UG thumps GDF by an innings and 159 runs

19th September, 2017 0 comments

University of Guyana defeated Guyana Defence Force by an innings and 159 runs when the Georgetown Cricket Association/GISE/Star Party Rentals/Trophy Stall first division two-day tournament continued last weekend. UG took first strike and posted 359 all out at GDF ground. Omesh Danram struck 114, while Keron Sewnarine made 51; Damion Waldron bagged seven wickets. GDF were sent packing for 81 in reply. Dennis Heywood grabbed 5-14, Danram 3-6 and Suresh Dhanai 2-17. Batting a second time GDF were bowled out for 112 with Waldron scoring 61. Dhanai and Heywood claimed three wickets each.

At Malteenoes SC, rain stopped play between GNIC SC and Transport SC. Batting first TSC rattled up 330 all out. Charwayne McPherson slammed 81; Suresh Budhoo made 67, Refael Singh 42, Stephen Alves 37, Joel Spooner 29 and Akeem Redmon 22; Dwayne Dick and Ronale Bourne snared four wickets each. In reply, GNIC SC were 183-1 at stumps on the first day. Veeland Crandon made 63 and Marc Nicholson 93 not out. Rain prevented any play on Sunday.

Previously, Transport SC beat GDF by 173 runs. TSC took first strike and scored 217. Joel Spooner made 37 not out, Devaugh Nandan got 37, Steven Alves 27 and Rafael Singh 23. Randy Lindore picked up 3-14, Damian Waldron 3-27 and J. Chisolm 3-57. GDF were bowled out for 74 in reply. Waldron and Damien Whitney made 19 and 15 each as Spooner grabbed 5-8, Kevin Ross 2-17 and Franchot Duncan 2-28. TSC were sent packing for 90 in reply. Mark Ramsammy made 26 and Spooner 13 not out. Lindore captured 4-22, Andre Mc Farley 2-2 and D. Rajmangal 2-19. Set 234 to win, GDF were bowled out for 60 with Waldron scoring 33; Kevin Ross bagged 8-14 from 10.5 overs of which six were maidens.

Article adapted from: https://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2017/09/19/ug-thump-gdf-by-an-innings-and-159-runs/


Proposed Students' Complex

7th September, 2017 0 comments

COMING SOON!

Find attached below the colour drawings for the proposed Students' Complex.


Click here to download the PDF file.

University of Guyana to establish School of Energy and Mines

6th September, 2017 0 comments

THE University of Guyana is working on the establishment on a School of Energy and Mines aimed at bringing benefits not just to the oil-and-gas sector, but also the existing gold-mining sector, the ailing bauxite industry and other mineral-related sectors. Responding to a question posed at last Friday’s stakeholder engagement session with the University of Guyana alumni and the Guyanese diaspora at the Centennial College Event Centre, Scarborough, Toronto, Canada, Dr Barbara Reynolds, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Planning and International Engagement, pointed out that “one of the things we need to figure out is how to export our mineral wealth in a more comprehensive manner, even as we figure out how to deal with the likely increase and demand for ancillary services in the oil-and-gas sector, recognising that it has a trajectory and staying ahead of that curve in terms of the kinds of specialised engineering that we want to develop.”


Dr Reynolds, who was accompanied by Registrar Dr Nigel Gravesande, pointed out that the University of Guyana is also working on retooling its geological engineering programme to offer an undergraduate degree in mining engineering and is looking for expertise in and out of Guyana in this area. Plans are also afoot to establish a Business Development Unit to go after contracts and grants and to also bring business to the campus, working in conjunction with the public and private sectors. Explaining that the university recently started merchandising on a small scale, Dr Reynolds said this will be further expanded, so visitors will have the opportunity to purchase items as gifts when on vacation or other business in Guyana.

Dr Reynolds described the alumni engagement as “a good move,” but emphasised that partnerships need to be reciprocal. “We are not just going to beg. As a point of pride, we must have something to offer the other partner and one of the things we will do is to host students who come on exchange programmes. According to Dr Reynolds, the University of Guyana still has some archaic decision-making processes, one of them being that there must be two council members present for interviews and appointments, “so you could imagine what that means in getting people on board.”

