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Changes within administration and finance portfolio at Memorial

Sept. 19, 2012

Successful organizations adjust and adapt to changing needs and demands both inside and outside their walls, and Memorial University is no exception.

Last fall, reflecting the growth and increasing complexity of the university, the university’s governance structure was updated leading to the creation of the Vice-Presidents' Council, adoption of a provost structure and the addition of several new roles including vice-presidents and associate vice-presidents at the Grenfell and Marine Institute campuses.

“The next logical step for the administration and finance portfolio was to look at its structure,” said Kent Decker, vice-president (administration and finance). “With the support of the president, a review process was initiated and three peers from institutions across the country were engaged to review the situation and offer advice.”

One of the key findings was that too many functions were reporting directly to the vice-president (administration and finance). In some cases these were related functions and could reasonably be grouped under a single direct report; in other cases the functions are currently too broad and need additional staffing support.

“I am pleased that a number of recommendations stemming from this review have been accepted by the president and the Board of Regents,” said Mr. Decker. “The next step will be to recruit for a number of these roles, and I look forward to working with the team into the future.”

The changes are as follows:

Consolidate risk-oriented functions under a single leader by creating the new role of chief risk officer (CRO).

·     The CRO role will be responsible for emergency management, health and safety, Campus Enforcement and Patrol, and risk management.

·     The new CRO role, as well as other portfolio changes, will mean that the position of director of enterprise risk management will no longer be required.

·     A new role, manager, risk and insurance services, will be created to manage this function within the CRO’s team.

·     The CRO recruitment will begin immediately. Reporting structure will change coincident with that hiring.

Create the new role of associate vice-president (facilities).

·     The new AVP (facilities) is required given the strategic importance and scale of our facilities, and the significant new investment in capital projects.

·     The AVP (facilities) will be supported by two directors – the director of facilities management and a new director of capital projects.

Recruitment for the AVP (facilities) will begin immediately.

Strengthen the independence of internal audit.

·     Reflecting best governance practices, internal audit will report to the Board of Regents and administratively report to the Office of the President to ensure the appropriate autonomy for that function.

·     This reporting change is effective immediately.

Undertake further consultation on IT governance.

·     Recognizing the important role that information and technology play in all aspects of the university, further consultations on developing a chief information officer position will take place this fall.