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Message from Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor

Jan. 9, 2014

Message from Dr. Gary Kachanoski, president and vice-chancellor

TO: Memorial University Community

Re: institution-wide closure/power outage

The winter semester of 2014 will be remembered for its exceptional winds, snow, cold and related power outages. But we are mostly back, safe and sound, and I want to personally thank the entire Memorial University community for your patience and understanding through this difficult time.

As you know, we closed all university facilities on the Island of Newfoundland from Jan. 6-8 in response to government’s request to meet provincial energy conservation needs.

This presented a number of challenges to our students, faculty and staff, particularly our on-campus residence students. Their care and comfort was our first priority in response to the power outages and the closure. Student Housing worked since Friday to ensure all on-campus residence students in St. John’s and Corner Brook were warm, fed, safe and secure.

With re-opening today our priority is commencement of all students’ academic programs (including making classes, labs and student spaces safe and comfortable). 

Administrative units have also re-opened, but will continue energy conservation measures (limiting use of power in lighting, equipment, spaces, etc. that are not directly involved in the delivery of academic programming).

In the case of rolling blackouts, we will manage them to ensure that the classrooms in the university are fed power and other non-academic areas are shut down if necessary.

All deadlines (such as tuition fees payment, course drop/add, etc.) will be extended by the number (three) of business days that were lost.

There will be some adjustments to the semester schedule, but the scheduled mid-term break and end-of-semester study break will remain intact.  Details about those adjustments will be communicated separately.

Loss of power did result in significant damage to some facilities and some of the university community experienced considerable inconvenience with flooding of offices and other work areas. We are working very hard to remediate these problems.

The total financial impact is not known at this time, as we are concentrating on our priority of resuming academic programs, but we have been in contact with our insurers.

Again, thank you all, and particularly to those staff and faculty who worked throughout the situation to help us manage it. I wish you all a successful and fruitful winter semester 2014.