The deputy vice-chancellor also opined that Guyanese do not see university education as an investment, “so almost everyone wants to pay their tuition fees by cash, no one wants to take a loan, but it’s unsustainable. “It has become such a culture that we don’t even have a bookstore that sells text books, so that has to change and in order to change that we have to use e-books, we have to be able to buy books. We have to have the capacity to negotiate, we have to have the capacity to plan ahead, but we also have to change the culture where a student will be willing to borrow to finance his or her education and be able to pay back. That does not currently exist.” Dr Reynolds lamented the fact that the University of Guyana does not have an Information Technology (IT) Infrastructure that includes safety and security issues, pointing out that “we have several overburdened and outdated systems – electrical, sewage, water and drainage. These are fundamental things, but they cost money.”

On a positive note, the deputy vice-chancellor disclosed that discussions are ongoing with government to acquire a loan through the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) for the construction of a new library, while the government has already provided a loan to build a new health sciences facility. “We are also in discussion with Movie Towne out of Trinidad and Tobago to develop a solar farm in order to supplement our energy.” Dr Reynolds boasted that the university recently launched the School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation and also hosted a conference of the Guyanese diaspora, which is critical “since we want to engage with the diaspora.”

“We don’t necessarily want to say to people that you must come home. I am a proud ‘comebackie’ after spending 30 years outside of Guyana. It’s not necessary that everyone can come home, but we definitely need to engage with people of Guyanese origin or their off-spring who are doing wonderful things in North America and elsewhere to engage and share some of those resources with the University of Guyana. Dr Reynolds also pointed to start commencement of a series on Law and Society and “for the first time in many years, we were able to fill the Walter Rodney Chair.” Touching on the needs of the university, the vice-chancellor said, it needs people who will help in building the pension fund which is a mere $20 000 per month, upped from $3 000 by Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith, people who are willing to invest [in] food services, people in IT, even those who are willing to come and do short courses. The evening’s programme was coordinated by the Guyana Consulate in Toronto with Consular General (acting) Candida Daniels giving the welcoming remarks, while the chairperson was Tameshwar Lilmohan.

Article adapted from: http://guyanachronicle.com/2017/09/02/university-guyana-establish-school-energy-mines


Curtains come down on UG reading programme

7th August, 2017 0 comments

THE curtains on Friday came down on the University of Guyana (UG) Library’s thirteenth annual “Reading is Fun” programme when participants were presented with certificates and prizes at the institution’s library at its Turkeyen Campus.

The programme was sponsored by Courts Guyana Incorporated for the past eight years to date and will continue to receive sponsorship. The programme had formerly run on its own for five years until Courts decided to give full sponsorship.

Customer Experience Manager of Courts, Shona Barker, said that “we’re happy to say that we were able to obtain a remarkable number of students and also able to meet with this programme as it continues to grow.”

At the ceremony there was a list of items portrayed by the youngsters who were registered as part of the programme. These items include dramatic poetry, an acoustic, a song and a skit.

“Items on the programme are used to show what they have gained and developed and to aid us in an evaluation of how we can do it [the programme] better” pointed out Gwyneth George the Chief Librarian at the University of Guyana.

George also pointed out that the programme targets what they call ‘vulnerable children’. For the past 13 years they have been working with the Sophia community of children whose ages range from 5 to 13. “The basic thing is reading but the programme does not only center on reading” George said.

The other activities which the programme aid in are health tests, educational tours, computer knowledge and creative work such as poetry. The youngsters were placed into a number of groups and they worked alongside skilled resource individuals who are exemplary in literacy and reading. These individuals consisted of members of the library staff and members from the department of humanities and education. The programme which runs three days per week for three weeks registered approximately 50 youngsters this year.

However compared to the numbers from the first two years when it had just begun, there has been a decline.

Article adapted from: http://guyanachronicle.com/2017/08/05/curtains-come-down-on-ug-reading-programme


Local Athletes offered full scholarship

7th August, 2017 0 comments

The National Sports Commission (NSC) Friday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) agreement with two athletes, providing them full scholarships to Monroe College. This was disclosed during the signing held at NSC’s boardroom.

It was announced that 12 athletes, were given full scholarships to the University of Guyana (UG) while two athletes were scouted and offered full scholarships by the Monroe College, United States of America.

In brief remarks, Director of Sport attached to Ministry of Education Department of Culture, Youth and Sport Christopher Jones explained that the agency’s initiative to provide scholarships to the athletes were due to their performance at the Caribbean Free Trade Association(CARIFTA) Games, earlier this year.

“The National Sports Commission (NSC) would make available to the two athletes namely Onassha Rogers and Claudrice McKoy, the same amount that would have been used to facilitate them at the University of Guyana (UG),” Jones noted.

