“All Hands on Deck” Demonstrates Value of Post-Secondary Education



MUNFA welcomes the release of “All Hands on Deck,” noting that the report offers a strong endorsement of the value of post-secondary education to Newfoundland and Labrador. In the words of the Review Committee: “Throughout this report, evidence of the positive impact of post-secondary education on individuals and society as a whole is highlighted. Post-secondary education is an investment in the future and a source of expertise in the present.”

“While it will take some time to fully study a report as comprehensive as this one, academic staff at Memorial echo its conclusion that post-secondary education is an investment in our collective well-being, now and into the future,” said MUNFA President, Bill Schipper. “We hope that our Government also recognizes the value of a high-quality, publicly funded, accessible system of post-secondary education to the people of the province socially, culturally, and economically.”

MUNFA appreciated the report’s recommendation that self-governance and transparency at Memorial University be reviewed and strengthened.  As “All Hands on Deck” notes, the province’s only university is an outlier in Canada by not having academic staff representation on the Board of Regents.

MUNFA also welcomed the reviewers’ attention to the vital role that post-secondary institutions play in the generation of knowledge through research and graduate education. “We note in particular the recommendation that government better support this aspect of our work,” said Schipper. MUNFA will offer a more detailed assessment of the report’s findings on research and innovation soon, but observed that strong research institutions foster curiosity-driven research alongside more targeted and applied work.

“MUNFA echoes the CFS-NL’s concern at seeing a call to review the tuition model at Memorial University. However, we are certain that a new economic impact study, as recommended in the report, will clearly demonstrate the value of the tuition freeze and the importance of an accessible system of post-secondary education for the benefit of the province,” said Schipper.

More broadly, MUNFA emphasizes the review’s critical message to the provincial government regarding the importance of maintaining, as the report put it, “at least the current level of support for the operating grant for Memorial University, with no further reductions.”

The MUN Faculty Association is the certified bargaining agent for 850 academic staff members at Memorial University.