top priority. There’s a real sense of optimism that some of the things we’ve been planning and discussing for a while are really going to happen.”
New residences and a new academic building for Sir Wilfred Grenfell College in Corner Brook have already been approved, and the university hopes to move on other priorities such as the new science and research building, a new building for the Faculty of Business, improvements and expansions to libraries and other facilities. There are many things to keep him busy over the next few months.
Dr. Campbell is also excited about taking part in the university’s new capital campaign.
“That’s a very really enjoyable and rewarding experience because you meet and speak to people who want to give something back to their alma mater, and they really want to help our students,” said Dr. Campbell. “I’m very much looking forward to contributing to this campaign from the acting president’s chair.”