Jones said the amount offered will be provided on a yearly basis and totals $230, 000 per year for four years including $50,000 deemed as miscellaneous fees. He noted that the miscellaneous fees provided will be the same amount paid for those attending UG.

Jones highlighted that the athletes who are slated to depart on August 18, will receive their first payment Friday August 04. He noted that though the two athletes have accepted the college’s offer, they will still receive the payment per the agreement.

“As stipulated in the agreement should there be some reason they (athletes) are unable to complete the scholarship offered by Monroe College, the payments will cease however should they decide to pursue at UG, then the payment will continue,” the Director of Sport added.

Onassha Rogers, one of the athletes slated to depart for the US, expressed her gratitude towards the NSC and the government for their support in her abilities and furthering her education. She said that she hopes to make Guyana proud for giving her the opportunity.

“First of all, I would like to say thank you to the National Sports Commission (NSC), the Director of Sport Christopher Jones for this contribution made. I am very excited and happy for this opportunity to further my studies and I promise to do my best,” Rogers said.

The Director of Sport noted that the agreement signed is part of the government’s mandate of honouring their commitment towards providing platforms for the athletes’ development.

Article adapted from: http://gina.gov.gy/local-athletes-offered-full-scholarship/


UG on course to addressing 'REP' problem - Vice-Chancellor

2nd August, 2017 0 comments

Faced with a “REP” problem for a protracted period, the University of Guyana [UG] is in desperate need of redemption. The way has already been paved for this renaissance but the problem must be recognised in order for it to be effectively addressed.

Several problems faced by the state university were recently amplified by its Principal and Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith. “UG has had an REP—Resources, Esteem, and Perspicacity—problem. I am quite mindful of the prescient proposition of Writer and Philosopher, Rabindranath Tagore: ‘You cannot cross the sea simply by standing and staring at the water.’ “Thus, on assuming the Vice-Chancellorship, rather than lament, I 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,” asserted Professor Griffith.

Professor Griffith’s remarks were made during his inaugural speech after making history as the first Vice Chancellor of the UG to have a coronation ceremony. But Professor Griffith hopes to also make history by revolutionising the national university.

He observed that “this institution’s recent yesterdays have been characterized by neglect and stormy seas, with an interlinked three-dimensional predicament, which revolved around resources, both in relation to acquisition and management; esteem, internal as well as external, and notably in relation to academic credibility and brand; and perspicacity, in that the University had lost its intellectual spunk when it comes to critical inquiry and theoretical and applied research.”

He said that his vision for a renaissance project is both a dreaming and doing project. “Why dream, some have asked, when this University has suffered such neglect and for so long? This Renaissance Bridge Building Project has four main pillars, called imperatives, and six values,” asserted Professor Griffith.

According to the university’s Principal, the first imperative is capital investment, which involves human capital, physical capital, and brand capital. Second to this is academic enhancement, which Professor Griffith said, entails improving instructional credentials, curricula and andragogy [adult education], and introducing new educational programmes and research to address national and regional business, civic, and overall development needs.

He pointed out that the economic viability imperative is the third pillar. This imperative, he said, requires fortifying the major existing revenue streams, that is, 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 our mission and goals.

“As one might suspect, pursuing Project Renaissance has daunting, Herculean elements. It entails facing and fixing, to quote writer James Baldwin, and it involves pursuing new ventures and setting new baselines, some of which are new to UG and to Guyana, although not new to the academy in many parts of the world,” said Professor Griffith.

“Understandably, then, decision-making often has been—and will be—tough. But, as Roy Disney once averred—and correctly so, in my view: ‘It’s not hard to make decisions once you know what your values are,” said Professor Griffith who confidently underscored that “our Renaissance pursuits are guided by six cardinal values: Respect, Integrity, Excellence, Transparency, Inclusion, and Efficiency.”

But such values, according to the Vice Chancellor, cannot be merely platitudinous incantations; they must be lived. He added, “in relation to excellence, for example, Aristotle reminds us of the importance of habituation: ‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit,’ he said. Living these values is particularly important at this period of Guyana’s contemporary history, as our nation has a considerable Respect-deficit and Integrity-challenged profile.

The onus is on us at the University to aid the alteration of this profile over time,” underscored the Vice Chancellor. Even as he pointed out that changes introduced at the university have started to yield laudable results, Vice Chancellor Griffith noted that this has not been without challenges and criticisms. He, however, noted that the University will continue to boasts of its success. This, he revealed, will entail the posting of a scorecard to the University’s website for the world to see.

