A Memorial task force looking at ways of enhancing the recruitment and success of aboriginal students has submitted a comprehensive report to the university president.
Chaired by former Vice-President (Academic) Dr. Evan Simpson, the task force has produced a report with 22 recommendations that fall into four categories: encouraging completion of high school by aboriginal people, success at university through on-campus support, appropriate educational programming and co-ordination of Memorial’s existing aboriginal expertise.
In the executive summary, the task force noted that the report’s “serious goals make serious demands upon an organization’s human and financial assets” but that there were several initiatives that require nothing more than revised practices.
Dr. Simpson said the task force was created in the summer of 2008. The committee conducted research on initiatives elsewhere and on aboriginal education generally, consulted widely within the province and throughout Canada, prepared an Aboriginal Resource Inventory for Memorial, and convened several times for discussion and deliberation.
The task force was comprised of university administrators and representatives of Newfoundland and Labrador’s aboriginal communities. Dr. Simpson said the report is an important step in serving these communities and attracting aboriginal students to the university. He presented the report to Dr. Christopher Loomis, president and vice-chancellor pro tempore, in November.
“We have begun a consultation process across the university community to examine how we could incorporate the recommendations of the task force into our operations,” said Dr. Loomis. “Memorial has always valued its relationships with our community partners. It is essential that we ensure full opportunity for all people in this province. The aboriginal community should not be an exception to that principle.”