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SUBJECT: SWGC: Local residents asked if change in Grenfell College status will impact region

DATE: March 6

Dr. Don Downer is co-ordinating a report from the business and commercial communities of the Corner Brook region with respect to the likely impact of a change of status in Grenfell College on the region and its development.

The report has been requested by the two provincial government commissioners, Professor John Kelly and Professor John L. Davies, who are currently looking at the issue of autonomy for the college.

Interested groups, organizations and individuals are asked to submit a two-page or shorter point-form brief by mail, email or fax, or to speak to Dr. Downer directly regarding this important issue. Briefs and other contacts should be sent to Dr. Downer by the weekend of March 11 as the report will be submitted by March 17, 2006.

A meeting will take place 8 a.m. on Tuesday, March 7, at the Board of Trade office on Confederation Drive, Corner Brook, to discuss this issue and to receive input from members and other stakeholders. Dr. Downer is particularly interested in receiving input with respect to possible impacts on the region and its development of an expanded and autonomous or completely independent university in Corner Brook.

“Please realize that more autonomy or complete independence for Grenfell College could mean more freedom to mount programs and research more appropriate to the region,” Dr. Downer says. “As Grenfell professor Dr. Paul Wilson indicates this could mean educational programs and research that focus on the problems of rural schools, and business programs that focus on entrepreneurial activity and the tourism sector.”

The Centre for Environmental Excellence for Education, Research, Technology and Development (CEE) emphasizes that it could also mean programs and research that focus on the environment and the business and commercial opportunities developing from the environment, Dr. Downer adds. “It could mean programs and research that promote business and commercial opportunities in areas such as neutraceuticals, pharmaceuticals, utilization of available waste products, onshore mineral and petroleum resources uses and alternate uses, alternate energy sources such as tidal, wind or river flow power, and in a multitude of waste forest products.”

The list of possibilities is long, Dr. Downer notes. “It could mean coordinating our research and programs in a more focused way with the European Economic Union, the World Health Organization, other provinces in the Gulf Region and other countries such as the circumpolar countries interested in growth and expansion of temperate, arctic and polar plant growth of agricultural products. The possibilities here are endless and we could become leaders.”

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For further information, please contact Dr. Don Downer, 155 West Valley Road, Corner Brook, NL A2H 2Y2 , 709 634 4364 or .


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