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Education
December 16, 2009

Government Announces Plan for Increased Grenfell Autonomy

A number of initiatives announced by the Provincial Government today will increase the independence of Sir Wilfred Grenfell and facilitate its growth. These initiatives build on the strengths of Grenfell and appropriately recognize its role as a university institution and not a college.

The Honourable Darin King, Minister of Education, made the announcement today in Corner Brook. He was joined by Bob Simmonds, Chair of the Memorial University Board of Regents, and the Honourable Tom Marshall, MHA for Humber East. Also in attendance were representatives from Grenfell and Memorial University, including Dr. Holly Pike, Grenfell Principal (acting), and Dr. Chris Loomis, President, pro tempore, of Memorial University.

To assist the growth and independence of Sir Wilfred Grenfell, the Provincial Government has formally requested that the Board of Regents:

  • Rename Sir Wilfred Grenfell College to Memorial University of Newfoundland-Corner Brook to enhance its unique identity within the university system;
  • Submit a separate budget to the Provincial Government through the Board of Regents to allow independent budget processes and priority setting; and,
  • Position the principal of Grenfell on the senior executive committee, reporting directly to the president of Memorial University.

“Grenfell has already proven that it is capable of great things and this is an opportune time to build on its current success,” said Minister King. “This government firmly believes that post-secondary education is key to the economic agenda of the west coast and the province. To support its growth, we are also announcing today an investment of $6.5 million for Grenfell.”

Minister King noted that this represents a 38 per cent increase in the operating grant for Grenfell. This will bring the new investment in 2009-10 to $4 million, an additional $2 million in 2010-11, followed by an additional $500,000 in 2011-12.

This funding will support priorities identified by Grenfell to enhance its own marketing and student recruitment efforts, including an international office to attract students and identify new markets with the greatest recruitment potential.

“Providing this increased funding supports Grenfell and the rest of the province as we are marketing Memorial University,” said Minister King. “As well, increased marketing of Grenfell’s quality programs and services will enhance its standing in the global education community.”

“Our government made a commitment to ensuring that Sir Wilfred Grenfell College had the capability and resources necessary to increase their autonomy and promote themselves as a world-class university institution,” said the Honourable Danny Williams, Premier of Newfoundland and Labrador and MHA for Humber West. “These initiatives fulfill this commitment in a tangible way and I look forward to seeing great things from Grenfell as they move forward. Corner Brook and surrounding region has made great progress in the past six years and through our continued financial support, our government is proud of our commitment to the west coast of the province.”

This funding will also support five new positions to attract increased research funding for Grenfell. As well, it will support additional positions in student support services and general operations at Grenfell, based on its strategic planning process. Furthermore, annual funding in the amount of $1.6 million will eliminate Grenfell’s existing operating deficit.

Finally, this funding will support the establishment of a Sir Wilfred Grenfell Secretariat, located in Corner Brook, to support Grenfell as it implements key priority areas for growth.

“These initiatives, and the investments outlined above, recognize the high quality of post-secondary education available on our west coast,” said Minister King. “We are looking to all parties to provide leadership as these initiatives are implemented.”

“Our goal is unwavering – to grow Grenfell in terms of programs, enrollment and research, with the focus on its tremendous strengths, within the Memorial University of Newfoundland community,” said Mr. Simmonds.

“The positive changes Minister King announced today give us the resources to support marketing, recruitment, research, and student services,” said Dr. Pike. “These initiatives, which include greater local control of our fiscal planning, are critical initiatives we have identified to give us greater autonomy.”

“The new initiatives announced today are very positive news for the Grenfell community and the whole west coast,” said Minister Marshall. “A renamed Memorial University of Newfoundland-Corner Brook will play an integral role in the economy of Western Newfoundland and the new investments and initiatives will ensure that Grenfell has the necessary resources and tools to address the issue of autonomy, market the university, and address in a major way the recruiting of students to the Corner Brook campus.”

This announcement complements several other provincial investments in Sir Wilfred Grenfell including $15.5 million for a new academic building; $1.8 million for a Centre for Environmental Excellence; $1.6 million for the purchase of the RecPlex Building; and $1.1 million for a new student services building.

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Media contacts:

Tara Power
Director of Communications
Department of Education
709-729-0048, 727-5953
tarapower@gov.nl.ca
Elizabeth Matthews
Director of Communications
Office of the Premier
709-729-3960
elizabethmatthews@gov.nl.ca
Andrea Nolan
Press Secretary
Office of the Premier
709-729-4304, 727-0991
andreanolan@gov.nl.ca
Victoria Collins
Executive Director, Marketing and Communications
Memorial University of Newfoundland
709-737-8662
vcollins@mun.ca
Larry Wells
Executive Assistant to the Hon. Tom Marshall, MHA Humber East
709-637-2575
larrywells@gov.nl.ca
 

BACKGROUNDER
Seven Priority Areas for Sir Wilfred Grenfell

The following details the Provincial Government’s $6.5 million investment and seven priority areas announced for Sir Wilfred Grenfell:

New Name
The Provincial Government has requested that the Board of Regents rename Sir Wilfred Grenfell College to Memorial University of Newfoundland-Corner Brook to reflect that it is in fact a university campus.

Principal to Serve on Senior Executive Team
The Provincial Government is requesting that the principal of Grenfell serve on the senior executive committee and report to the president of Memorial University.

Separate Budget for Sir Wilfred Grenfell
The Board of Regents has been requested to submit separate budgets to the Provincial Government for Sir Wilfred Grenfell and the rest of Memorial University beginning in fiscal year 2011-12.

Marketing and Student Recruitment
Funding of $1.76 million is allocated for local, national and international student recruitment, as well as funding to brand and market the Corner Brook campus as a university and to recruit students to the campus.

Sir Wilfred Grenfell Secretariat
The Board of Regents has been asked to establish a Sir Wilfred Grenfell Secretariat located in Corner Brook to work collaboratively with the Board of Regents and Grenfell and to support the re-branding, marketing and recruitment efforts. Funding of $500,000 is allocated for this.

Research, Student Services and Administration
Funding will be allocated in the amount of $2.6 million to support five new positions to attract increased research funding for Grenfell. As well, the funding will support additional positions in student support services and administrative support at Grenfell, to support growth in both research and student enrolment.

Elimination of the Fiscal Deficit
The Provincial Government is providing annual funding in the amount of $1.6 million to eliminate Grenfell’s existing operating deficit.

2009 12 16                     3:10 p.m.


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