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Education Ministry clears the air on The UWI Selection Process

MOE News
Apr 26 2017

Coat of arms for Trinidad and Tobago

Government of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago



Education Towers, No.5 St. Vincent Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad

Phone: 868-622-2181

NEWS RELEASE             

Education Ministry clears the air on The UWI Selection Process


In light of comments following the announcement by the Honourable Anthony Garcia, Minister of Education that Mr. Robert Bermudez has been selected as the next Chancellor of the University of the West Indies, the Ministry of Education seeks to explain the process which was used to arrive at this decision. On September 7, 2016, the University Council established a Search Committee to commence the process for the appointment of a new Chancellor after Professor Sir George Alleyne had signaled his imminent retirement. A Chancellor holds the office for a period of seven years and may be reappointed for a second seven year term by the Council. Professor Sir George Alleyne was first appointed in 2003 and was reappointed for a second term on October 1, 2010. He will vacate office on July 31st, 2017. The Search Committee was chaired by Vice Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles and comprised the following: 

1. One representative of the Government of the Bahamas; 
2. One representative of the Government of Barbados;
3. One representative of the Government of Jamaica;
4. One representative of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago;
5. Two representatives of other contributing countries;
6. Five representatives of the Senate;
7. One representative of the Post Graduate Students’ Association;
8. One representative of the Guild of Students;
9. One representative of WIGUT; and
10. One Alumni representative 

To be appointed to the office of Chancellor one must be:


i. A national of the Commonwealth Caribbean

ii. A person of distinction in academic, professional or other worthy field of endeavour

iii. A person of high regional and international standing, capable of reflecting and promoting the aims and objectives of the University at the highest level

iv. A person with knowledge of, and interest in, University affairs

v. A person able to command the respect and co-operation of the University community


At the first meeting held on September 7 2016, members of the Search Committee were asked to submit their nominations by October 2016.


The following process would be used:


· There would be an examination of the credentials of the persons nominated

· Every effort would be made to arrive at a consensus.

· The recommendations would be discussed with the Prime Ministers of the region at their Caucus meeting,

· A follow up meeting would be held in January 2017

· A final meeting would be held in March 2017 to examine the inputs from the Prime Ministers


The Committee was of the view that there needed to be a paradigm shift away from a Chancellor whose background was strictly in academics. It was felt that since the Caribbean economies are on the decline, the University needed a Chancellor who in addition to academia also possesses business acumen.


Following this procedure, the Chairman reported to the Committee at its meeting on April 7, 2017 that all Heads of Governments were in agreement with the recommendation to select the nominee of the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, Mr. Robert Bermudez to be the next Chancellor of the University of the West Indies.


On Thursday 20th April 2017, Minister Garcia reported to Cabinet that at the 28th Intersessional Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Governments of CARICOM held in Guyana the Prime Ministers had all agreed with the decision of the Search Committee that Mr. Robert Bermudez be the next Chancellor of The University of the West Indies.


He also said during the meeting of the Business Session of Council of UWI that the report will be submitted for approval on April 27th, 2017.


At the Cabinet meeting, Minister Garcia was instructed to inform the population that the search for the UWI Chancellor was completed and that Mr. Robert Bermudez would be the next Chancellor.