Article adapted from: http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2017/08/02/ug-on-course-to-addressing-rep-problem-vice-chancellor/


UG launches innovative business school

10th July, 2017 0 comments

IN keeping with the constantly changing economic environment, the University of Guyana (UG) on Friday launched its School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (SEBI) with the aim of moving away from conventional teaching.
Members of the private sector, the education sector and other stakeholders gathered at the Roraima Duke Lodge in Kingston to witness the unveiling of the banner bearing the insignia of the new faculty.

The new school, which is set to open at the start of the new semester in September, will offer new undergraduate and graduate degrees, executive degrees and short-term programmes.
Students who were engaged in management studies through the university’s Social Sciences Faculty will be able to continue their studies under the new school, and even be able to pursue areas such as accounting, finance, and supply chain management among other things.

“Some of what is happening is, we will be shifting the management department and offering new degree programmes such as entrepreneurship,” Vice-Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith said at the opening.
“Also, we will not be waiting to offer degrees, because we will have a number of courses and specifically tailored programmes that can be done in days, weeks and even months,” he added.
As opposed to the Faculty of Social Sciences, the school will be moving away from just creating opportunities for entrepreneurship in thinking and dreaming, and looking towards entrepreneurship in doing.

In order to ensure the desired outcomes, a thorough feasibility study into the project was done after the idea was first mooted in 2016.
The process included local, regional and international stakeholders, who explored several ideas that were later conceptualised into the school’s curriculum.
Professor Griffith alluded to the inclusivity of the project, pointing out that stakeholders visited areas in Regions Six (East Berbice-Corentyne), Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) and 10 (Upper Demerara-Upper Berbice) in order to hear the views of persons who will potentially benefit from the SEBI.

DELIVERING THE PRODUCT

“We have come a long way, and we intend to start delivering the product this coming semester,” Professor Griffith said, adding:
“We have already sent out the implementation team, members of the technical unit and other persons in all the elements of the university who are working towards the actualisation.”

The team, he said, is now in the process of building the capacity of staff by hiring lecturers and administrative professionals.
The Dean Designate of SEBI, Professor Leyland Lucas, followed up on what the Vice-Chancellor said, adding that they have recognised the changes in the needs of the nation; therefore an institution that is responsive to its needs is necessary to ensure that the nation has the right skills, competence and capabilities.

“Everything we have set up here is geared towards providing the nation with what it needs to move forward in both the public and private sectors,” Professor Lucas said.
Their mandate is expected to be carried out through a system called “ESCAPE” (Ethics, Superiority, Academics, Professionalism and Engagement).
ESCAPE, he said, will be complemented by CEED-Centre for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, which will let persons who are majoring in other fields join forces with those in the management fraternity and create a money-making initiative.

Mexico’s Ambassador to Guyana, Mr Ivan Sierra Medel, was also in support of the intervention, noting that SEBI can become the strategic asset to take advantage of international best practices and successful experiences in specific fields of doing business.
He, however, suggested that in order to have dialogue with the world, UG needs to introduce aspects such as foreign languages, internships, mentoring and confidence-building at the school.
Members of the private sector echoed similar sentiments, but pointed out that tertiary education has remained stagnant for a while, so in order to tap into new opportunities, the work of SEBI will be necessary in developing the countries’ human capital.

Article adapted from: http://guyanachronicle.com/2017/07/09/ug-launches-innovative-business-school


UG launches business school

9th July, 2017 0 comments

The University of Guyana (UG) on Friday evening launched its School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation (SEBI), with the goal of educating and developing leaders and managers to contribute to the advancement of the nation.

Speaking at the launch at Duke Lodge, UG Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith thanked those who helped make the vision of the business school a reality, while saying that it represented a partnership to creating opportunities for not only entrepreneurship in thinking and dreaming, but entrepreneurship in doing.

Griffith said the SEBI would begin tuition from the next semester as a team, led by UG’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor of Planning and International Engagement Dr Barbara Reynolds, has already been created to start working towards delivery.

SEBI programmes, Griffith said, will facilitate significant cross-discipline collaboration, allowing students in other areas to participate. He also said its programmes and courses would be internationally-accredited.

Professor Leyland Lucas, Visiting Professor in Business Strategy and Dean Designate of SEBI, told the launch that while the nation needs change, it also needs an institution responsive to its needs and one that ensures that it provides the skills, competencies and capabilities needed to move forward.

He noted that SEBI’s programmes, which will include undergraduate degree programmes in Accounting, Entrepreneur-ship, Finance, General Management, Supply Chain Management and Tourism, and graduate-level programmes in Entrepreneurship, Management, General Management and Sustainable Develop-ment, can all move the country forward.

