16 December 2009

The die is cast aside

“The die is cast!”

That’s what then-education minister Joan Burke said back in 2007 when the current provincial administration unveiled its plan to give Sir Wilfred Grenfell College something called “autonomy” from Memorial University. 

She was arrogantly dismissing concerns raised about the feasibility of creating a second university in the province.

Burke even used the word “independent” in a news release in 2007 - “Grenfell College is about to gain independence…” – something she predicted would happen in 2008. 

Well, in 2009, none of the promises came true.

And you can tell none of the promises came true because the announcement was made by Darrin King, the education minister, and not Danny Williams, the premier behind the whole drive.

You can also tell there’s nothing to get excited about because the release is gigantic – 13 paragraphs – and there are no fewer than five media contacts.  The way these things usually go, the less positive news there is, the more names are listed as media contacts.

Under the proposed approach, Grenfell will lose its separate and proud identity, becoming instead something to be called Memorial University  - Corner Brook.

It also won’t get a separate president or senate, as recommended by two consultants hired in 2005 to look at the whole idea of Grenfell “autonomy”.  Their Option 1A was the one supposedly on the books to be implemented.

Instead, the current senior official – named the Principal – will continue to be called the Principal and will report directly to the President of Memorial.  And there will be a separate budget presented to government through Memorial University in St. John’s.

Whoopee ding.

The whole thing looks suspiciously like the consultant’s Option 2A  but without the administrative clout of having a separate president for the new university at Corner Brook.

And what were the disadvantages noted for that by the consultants, you may ask?

  • common Senate reduces Grenfell’s academic autonomy and
    development potential;
  • little change from current unsatisfactory situation.

That’s right.  The consultant’s considered that the approach government ultimately  would actually reduce Grenfell’s autonomy and offer little change from the status quo.

Looks like the die for Grenfell autonomy Joan Burke talked about wound up getting cast alright, cast aside.

Expect lots of negative reaction to this as the magnitude of the broken promise starts to sink in for people in Corner Brook.



Marx-A-Million said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
New said...

Memorial University - Corner Brook, Grenfell College sounds better to me. It is almost less autonomy.

Jingles said...

Is it legitimate to think, an excuse would be found in order to cloud a request for University status in Corner Brook? Memorial University doesn't want competition.

Ed Hollett said...

Adios, Marx. Take your spam somewhere else

Ed Hollett said...

Not sure what you are talking about Jingles and i don't think you are either.

One Woman said...

Changing the name to Memorial University – Corner Brook is a step backwards – a step away from atonomy. Grenfell University would be much more acceptable. Given the focus on marketing our local university, we can’t afford to go through numerous iterations and name changes.

Lonenewfwolf said...

what about the direction they're gonna take? bet you there's godlike oil and gas money in there somewhere looking for a namesake.

ask the new commandant in town, he knows all about the goings on around such things (seeing as he's from little texas north).

Ed Hollett said...

Unless his name is memoruial University - Corner Brook, he will be SOL, there LNW.

Meanwhile, you seem to be full of conspiracy theories all of a sudden.

Lonenewfwolf said...

conspiracy?? naw, that's old world thinking my friend. the conspiracy is simply the greed of our brothers being played out on the earth.

i'm just following the money, not that hard really. first comes greed, then the money if they're lucky, and the legacy if they pay enough people off.

take our new leader of the brightest for instance and follow his progress backwards...http://canadiandimension.com/articles/1779/. bet you he's been put in place to do a very specific job at this point in our short history. i sure don't want to go down alberta's short bright path, that place'll be a desert in the next decade.

its all very interesting is all, the folly of man. i just like to grow food and work / run / be in the forest with my animals, nothing conspiratorial about that, but it sure makes it easy to see them and watch their degression when i put my head up and look around for a minute or two.

keep up the good work.