Memorial University welcomes the review of the auditor general announced by the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador earlier today.
The review is an opportunity to show Memorial’s commitment to transparency and accountability, demonstrate Memorial’s wise stewardship of resources and also identify areas for potential improvement.
In Budget 2021, the province indicated that the amendment of the Memorial University Act “to provide the university with greater autonomy” was forthcoming.
It is disappointing that changes that allow for greater autonomy have been delayed while amendments to the Auditor General Act, that expand government oversight of Memorial University, were approved in November 2021.
It is the university’s hope that the review process is efficient and timely and the amendment of the Memorial University Act will not be further delayed.
Memorial was previously reviewed by the auditor general in 2005 and 2014. The province also undertook a review of the public post-secondary education system in 2004-05 and again in 2019, the results of which were published in early 2021.
Memorial recognizes significant public funds are entrusted to it, largely in support of government policy to freeze tuition from 1999-2020. The 2021 budget included a policy shift away from tuition freeze and a $68.4-million decrease in the provincial allocation to Memorial over five years.
As Memorial works to address this decrease in provincial funding, it will continue to prioritize the needs of students and the university’s commitment to contributing to a resilient, prosperous and sustainable Newfoundland and Labrador.