Lucas, who also addressed concerns about accreditation of the programmes offered by the school, said that it will be accredited by one of the premier accrediting institutions in the world. He assured those in attendance that the degrees earned from SEBI will be recognised globally as the institution is establishing relationships with other entities to ensure professional certification.

Giving his congratulatory remarks at the launch, Ambassador of Mexico to Guyana Ivan Roberto Sierra Medel was optimistic that SEBI will jumpstart Guyana’s economic development. He anticipated too that the school will bring together academia and the private sector, Georgetown and the hinterland, and Guyanese around the world. “Somebody has to provide the specific training not only in strategy to tap into markets but in harvesting the tremendous friendship that can be part in successful economic engagements with the world,” the Ambassador said. “SEBI can become the strategic asset to take advantage of international business practices and successful experiences in the specific field of doing business,” he added.

SEBI has emerged from exhaustive engagements between the university and both the public and private sectors, as well as the intellectual effort of a feasibility study team that included highly qualified Guyanese in the diaspora, many of whom hold key administrative and academic positions at highly reputable universities in the United States.

Article adapted from: https://www.stabroeknews.com/2017/news/stories/07/09/ug-launches-business-school/


Vice Chancellor justifies several senior appointments at national university

7th July, 2017 0 comments

Some basic things to ensure the efficient management of the University of Guyana [UG] have been neglected for so many years that some people have accepted them as the norm.

This was the assertion of Vice Chancellor of the national university, Professor Ivelaw Griffith.
“There are some things for the management; for the efficiency of the economics and operations [that] we have neglected for years, so much so that people think it’s normal.
It is a university that has been so accustomed to managing on a shoe-string budget that people think that anytime you do a little, you are being profligate.”
The Vice Chancellor’s remarks were forthcoming in response to concerns about allegations that his appointment of a number of senior officials at the national university has resulted in the institution becoming ‘top heavy’.
The University last year released information to the effect that on August 22, 2016, the Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC) – the second highest policy-making body after the Council – approved a proposal by the Vice Chancellor Griffith to comprehensively restructure the university’s leadership.
This move, it was revealed, was designed to create greater levels of efficiency and effectiveness and set the stage for innovation in academic and non-academic areas. The changes, which became effective on October 1, 2016, entailed having Dr Michael Scott, the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, become Deputy Vice- Chancellor (DVC) of Academic Engagement.
The former DVC of Academics, Dr Barbara Reynolds, was named DVC 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 organizations.
Dr Paloma Mohamed, a former Director for the Centre for Communication Studies and a former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, now occupies the newly-created position of DVC of Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement (PACE), which has the mandate to enhance UG’s fund-raising, rebranding, alumni relationships, and public interchange, all of which are said to be crucial to the University’s renaissance.
Added to this, the new administrative team was expected to be strengthened with the establishment of an Office of Strategic Initiatives in the Vice Chancellery, to undertake institutional strengthening, project management, and allied services.
Appointed to head this area is Dr. Fitzgerald Yaw, Consultant on Governance, Sustainability, and Economic Development, who has worked across the Americas and the Caribbean.
Added to this, Ms Karen Wishart, who was the Programme Officer in the Office of the Vice-Chancellor, was promoted to the first Chief of Staff in the Vice-Chancellery.
This promotion was said to coincide with the renaming of the Senior Administrative Group to the Vice- Chancellor’s Cabinet, which includes the DVCs, Registrar, Bursar, Human Resources Director, Director of the Berbice Campus, the Legal Officer—another new position—the Director of the Office of Strategic Initiatives, and the Chief of Staff.
But there have been numerous concerns voiced that the size of the university does not warrant the magnitude of appointments.
Vice Chancellor Griffith, however, made it clear that while the proposal was his to present, it certainly wasn’t suddenly conjured up upon his appointment as the principal of the university.
He explained that the University over the years benefited from a number of assessment studies intended to help improve its operation.
Among the most recent, was one completed by Hamilton Associates in 2012. The assessment in question, Professor Griffith said, not only recognised that the university was neglected in terms of its human capital, but went on to outline that it did not have sufficient lecturers or administrators for that matter.
He underscored that the one of the things that the Hamilton Report highlighted is that “the university is too big and part of why it has not done well is that it is running on a shoe-string budget, both on the lecturers’ side and on the administrative side.”
Part of the recommendation to help address the shortcomings of the University that is detailed in the Report is the appointment of at least four Deputy Vice Chancellors in addition to the Vice Chancellor.
But according to Professor Griffith, although he saw the need for the recommended measures to be implemented, “I said we can’t afford four [but] let’s move from one to three.” In fact, he noted that among the neglected human resource area of the university is the lack of a Civil Engineer, an Attorney and even a Chief Accountant.
“Partly because of the low salaries at this university, both on the teaching and administrative sides, we have had difficulty recruiting people,” said Professor Griffith, as he related that the recommendation for an augmented staff did not even taken into consideration the university’s current 8,000-plus student population.
Moreover, Professor Griffith has said, “what I have begun to do, and I make no apologies for doing this, is to try to right-size both the teaching staff and the administrative staff.”
“How are we going to get grants if we don’t have people to write them? How do you get the alumni to give back if you don’t have the mechanisms? How do you get the corporations to give, if you don’t have people who will wine and dine them and follow up with them?” questioned the Vice Chancellor as he added, “There is a lot of vacuous, misinformed commentary about big spending.”
The Vice Chancellor also made it clear that “I am going to always make the right decisions for the right reasons, irrespective of the criticisms, because sometimes the people don’t know the facts…So I would say to anyone the documents are there.”

