As 2023 draws to a close, I’d like to say thank you to all of you who are part of the Memorial University community.
In a year with many challenges, we’ve seen Memorial’s community rise to the occasion, supporting one another while serving our university, our province, our country and our world with an aim to pursue knowledge to create a fair, just and equitable world.
I am deeply appreciative of the tremendous support I have received since taking on this position in April. When I began as president at Memorial, I committed to serving our community with transparency and collegiality.
One of my top priorities has been to prioritize searches that are currently filled on an interim or acting basis. To that end, Dr. Ian Sutherland has been appointed as vice-president (Grenfell Campus) and Lisa Browne into a combined role as vice-president (administration, finance and advancement). Also appointed since September: Dr. Amy Warren as the associate vice-president (academic) and dean of graduate studies, Dr. Pamela Osmond-Johnson, dean of education, and Dr. Anne Marie Sullivan, dean of human kinetics and recreation. Searches for five other deans are currently ongoing (as of Dec. 12), the search for provost and vice-president (academic) is underway and the committee for the search for the vice-president (Marine Institute) will soon be complete.
Another priority throughout the fall has been working with the Board of Regents to address the recommendations of the auditor general’s Audit Report on Memorial University. More information was shared in an update to the university community on Dec. 14. We will continue to report to the community as this work continues.
The Board of Regents has welcomed 16 new members since July 2023. This included, for the first time, the introduction of “members of the teaching staff of the university or an affiliated college” whose input has brought an extremely valuable new faculty perspective. We are implementing a joint Board-Senate liaison committee, aimed at improving both relationships and operations of Memorial’s two governing bodies.
The committee to review collegial governance at Memorial has been established, with representatives from faculty, students, academic administrators and regents. This was a commitment coming out of the collective agreement signed with the Memorial University of Newfoundland Faculty Association in early 2023. An extremely valuable discussion was led by this committee at a special meeting of Senate in November and we look forward to their continued important work.
This year, with both its challenges and its successes, has reaffirmed my commitment to ensuring Memorial is a place where our students and employees can thrive.
Our diverse community is incredibly talented—and with that talent comes the choice to live, work and study anywhere in the world. You have chosen to come to Memorial and we are all better for it. Thank you.
As we look ahead to our 100th anniversary in 2025, let’s reflect on how far we’ve come and how much we’ve grown in our learning and teaching, our research and our local and global reach.
Please take a few minutes to explore Memorial’s 2023 Report to the Community, which includes key facts and figures as well as a link to the stories that reflect our connections to our students, alumni, faculty, staff and communities.
I wish you a joyous holiday season and look forward to continuing to work with you, and for you, in 2024.
Dr. Neil Bose