Major shake-up in UG’s Leadership; Increased budget proposal for 2017
Recently appointed Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith is hoping to make good his promises for change at the institution; starting with a massive restructuring of the institution’s management and a “bold request” of a $5.2B budget from the Government for the year 2017.
Professor Griffith assumed office on June 14.
In a statement on Thursday, the institution said the proposal was endorsed by the Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC) of The University; the second highest policy making body after the University Council; at a meeting held on Monday, August 22, 2016, at the Turkeyen Campus.
“The university is seeing GUY$3.0 for recurrent expenditure and GUY$2.2 billion for capital works, center” the statement said.
It pointed out that the priorities of the administration focus on increased salaries for academic and non-academic staff, the provision of basic supplies and facilities that have been undermining efficiency and morale for years, campus security, and improving several of the facilities that negatively impact health and safety as well as security.
In the institution’s budget is a proposal for several new buildings including a library, an academic complex to house the Business School, the Center for Teaching and Learning, the School of Graduate Studies and Research, and the Office of Undergraduate Research.
Also approved at Monday’s meeting was the purchase of a badly-needed stcentre, using existing resources from the Learning Resource funds. The Vice-Chancellor plans to have the student centre operational during the upcoming semester.
The re-organisation plan, which reassigns a few existing officials, promotes one individual and establishes a few new positions, aims to create greater levels of efficiency and effectiveness and set the stage for innovation in academic and non-academic areas, the learning institution said.
The changes, which become effective on October 1 this year entails having;
- Dr Michael Scott, until recently Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, becomes Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academic Engagement. In addition to the Faculties within his portfolio, Dr Scott will have oversight over several new units: the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning; the School of Graduate Studies and Research; and the Office of Undergraduate Research, the latter two of which will get some initial leadership guidance from the Vice-Chancellor because of his expertise and experience in those areas.
- The current Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Academics, Dr Barbara Reynolds, has been reassigned as Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Planning and International Engagement, a new entity intended to streamline and extend UG’s international relationships and build new grant, research, and other relationships with other universities and with international organisations. With her years of experience in UNICEF and other international agencies, Dr Reynolds is expected to facilitate new and dynamic international pursuits.
- Dr Paloma Mohamed, a former Director of the Center for Communication Studies and a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, will occupy the newly created position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement.
- Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Planning and Development, Dr Elizabeth Ramlal, has been invited to become Executive Director of the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education (IDCE), to lead the realignment of the Institute to strengthen its service delivery across the country and realise it entrepreneurial potential.
- The new administrative team will be further strengthened with the establishment of an Office of Strategic Initiatives as an adjunct to the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, to undertake institutional strengthening, project management, and allied services.
- The current Programme Officer in the Office of the Vice- Chancellor, Ms Karen Wishart, has been promoted to become the first occupant of the newly established position of Chief of Staff in the Vice-Chancellery. This promotion coincides with the renaming of the Senior Administrative Group to the Vice-Chancellor’s Cabinet, which would include the Deputy Vice Chancellors, Registrar, Bursar, Human Resources Director, Director of the Berbice Campus, the Legal Officer—a new position—the Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives and the Chief of Staff.
- The re-designation of the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences as a full-fledged Faculty with a Dean. Vice-Chancellor Griffith observed that in addition to the superior teaching and research already being done by that unit, elevating it to a Faculty enhances its respectability and the prospects for more grants and consulting contracts by the academic staff there.