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Government relations roles and responsibilities

Roles

President is primary contact

The president is the senior government relations official of Memorial University and the principal contact between politicians and the university.

Memorial’s vice-presidents serve as primary government relations contacts in areas of specific responsibility. For example, the vice-president (academic)/provost may interact with senior officials in the Department of Advanced Education and Skills and elsewhere in government. The vice-president (research) is a principal contact with federal granting agencies. The vice-president (finance and administration) is in direct contact with senior government budgeting officials.

Areas of mutual interest

Similarly, some deans and directors have high-level contacts with governments and departments in areas where there are mutual interests (e.g. science and innovation, culture, etc.).

The director of public affairs in the Division of Marketing and Communications supports and enhances the president’s and vice-presidents’ roles and supports the government relations roles of other senior university leaders in their interactions with government

Formal invitations from faculties and units to politicians (premier, ministers, mayors, councilors and other elected representatives) in particular, should be co-ordinated with the Office of the President.

The Office of the President should be alerted to all interactions with senior government officials (both elected and non-elected), particularly formal visits to campuses and facilities, requests for government funding or support, etc.

Responsibilities 

Regulatory and legislative

The university is obliged by legislation to report specific activity to the provincial and federal governments. Public Affairs assists with themes and messages.

Activities

Provincial (Transparency and Accountability legislation):

  • Annual report – prepared by Centre for Institutional Analysis and Planning (CIAP) to template set by provincial government
  • Strategic Plan – prepared by Centre for Institutional Analysis and Planning (CIAP) to template set by provincial government

Federal

  • Lobbying registration, and appropriate reporting

Relationship building and sustaining:

The public affairs office facilitates two-way flow of information between the university and government to enhance bilateral understanding.

Activities:

  • Support for meetings between senior university and government officials
  •  Enhancing access of govt. officials to university facilities, campuses (e.g. tours of facilities use of facilities for government activities, etc.).
  • Supporting president and SEC in community outreach activities (e.g. speech/presentation support, logistics)

Communications

  • Direct communications (e-mail, telephone, letters) between Public Affairs and politicians on university activities
  • Monitoring government decisions/debates/discussions to senior university leaders

Internal stakeholder support

  • Providing strategic counsel on interaction with government to senior administration, including assisting with the development of proposals, as appropriate, to government and related agencies
  • Developing and maintaining a positive working relationship and network of contacts politicians, political support staff and civil service at the federal, provincial, municipal, aboriginal levels
  • Ensuring the university is aware of government initiatives and programs in areas central to the university's mandate

External stakeholder support

  • Providing information to politicians and civil servants in all levels of government about the university's activities, achievements, needs, concerns, proposals
  • Co-ordinating meetings for senior university administration with government officials and visits to the university by elected officials and government representatives
  • Liaising with AUCC on national legislation and policy issues related to the university's mandate