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REF NO.: 378

SUBJECT: Commissioners studying governance at Sir Wilfred Grenfell College recommend changes; college and university officials to work out details
DATE: Aug. 12, 2005

Commissioners studying the reporting structure of Memorial University’s western Newfoundland campus, Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, have recommended some changes in the way the college is governed.

University and college officials will now work through the 17-page report – which was released by the university today – to see how best to implement some of the commissioners’ proposed changes.

Memorial University President Axel Meisen thanked the commissioners for their efforts. “The issues under consideration are important and we will benefit greatly from the careful consideration and comprehensive set of recommendations of our three commissioners,” Dr. Meisen said. He noted that the report and its recommendations will now be forwarded to the appropriate university bodies for consideration and action in the fall.

The report contains 11 recommendations pertaining to the way Grenfell College’s senior official reports to the university senior administration and how top college positions report to the college’s senior official.

In April the university appointed Drs. George Ivany, James Greenlee and Jack Strawbridge as commissioners to study two questions and provide their advice:

  1. Should the present reporting structure, wherein the principal of [Grenfell College] reports to the vice-president (academic), be changed so that the principal reports to the president of Memorial University?
  2. After the above question has been addressed and answered, are there benefits in making other changes in the reporting and organizational structure of [Grenfell College] and, if so, what are these changes?

After consulting stakeholder representatives, reviewing numerous related documents and considering the issues, the three commissioners recommended several changes to the existing structure, including naming the college’s principal as regional vice-president responsible to the vice-president (academic) and that the regional vice-president report quarterly to a new committee of senior administrators and biennially to the university’s Board of Regents.

Also among the recommendations are that the college’s vice-principal post be named associate regional vice-president, be responsible for all college academic matters and join the senior academic administrators committee; that the Grenfell College Academic Council become the Corner Brook Committee of the Senate of the university, the institution’s academic governing body, and report directly to Senate’s Executive Committee rather than its Committee on Undergraduate Studies.

On resources related matters, the report recommends that the college’s budget from the university be divided into two components – one for academic initiatives and one for administrative activities – allocated by the vice-president (academic) and the vice-president (administration and finance), respectively. Another recommendation, that additional financial administration support staff be provided to prepare and track the college’s budget, has already been acted upon. The report also recommends that personnel management at the college be reviewed to determine if positions there are classified and compensated appropriately.

The commissioners also recommend that a contemplated change to the college’s name be effected as soon as possible and that that the new name reflects the fact that Grenfell College is a university-level institution. Grenfell College has been studying the issue of a possible new name and a recommendation to the Board of Regents is expected shortly.

The commissioners’ complete report is available on line at www.mun.ca/univrel/grenfellreport.php. For information on the three commissioners, see www.mun.ca/univrel/news/index.php?includefile="showitem.php&id=793 .

Sir Wilfred Grenfell College

In 1975 Sir Wilfred Grenfell College began operation in Corner Brook as a regional branch of Memorial University, providing the first two years of university study. Today Sir Wilfred Grenfell College offers 11 undergraduate degrees in arts, science, fine arts and nursing, including specialized programs in tourism studies, theatre, social/cultural studies as well as environmental studies and environmental science programs. With a student population of approximately 1,300, Grenfell College is committed to offering a high quality liberal arts and science education, distinguished by a personalized approach in which individual attention is the norm.

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