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Open letter response

President Timmons responds to climate change concerns

Campus and Community

Yesterday, June 1, President Vianne Timmons and senior leaders at Memorial received an open letter related to climate change and the oil and gas industry.

You can read the open letter here.

Below is a copy of Dr. Timmons’ response, which was shared with the primary signatory, Dr. Rachel Webb Jekanowski, yesterday evening.

Dear Dr. Jekanowski:

Thank you for the open letter received today, June 1, 2020, and for the time and attention you and your colleagues have given to this important topic.

I want to thank you and your colleagues for being so engaged. One of the many wonderful things I am learning about since coming to Memorial University in April is how involved our faculty, staff and students are in addressing the diverse issues, challenges and opportunities facing our province.

I also appreciate you and your colleagues writing me about this important issue. I participated in the virtual news conference in order to present how our faculty, staff, students and alumni intersect with the oil and gas industry. They are researching, educating and preparing our students for careers in this field. This is the reality today at Memorial.

At the same time, Memorial University is committed to action on climate change and is working to find innovative solutions both within our own sphere of operations and in helping to define the post-carbon economy of this province and beyond through research, teaching and learning and public engagement.

You are absolutely correct that universities should be leaders in new thinking about issues and problems. Universities are the best places to have discussions and to explore and learn from all sides of an issue. Green, clean, alternate energy is an important focus for the future of this planet and it is an important focus for Memorial University as well.

In your letter, you have asked for Memorial University’s senior leadership, including me, to recommit to the MUN Crisis Pledge to take meaningful, measurable action on climate change. Of course, I am committed to the MUN Crisis Pledge, which was signed by my predecessor, Dr. Kachanoski, on September 26, 2019. Further, I will bring your additional action statements to the senior leadership table for discussion this week. Thank you again for writing me about this important societal issue.

Sincerely,

Vianne Timmons


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