I know this new semester brings excitement, and likely, a bit of anxiety, as we come together as a community to provide our students with the best experience we can.
I’m looking forward to all of us working together as Team Memorial, to create a culture of collaboration, cohesion and alignment, particularly as it comes to supporting each other and helping us all to thrive.
Care and well-being
This spirit of collegiality is very important to me. And, I hope, to you.
In fact, in our new strategic plan, one of the aspects of our culture that I’d like to focus on is diversity and inclusion; to strive to be a place where all peoples are accepted.
It’s also a place of care and well-being where we support each other and help each other to thrive. I am very committed to this type of caring and inclusive culture.
Personal attacks not acceptable
We have made some difficult decisions at Memorial in recent months, such as the decisions around tuition and mask and vaccine mandates. These decisions provided an opportunity for spirited debate and discussion, something every university should encourage and support.
In some cases, this occurred. In other cases, I, and other members of my leadership team, received vile, hateful and unacceptable comments. I was very distressed to see our new provost be subjected to personal attacks on her first week. This is not acceptable.
People can disagree and still respect each other. As president of Memorial, I will do everything in my power to ensure our university is a safe, welcoming and inclusive university. I will accept nothing else. And I ask that you accept nothing else either.
I commit to stand and condemn personal attacks made on any faculty, staff and students and I ask you to stand with me.
Together we can ensure that Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador is a place that exemplifies respect and civility.
My best wishes for a semester filled with new friendships and learnings.