On February 11, 2022, the Memorial University Faculty Association (MUNFA) issued a statement to their membership titled “The Premature Departure of Provost Strzelczyk.” They state that since MUN’s new Provost issued their notice of resignation, less than six months into her tenure, there have been discussions on social media and in the hallways, including reactions of “eye-rolling, disappointment, anger, and the spins (rapidly revolving doors and all that). MUNFA states that such responses are conditioned by academic staff members’ familiarity with the senior administrators’ tendency to quit before their term is up.
MUNFA acknowledges that some turnover is inevitable as people retire, get sick, etc. However, they asked the question, “what does it cost us when early departure becomes routine and ‘senior leadership’ positions are seen as waystations for a footloose managerial class with no long-term commitment to Memorial or the people who work and study here?”
MUNFA also takes issue with the hiring costs. As first reported by this website, the costs of the search for the new Provost came to a total of $60,990.89, with most of it spent on “professional fees” for the headhunting firm Odgers Berndtson. MUNFA calls on Odgers Berndtson to refund its consulting fees for the search. They also call on Dr. Strzelczyk to repay fifty percent of her relocation costs in accordance with university policy.
Additionally, MUNFA calls on the university to stop contracting out to search consultants. Instead, MUNFA suggests that the university has “the in-house capacity to run a search job.” MUNFA states, “Those firms profit every time they are asked to ‘support’ a new search. They may want to keep the turnover rate below an embarrassing threshold, but beyond that, they gain every time a search is launched.”
See MUNFA’s full statement below:
Matt Barter is a fourth-year student in the Humanities and Social Sciences Faculty at Memorial University of Newfoundland, majoring in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. He enjoys reading thought-provoking articles, walks in nature, and volunteering in the community.