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REF NO.: 79

SUBJECT: Memorial University releases 2003-2004 annual report on DVD and Web
DATE: Oct. 27, 2004

President Axel Meisen released Memorial University’s annual report at the university’s fall convocation ceremonies which were held at the St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre on Oct. 22. As in previous years, the President’s Report 2003-2004 was issued as a Web site. This year, the university also created a highlights booklet with accompanying digital video disk, or DVD, featuring the Web site and a collection of special video features drawn from the year. This innovative accountability document can be played in a standard DVD player or on a PC equipped with DVD capability. The report’s theme is Going Further, and echoes the university’s recruiting theme and materials. The report, including the university’s complete audited financial statements, is available at www.mun.ca/2004report, and includes information about Grenfell Collegeand the Marine Institute.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to present the highlights from our previous year,” Dr. Meisen said. “There are many things happening at Memorial, in research, in teaching and with our connections to the local community. The report contains a good selection of statistical and financial data that helps explain the growth and development of the university. I am quite pleased that, thanks to the technology, our audiences have more ways to access the story of Memorial for 2003-2004.”

Increases in research funding and enrollments

Among some of the highlights the report covers is the increase in research funding, which climbed to almost $74 million dollars, up 40 per cent from the previous year. “This funding supports research across a wide range of disciplines,” Dr. Meisen noted in his report. “Many projects are providing direct benefits to the province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Our success in the second competition of the Atlantic Innovation Fund has led to the creation of a unique Centre for Marine Compressed Natural Gas for example.” The university also received significant philanthropic support, including a $13 million in-kind donation from Landmark Graphics which will be used to equip a Decision Centre on the campus. The centre will allow researchers and students to visualize offshore reservoirs and gas reserves and make better decisions related to reservoir management and development.

The university also recorded a rise in enrollments this past year to 17,222 students (fall 2003 figure), thereby maintaining Memorial as the largest university in Atlantic Canada. “I am pleased to report that we continue to attract increasing numbers of students from Newfoundland and Labrador, with over 70 per cent of our alumni choosing to stay in the province. In addition, we are attracting more students from away, and our international recruiting efforts are showing good results. Graduate student enrolment is also increasing sharply,” he said.

In addition, over 2003-2004, the university began construction on some campus facilities, including the addition of Petro-Canada Hall to the Music Building, to be opened in early 2005, and a major renovation of the main dining hall in Paton College. Work on the Inco Innovation Centre continued and that facility will also open in late 2005.

The university continued to make important contributions to the local community in 2003-2004. Notably, the university began offering a new police studies program which enables the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary to train its officers in the province. The university also participated in partnerships with Ireland, including a publishing venture that saw Irish and Newfoundland and Labrador poets published in a single volume. Memorial students also traveled around the island of Newfoundland with an Opera Road Show, bringing the techniques and insights of that musical art into smaller communities.

Next week, the university will formally present the report to Tom Hedderson, the minister responsible for the Department of Education. The report will also be distributed to community, business and educational leaders, as well as to major donors, granting councils and other university supporters. Copies of the report’s highlights brochure/DVD can be requested by calling 709 737-8663.

The report was produced in-house at Memorial by staff in University Relations, Distance Education and Learning Technologies, and Computing and Communications.

MemorialUniversityof Newfoundland

Founded in 1925 as a memorial to Newfoundland’s war dead, Memorial University College was elevated to degree-granting status in 1949 as Memorial University of Newfoundland. Today, the university is the largest in Atlantic Canada, with more than 17,000 students. Memorial provides excellent undergraduate, graduate and professional programs in virtually all disciplines. With locations in St. John’s and Corner Brook in Newfoundland, Happy Valley-Goose Bay in Labrador, the French-owned island of Saint-Pierre, and Harlow in England, Memorial is committed to experiential learning. The university’s many interdisciplinary programs abound with opportunities for living, learning, ranging from on-campus employment to work terms around the world. Outstanding research and scholarship, extraordinary teaching and a focus on community service are our hallmarks. Many teaching and research activities reflect our mid-North Atlantic locations; these unique settings and our cultural heritage have led to the creation of highly-regarded academic programs and specialized facilities in areas such as music, linguistics, folklore and human genetics, as well as earth sciences, cold-ocean engineering, rural health care and archaeology.

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