MUNFA Letter to Minister of Education Krista Lynn Howell

MUNFA President Ash Hossain and MUNFA President-elect Josh Lepawsky sent the following letter to Education Minister the Hon. Krista Lynn Howell.

The Honourable Krista Lynn Howell

Minister of Education

Government of Newfoundland and Labrador

PO BOX 8700

Confederation Building

St. John’s, NL

A1B 4J6


June 29, 2023

Re: Memorial University Board of Regents

Hon. Minister,

The MUNFA Executive would like to formally welcome you to your new position. 

We would like to take this opportunity to reiterate our current expectations regarding academic staff appointments to the Board of Regents. With the amendments to the Memorial University Act having received Royal Assent at the end of last month, we expect that the appointments of academic staff will be made promptly. As the next Board of Regents meeting is scheduled for Thursday, July 6th, we are requesting an update on the status of our nominations for appointment prior to this meeting. 

Failure to appoint academic staff members prior to next Thursday will result in a lack of representation until the meeting in October at the earliest. This is unacceptable and poses significant challenges to our collective goal of improving governance and relationships within Memorial University and with the provincial government itself. Our members, and the members of our partner unions, deserve and were promised better.

As was outlined in a letter to Min. Haggie on May 4, 2023, we remain concerned over the nomination process. Allowing government to choose who can represent our members conflicts with the autonomy of governance that is crucial to the core teaching and research missions of the university. The continued delays in this process have only exacerbated our concerns.

We continue to recognize the need to work together and acknowledge that you have been newly appointed to a large portfolio and position. These issues, however, have existed within Memorial’s governance structure for decades. All seven of the names submitted are representatives of essential units within Memorial who have been denied participation in one of its highest governing bodies. As of now, Memorial remains the only university in Canada without faculty representation on its Board of Regents. This must change.

As the Faculty Association for Newfoundland and Labrador’s only university, we expect this issue to be taken seriously by your office as changes are made for a better Memorial. Appointing academic staff to the Board of Regents is a small but significant step towards strengthening governance through further actions and changes. The promises made by Min. Haggie following the strike began the important process of rebuilding trust. To prevent a backslide, however, it is critical that government follows through on the commitments it made. 

The upcoming scheduled meeting underscores the urgency of this matter and we therefore expect an update on the status of our nominations as soon as possible. 

If you have any questions, or comments, or would like to discuss this further, please be in touch via


MUNFA President, Ash Hossain

MUNFA President-Elect, Josh Lepawsky