On Campus

Memorial University's peculiar circumstances

Globe and Mail columnist Jeffery Simpson writes on the news that Memorial University’s acting-president is leaving for the presidency of the University of New Brunswick:

In Memorial’s peculiar circumstances, the search committee spent a long time doing its work, and recommended Eddy Campbell, who was at Memorial. In every other Canadian university in English-speaking Canada (Quebec universities have a different process), that would have been the end of it. The committee would recommend someone to the board of trustees, whose members would then approve the choice, without the provincial government having a say.

But in the kingdom of Danny Williams, all power flows from the Premier, including (as is bizarrely allowed by provincial statute) vetoing a university president recommended by people who know far more about such matters than he or his ministers, and who had been duly charged with making the selection.

Mr. Campbell, good soldier, took the unconscionable interference by the Premier, yet carried on as acting president. He will now land at UNB, luckily for that institution.