Memorial University represents not just a place of learning or of creativity meeting the academic needs of civil society. Its very name is a commemoration of our young people who fought two World wars in order to protect democracy.
For that reason alone, Memorial must never flinch from its obligation to be a source of vibrancy and transparency for our democratic institutions. It should never become a convenient vehicle to promote government policy. It should rebuke government when it uses it fiscal muscle to diminish the University’s independence from political influence.
There is growing concern that such influence is growing inexorably.
There is no better example than the attempt, a few years ago, by former Premier Danny Williams and his Minister, responsible for Post-Secondary Education, to subvert the process of appointing a University President.