Congrats to UWI and the new principal

Robert Bermudez
Robert Bermudez

THE EDITOR: The University of the West Indies (St Augustine campus) deserves a new principal like Professor Rose-Marie Belle Antoine, a well-rounded academic with policy-making experience.

In addition, as far as I know, she has a good understanding of the fundamental purpose of the university in our developing Caribbean society, especially in our diversified Trinidad and Tobago.

There is hope that Antoine will effectively handle the challenges of the university-government connection and also the statutory criteria of effective teaching, sound published research and public service for academic staff.

As a former member of the Faculty of Social Sciences, I respectfully suggest, as one of her early projects, that a look be taken at the step-by-step process for academic appointments and especially promotion to help ensure that these are effectively done according to merit, transparency and demonstrated performance.

Consistent fairness is a key element in maintaining the morale of academic staff. Outcomes of critical thinking and fairness are vital to university culture and the tax-paying society. A university is no place for friendly favouritism or heavy-handed patronage.

There are obvious difficulties in raising such a matter from inside The UWI. I have unfortunately witnessed how cliquishness and compliant leadership could damage the otherwise honourable objectives of an institution.

The recent Sir Dennis Byron report on The UWI governance and, as accepted by the University Council chaired by Chancellor Robert Bermudez, raised a number of macro overhead issues, mainly about regional management and finance. There remains, however, a number of ground-level campus issues needing attention.

The 30-year old push for campus autonomy as against centralised management seems to have withered. It remains an objective worthy of current attention.

I congratulate Prof Antoine and The UWI on a deserving appointment.


professor emeritus


"Congrats to UWI and the new principal"

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