About the Vice-Chancellor & Principal
Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith was appointed the Tenth Principal and Vice-Chancellor of The University of Guyana in June 2016, having served earlier as Executive-in-Residence at The University at Albany, State University of New York, and the Ninth President of Fort Valley State University in Georgia, where he led the right-sizing of the educational and economic enterprise, focusing on growing enrolment, enhancing the academic profile, controlling spending, launching Honours and Undergraduate Research programs, and initiating a feasibility study to establish a School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation.
A tenured professor of political science, he served from 2007 to 2013 as provost and senior vice-president at York College in New York where notable achievements included growing the full-time faculty by 30 percent, re-organising Academic Affairs into Schools of Business and Information Systems, Arts & Sciences, and Health Sciences and Professional Programmes, and enhancing research and scholarship by creating the Provost Lectures, the Distinguished Scholars Lectures, and the Undergraduate Research Programme. He also established Discovery to celebrate and incentivise faculty excellence in research and service. Earlier, he had been provost at Radford University in Virginia, budget dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida International University (FIU), and dean of The Honours College at FIU, all while holding his professorship.
A University of Guyana alumnus, he was the first person to graduate with distinction in political science. He also holds a Master of Arts from Long Island University, New York, and both a Master of Philosophy and a PhD. in Political Science from The City University of New York Graduate School. As well, he graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education's programme in educational leadership and the Millennium Leadership Institute of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. An expert on Caribbean and hemispheric security, drugs and crime, he originated the concept of Geonarcotics in the early 1990s as a way to study the complex relationship involving drugs, geography, power and politics, outlining it first in Canada's leading international affairs scholarly magazine: "From Cold War Geopolitics to Post-Cold War Geonarcotics," International Journal Vol. 49 (Winter) 1993- 94, 1-36.
Recipient of the 2017 Cacique Crown of Honour for exemplary international scholarship and transformational higher education leadership on the occasion of the 51st Anniversary of the Independence of Guyana and the 2015 William J. Perry Award for Excellence in Security and Défense Education named in honour of former United States Defence Secretary Dr William J. Perry. Professor Griffith has published seven books, including Strategy and Security in the Caribbean (1991), the highly acclaimed Drugs and Security in the Caribbean (1997), the research for which was funded by the MacArthur Foundation in the United States, The Political Economy of Drugs in the Caribbean (2000), and Caribbean Security in the Age of Terror (2004). Most recently, he wrote The United States and the Caribbean 30 years after the Grenada Invasion: Dynamics of Geopolitics and Geonarcotics for the Dr. William J. Perry Centre of the United States National Defence University.
His more than 50 academic and policy articles have appeared in numerous prestigious publications, including Security and Defence Studies Review (US), Social and Economic Studies (Caribbean), Low Intensity Conflict and Law Enforcement (US), Naval War College Review (US), Third World Quarterly (UK), Journal of Money Laundering Control (UK), Caribbean Quarterly (Caribbean), Caribbean Studies (Caribbean), Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics (UK), University of Miami Law Review (US), Caribbean Perspectives (Caribbean), Dickinson Journal of International Law (US), Caribbean Affairs (Caribbean), Conflict Quarterly (Canada), Mershon International Studies Review (US), UN Institute for Disarmament Research Newsletter (UN), The Round Table (UK), Latin American Research Review (US), International Journal (Canada), Journal of the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (Caribbean), INTERSEC: Journal of International Security (UK), Summit of the Americas Bulletin (US), Joint Force Quarterly (US), CARICOM Perspective (Caribbean), and New West Indian Guide (Holland). His work also has appeared in several encyclopaedia, including The Encyclopaedia of Drugs, Alcohol, and Addictive Behaviour and Defence and Security: A Compendium of National Armed Forces and Security Policies.
Professor Griffith has been a consultant to the Commonwealth Secretariat, USAID, Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, and several agencies in the United States and the Caribbean, and he has testified before the U.S. Congress on Caribbean security issues.
