IT Security Breach at Grenfell Campus (Jan 15)

TO: All MUNFA Members

FROM: The MUNFA Executive Committee

DATE: January 15, 2024

SUBJECT: IT Security Breach at Grenfell Campus

As a follow-up to a series of President’s Updates sent last week on the Grenfell Campus IT Security Breach (found here, here, and here), Memorial University President Neil Bose has since declined to meet with the MUNFA Executive.

These questions remain unanswered:

  • 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 first stage of 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?

On behalf of the MUNFA Executive, an email was sent to Tana Allen, VP Research, David Miller, Director of Research Initiatives and Services (RIS), Geoff Williams, Director of Faculty Relations, and Ian Sutherland, VP Grenfell, regarding concerns about the upcoming Tri-Council grant deadlines for impacted Academic Staff Members (ASMs).

In response, the MUNFA Executive was informed that RIS staff reached out to the SSHRC to notify them about the Grenfell situation and asked for an extension to the SSHRC Insight Development Grant deadline of Feb 2nd. The RIS office received an automatic acknowledgment of the request, but has not yet received a response. Any sponsor deadline extension will trigger a similar internal deadline extension.

Beyond this, the MUNFA Executive has been informed that RIS staff have been working with the research office staff at Grenfell this week to identify any other competitions (outside tri-agency programs) that may have impending deadlines, to request extensions. It was stated that this coordination of effort would continue for the duration of the recovery at Grenfell.

The MUNFA Executive strongly encourages MUNFA members of the Grenfell Campus to document all concerns impacting working, teaching, and research conditions in writing to As the fallout from the IT Security Breach continues to accumulate, there are substantial impacts on individual ASMs. The sooner MUNFA receives the details of the impacts on ASMs in writing, the better equipped MUNFA’s Grenfell Campus Academic Freedom and Grievance Committee and Labour Relations staff will be to address these concerns.