In what context does Memorial University operate? 

Memorial University is a public university with a balance of accountability and autonomy as outlined in the Act. When Newfoundland became a province of Canada in 1949, one of the first legislative actions of the new government was to pass An Act Respecting the Memorial University of Newfoundland. The Act articulates the role, responsibilities, structure and other governance and administrative aspects of the province’s only university. 

Image showing key elements of the Memorial University Act

Who is ultimately responsible for decision-making at Memorial University? 

With a bicameral system of governance, Memorial's Senate oversees academic affairs, and its Board of Regents oversees all other matters. The president and vice-chancellor provides executive leadership to the university and is supported by vice-presidents and other administrative leadership.


The following video provides a detailed look at governance at Memorial: 

By staying true to its values, and guided by institutional plans and frameworks, Memorial will fulfill the mission to achieve our shared vision:

 Key guiding documents

How does Memorial ensure that decisions made about operations are effective and efficient? 

There are multiple layers of accountability in place, both internal and external to the institution.  

As outlined below, three key levels of assurance at the university include: 

  • The Office of Internal Audit, 
  • National and international standards, and
  • Compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements. 
The Office of Internal Audit 

Memorial utilizes a combined assurance model to monitor its operations, as explained in this video: 

Each year, hundreds of assurance activities are undertaken across all jurisdictions in which the university operates. Visit the Office of Internal Audit website for more details on the history, role, and function of the university's internal audit process.  

National and international standards

Programs at Memorial undergo rigorous review to ensure high quality in teaching and learning, research and public engagement. External quality assurance and review processes include:

  • Academic program review
    • Since 2005, 52 units across the university have undergone 66 external panel reviews.
Compliance with legislative and regulatory requirements

Memorial University is unique in the province, as the tremendous variety in the type and nature of work performed across all campuses and sites means that almost every type of legislation governs some aspect of its operations.

There are several pieces of provincial legislation specific to Memorial University:

The University is also required to meet standards set out in legislation and regulations governing all public bodies, as well as all employers. Such standards include areas in privacy, access to information, health and safety, transparency and accountability, finance, and others. A non-exhaustive list of provincial and federal legislation applicable to the work of the university is available here, current as of November 2019.

Memorial also has an extensive suite of Board of Regents-approved policies and procedures. Policies state the University’s position on matters that have broad University-wide application and impact. Policies set an expectation of behaviour and, as such, members of the University have an obligation to comply with University policy. Their related procedures provide the "how to" on carrying out those expectations.

Agreements and policies

Additional information on Governance

Board of Regents 
Governance Review 
Truth & Reconciliation 


Post-Secondary Education Review

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000