$20K on retreats to golf courses highlights list of MUN hosting expenses – Newfoundland & Labrador

Senior staff at Memorial University have spent thousands of dollars on retreats to golf resorts and fruitless searches for new administrators.

In a document obtained by CBC News, hosting expenses are listed over a five-year period from 2010 to 2015.

The 31-page spreadsheet shows more than $20,000 spent on retreats for the dean’s council, as well as hundreds of catered events and dinners for guests.

In recent weeks, the university has said it is struggling to find ways to cut costs as the government continues to slash its budget.

Advanced Education Minister Gerry Byrne has fired back by taking aim at the administration’s discretionary spending.

Weekends at the Wilds

The documents show then-provost David Wardlaw had a penchant for golf course retreats.

Four such events took place at the Wilds, a resort on Salmonier Line. Those trips ranged from $2,386 to $6,596, with between 20 and 43 attendees.

Four events took place at the Wilds, a resort on Salmonier Line. Those trips ranged from $2,386 to $6,596, with between 20 and 43 attendees. (CBC)

While those expenses do not include rounds of golf, it does include accommodations and meals, said Memorial University communications manager David Sorensen.

Another retreat was to Admiral’s Green golf course in Pippy Park, hosting 40 people over the course of a day for $2,179.

In total, the golf-related events expensed by Wardlaw come to $21,840.

Thousands expensed in hiring search

After Wardlaw announced his retirement, Noreen Golfman took on the role as provost on an interim basis in September 2014.

The search then began for a permanent provost.

Noreen Golfman served as interim provost and was later hired permanently, after several meetings and thousands of dollars spent by MUN. (CBC)

These searches often gathered 10-15 people together for catered meetings, which were expensed by university president Gary Kachanoski.

After six catered meetings about the search for a provost, Kachanoski…

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