A past president of the Caribbean Studies Association, he has been a visiting scholar at the Dr. William J. Perry Centre for Hemispheric Defence Studies in Washington, DC., the Royal Military College of Canada, and the George Marshall European Centre for Security Studies in Germany. He also has served on the editorial board of Security and Defence Studies Review and other journals. In 2012-2013 he was among the Group of Experts commissioned by the Secretary General of the Organization of American States to review hemispheric drug policies and practices and offer anti-drug scenarios through 2025, and in 2016 he was invited to deliver the Spring 2016 Global Studies Lecture at Wenzhou-Kean University in China.
As well, Professor Griffith has been quoted in numerous media, including The New York Times, Time, Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, New York Carib News, Barbados Nation, Tages-Anzeiger (Switzerland), Washington Post, Associated Press, US News and World Report, Miami Herald, San Antonio Express News, Stabroek News and Kaieteur News (Guyana), Trinidad Express, Christian Science Monitor, Dallas Morning News, New Jersey Star Ledger, Los Angeles Times, New Jersey Courier, BBC World Service, and Gleaner (Jamaica). A Rotarian, he also has served on the Vestry of St. George's Episcopal Church in New York, where he headed the Ambassador Programme and Education Committee. He currently attends St. George’s Cathedral. Once a trustee of the Jamaica Centre for Arts & Learning in New York, he also led the academic component of Guyana's Golden Jubilee independence celebrations, which held symposia in Georgetown and New York. He and his wife of three decades, Francille, a registered nurse, have two adult children and one grandchild.
On assuming the Vice-Chancellorship, Professor Griffith launched Project Renaissance, which aims to rebuild UG’s educational and economic enterprise and enable it to become a consequential national and international educational stakeholder. The Project has four main pillars, called Imperatives. The first is Capital Investment, which involves human capital, physical capital, and brand capital. The second—Academic Enhancement—entails improving instructional credentials, curricula and pedagogy, and introducing new educational programs and research to address national and regional business, civic, and overall development needs. The Economic Viability Imperative is the third pillar. It requires fortifying the major existing revenue streams—government subventions and tuition fees—but also expanding the revenue base, through alumni and corporate giving, grants, and merchandising. The fourth Imperative, Alumni Engagement, entails reaching out to UG graduates within and outside Guyana, celebrating their accomplishments, and inviting them to aid the continued pursuit of UG’s laudable mission and goals.
The Renaissance efforts have begun to bear notable fruit. These include construction of a Student Social Complex; improvement of physical facilities and of WiFi access at Turkeyen, Tain, Dennis Irvine Hall and elsewhere; publication of Renaissance as a regular electronic newsletter to showcase the work of students, staff, and alumni; hosting of the First Educational Resource Ambassadors conference and establishment of the Vice Chancellor’s Fund for Strategic Initiatives; the launching of a new UG website; the cultivation of beneficial relationships with business, government, and diplomatic stakeholders; the début of the Etiquette Training Program for Student Leaders; and promotion of the Arts, including the appointment of music icon Keith Waithe as the first Distinguished Visiting Artist- in-Residence since the 1980s, when literary luminary Martin Carter last held the position on a permanent basis.
Also noteworthy have been the reorganisation of the university’s senior leadership with the creation of Deputy Vice Chancelleries for (1) Academic Engagement, (2) Planning and International Engagement, and (3) Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement, and an Office of Strategic Initiatives; creation of Turkeyen and Tain Talks as a bi- monthly series to facilitate conversations with the community on important national and international subjects; establishment of the Undergraduate Research Programme and the hosting of the successful inaugural student research conferences at Turkeyen and Tain; the commissioning of a feasibility study which led to the creation of the School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (SEBI); the hosting of the country’s first Diaspora Engagement Conference; and establishment of the University of Guyana Press, as part of efforts to boost research and scholarship.
- The University of Guyana