On Thursday, May 16, Memorial University and the Shorefast Foundation signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The signing is the initial step in a pilot project, administered by Memorial’s Office of Public Engagement, that will inform the development of a model for future MOUs between Memorial and public engagement partners who have multiple connections with the university.
Along with offering guidelines related to identifying and communicating research, teaching and learning and public engagement activity, the MOU will track and monitor multiple projects and partnerships related to Fogo Island and Change Islands from across Memorial’s units, departments and faculties.
The MOU also signals a shared commitment to respond to the opportunities and needs of Fogo Island and Change Islands.
“Memorial is dedicated to public engagement and service, with an eye to maximizing its value to the people of the province,” said Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor. “This MOU builds on a valued and productive partnership between Memorial and the people and organizations of Fogo Island and Change Islands, through the existing Shorefast Foundation initiative. We look forward to great things coming out of this enterprise.”
The partnership will also help address some of the challenges that can arise in community-university collaborations.
“It can be daunting and confusing for public organizations to approach the university as a collaborator,” said Zita Cobb, president of the Shorefast Foundation. “We’re very pleased that Memorial is working to be more accessible and responsive to the needs of rural Newfoundland and Labrador.”