In these first few weeks of 2024, I’m once again struck by the level of commitment and passion that people have for our institution.
When Grenfell Campus discovered a cybersecurity incident on Dec. 29, the university immediately implemented an emergency operations centre (EOC) to ensure the proper resources were put in place to respond to the challenges at hand.
Despite the holiday season, everyone who was called upon responded. This included people from IT, facilities, academic leadership, emergency management and communications from all campuses. As time went on, the number of people responding grew, including increasing input from academic staff members. I, and members of the senior leadership team, are involved daily as the executive planning group continues to provide strategic oversight.
IT staff in particular worked night and day to reach operational functionality at Grenfell Campus: Wi-Fi in residence, printing and copying services, access to mun.ca emails and various solutions to help the winter semester get underway. Much work was also completed on redirecting emails from Grenfell addresses to mun.ca emails, which helped fill a big gap in information for our Grenfell colleagues. In addition, almost all computer labs are now up and running for students and instructors. This took a tremendous amount of effort and co-ordination by our staff and faculty.
On behalf of the entire university community, I would like to extend a sincere thank you to our IT professionals on all campuses for their work. The response is an example of how campuses can work together to address challenges collaboratively and in the best interests of our community. We will continue to rely on your expertise throughout the recovery from this incident, as well as in the future.
To all our colleagues at Grenfell Campus, you rose to the challenge of adapting to work and classrooms that look very different than they did a few weeks ago. Your support and dedication to the Grenfell community have not gone unnoticed. Well done to you all for showing up, offering creative solutions to our students and demonstrating a willingness to do what it takes, every day.
Also, thank you to our students. You have once again shown resiliency and patience while returning to class as we navigate this incident. Your understanding is truly appreciated.
We are on the path toward recovery, but we recognize that it will take time. The external forensic investigation team advises that recovery efforts from the incident will take place over several weeks, and services and systems will look different than they did before. We are being guided by this team’s expertise to ensure that the Grenfell community will have the services they need in a safe and secure environment.
The commitment and perseverance that I’ve seen over the last few weeks will guide us to that point.