NEW Principal of the University of the West Indies (UWI) St Augustine campus Professor Brian Copeland was praised as a visionary, innovator, a distinguished academic, a strong leader and a man of integrity at his induction ceremony on Saturday night.
Copeland was inducted as pro-vice chancellor and campus principal at a ceremony held at the Daaga Auditorium, UWI St Augustine. President Anthony Carmona and his wife and Chief Justice Ivor Archie were among those in attendance. Education Minister Anthony Garcia was among those paying tribute to Copeland on the night. Garcia described him as an “educator par excellence” who had virtually dedicated his life to the teaching profession.
He assured him that his ministry and the Government would work with him as they chart the way forward during his tenure. Chairman of the campus council Ewart Williams in his remarks said he rejoiced that the future of the campus had been placed in “capable and deserving hands” and noted his “impeccable academic credentials” and proven leadership ability. He added that Copeland is well known for his commitment to excellence, his students and above all, integrity.
“This country and our region face acute challenges of revitalising economic development as well as the social consequences that go with underdevelopment. Principal Copeland is supremely qualified and totally committed to lead the campus in an intensified effort at confronting and addressing these issues.”
National Gas Company (NGC) Chairman Gerry Brooks said that Copeland had distinguished himself as a “visionary thinker”, “innovator” and “team builder” and his assumption is principal is “a source of of special pride and cause for optimism in the future of the university.” “Given the development challenges facing Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean, his appointment to the helm of the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies could not be more opportune.”
He added: “In Professor Copeland, the University of the West Indies has found a respected scholar, an effective administrator and a leader in whom the arts and sciences converge.”
Brooks said the crucial linkage between NGC and UWI must express itself in the acceleration of research and development on themes such as monetisation of marginal gas fields, renewable energy projects including solar and wind programmers and energy efficiency. He added that NGC welcome UWI’s partnership as they explore opportunities in Ghana, Guyana, Cuba and other international jurisdictions.
President of the University of Trinidad and Tobago Professor Dyer Narinesingh described Copeland as a “respected colleague who has worked tirelessly for the holistic advancement of Trinidad and Tobago and the region at large.” “This is evidenced by his pioneering and innovative work on the steelpan but more so in his distinguished teaching and administrative career.”
He said this country and the Caribbean are very fortunate to have someone of Copeland’s calibre “who combines penetrating analytical ability, decisiveness with firmness, and a capacity for strong and clear-sighted leadership.”
“Chancellor, UWI has chosen a person to lead the St Augustine campus, one who motivates and energises others, bringing them together in a common enterprise, and doing so with vivacity, resilience, great human warmth and deeply human values.”
Cave Hill Campus Principal Professor V. Eudine Barriteau said that Copeland has been appointed in a time of austerity and a need for efficiency. She added that he will have to do the “multi loop corporate prance” to ensure that education remains affordable and accessible.
Mona Campus Principal Professor Archibald McDonald praised Copeland as a “distinguished academic” and predicted that he will continue to make great gains as those before him and transform the campus into a world class institution. He added that Copeland had proved over the years to be a leader of integrity and high standards and UWI was fortunate to have him assume he reins of leadership of the St Augustine campus.
Principal of the Open Campus Dr Luz Longsworth compared the campus to an orchestra and said that with Copeland they had a “pan man par excellence as part of our orchestra to add to our team as we percuss the region’s needs for development. Principal Copeland, without doubt we know that under your leadership there will be sweet music coming out of St Augustine campus.”
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