Indigenous Cluster Hire Concerns

As MUNFA members are aware, Memorial University is in the process of concluding an Indigenous Cluster Hire (ICH)aimed at hiring up to five Indigenous Academic Staff Members (ASMs) into tenure-track positions in any discipline. Although MUNFA is very supportive of the ICH, and more broadly the Indigenization and decolonization of Memorial University, ASMs have raised significant concerns throughout the search process.

Having previously communicated many of these concerns in writing, on June 16, 2021, MUNFA representatives met with the senior administration to discuss issues relating to the ICH. At that meeting, the administration acknowledged that there were issues with the process and committed to meeting with MUNFA at a later date to hold a more detailed debrief.

At MUNFA’s October General Meeting, ASMs once again raised concerns regarding the ICH, particularly the impact it has had on the Indigenous candidates who applied. Those in attendance asked that the MUNFA Executive re-engage the senior administration on this matter to ensure concerns were addressed.

Additionally, ASMs at Grenfell Campus communicated to MUNFA their disappointed that the successful ICH candidates have predominantly been recommended for the St. John’s Campus despite Academic Units at Grenfell recommending candidates. As over 27% of Grenfell’s student body self-declare as Indigenous, and as the campus is situated in the territories of one of the largest bands in Canada, the MUNFA Executive agrees with these ASMs that the lack of allocation of at least one full time ICH position at Grenfell is quite concerning and inequitable.

On November 15, 2021, the MUNFA Executive once again wrote to senior administration to reiterate these concerns and to request a debrief meeting be scheduled before the end of November, 2021. As of this date MUNFA has not received a response, but we will update ASMs as this process continues.