Evolving Impacts of IT Security Breach at Grenfell Campus (Jan 9)

President’s Update


January 9th, 2024


Evolving Impacts of IT Security Breach at Grenfell Campus


As the IT Security Breach at Grenfell Campus continues to evolve, the impacts on MUNFA’s members remain considerable. MUNFA has been excluded from all decision-making processes in response to this breach and has become increasingly concerned by the reports coming in from members of the Grenfell Campus.

On January 1st, the Provost requested a call regarding the IT Security Breach. The call was made after the IT breach had already been made public and has since been referenced repeatedly as an example of MUNFA’s inclusion in the decision-making process. It is not the case that MUNFA has had any involvement in the decision-making process around this incident. The communication MUNFA has received from administrators amounts to nothing more than advance notice of decisions already made by the administration.

On January 3rd, an email was sent on behalf of the MUNFA Executive to the VP Grenfell, Ian Sutherland, and the Director of Faculty Relations, Geoff Williams, requesting a further delay to the semester until ASMs could reasonably work. On January 5th a response was received from the administration claiming that the situation is contained enough to continue without further delay beyond January 8th as previously decided by the administration.

MUNFA is aware that, as a consequence of the cybersecurity breach, many members do not have access to essential working materials.

Expecting members to continue to work without access to the necessary resources to do so is unacceptable.

As a result of these significant impacts, and the decision for Grenfell Campus to continue forward without necessary resources, the MUNFA Executive is requesting an emergency meeting with President Neil Bose.

In the interest of transparency and accountability, these are the primary asks for this meeting:

  • What is the full scope of the IT security breach?
  • What are the expected long-term implications of the breach?
  • What information has been compromised?
  • What is the expected timeline for the recovery of resources?
  • Is there a commitment that members unable to teach due to loss of resources will not then “owe” courses if sections must be cancelled?
  • Will the Senior Administration commit to an MOU to allow for affected ASMs to defer tenure processes similar to the one signed during the pandemic?
  • Will the Senior Administration provide MUNFA with an up-to-date list of contact information for our members as well as Grenfell’s administration to utilize for the duration of these complications?
  • Was this cybersecurity hack a result of budget and staffing cuts? Will there be further cuts as a result?
  • Are there further impacts to be anticipated that have not already been raised?

To ensure impacted members receive adequate labour relations support, MUNFA’s Grenfell Campus members are encouraged to email munfa@mun.ca with the impacts this breach is having on working conditions.

For those who may have missed MUNFA’s earlier correspondences on this issue, they can be found here, here, and here.

 Josh Lepawsky

Professor of Geography and MUNFA President