Article adapted from: http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2017/06/30/vice-chancellor-justifies-several-senior-appointments-at-national-university/


UG's development hampered by serious pilfering problem - Vice Chancellor

7th July, 2017 0 comments

A serious, protracted pilfering situation has been listed among the factors that have been hampering the development of the University of Guyana [UG]. In fact, the Guyana Police Force a few months ago was called in to investigate reports of theft from the Centre for Information Technology [CIT].

But according to UG Vice Chancellor and Principal, Professor Ivelaw Griffith, during an interview with this publication, CIT is not the only department of the university to be so plagued. The situation, he informed, is far-reaching and has translated to millions worth of items disappearing from various departments of the University.

This state of affairs has undoubtedly helped to contribute to the financial challenge that UG has been faced with over time.

“If we have to replace 17, 18, 19 million dollars a year of stuff, how can we progress as a university? These are equipment for classrooms, for offices, even some of the contractors [are stealing]; stuff are just being stolen from this University,” Professor Griffith related.

“This University has a lot of theft,” stressed the unapologetic Principal of the national university.  And according to him, he has made no secret of the state of affairs, but rather, has shared information he has compiled in this regard with both staff and the student body as well.

“I’ve publicly said we don’t have drones coming… [so] it is staff or students, or people facilitated by staff or students, who are coming and stealing stuff.”

Professor Griffith said that during a meeting with Union representatives, for instance, he made it clear to them that “you have an obligation to help us deal with that…there are things that we have to do if we want a different environment.”

“We have to look ourselves in the mirror and say ‘who is going to fix these things?’ It has got to be us,” the Vice Chancellor asserted.

In fact, Professor Griffith said that in his quest to be transparent and share information, even before turning the CIT allegations over to the police, he had had the discussions with the unions of the university – the University of Guyana Workers’ Union and the University of Guyana Senior Staff Association.

It was only after this, he said, that “I called in the CID and they started with that building. What I said to the unions is that I am turning this matter over to the police, and the chips will fall where they may. When the CID is done with its investigation whomever they want to prosecute, I will say go right ahead.”

This happened a few a months ago. But according to Vice Chancellor Griffith, he has since learnt that there is an even greater pilfering problem within the maintenance department of the university.

According to the Vice Chancellor, he got information that suggests that the skulduggery in that department might have surpassed what has already been brought to the attention of the university’s administration.

“I said I know [what’s going on] but I didn’t know the full extent of it, but I have already put [the] Maintenance [Department] on warning that I am coming to them next,” Professor Griffith stated.

According to the Vice Chancellor, when one takes into consideration the persons who are already being investigated, there is a nexus between them and some people associated with the university.

During the month of April, Professor Griffith had called in the Police Force to investigate the allegations of theft of equipment and misconduct of staff members of CIT. The Manager of the Centre and several employees were sent on leave as an interim measure to allow the investigation to proceed without disruption of evidence, and to preserve a safe, orderly, and professional work environment. A temporary manager was identified to oversee the operations of the Centre during the conduct of the investigation which, Professor Griffith said yesterday, was ongoing.

Additionally, there are reports coming out from UG that the Ministry of Public Telecommunications was asked to conduct a forensic audit of the CIT operations at the Turkeyen and Berbice campuses and the four centres of the Institute of Distance and Continuing Education located at Anna Regina, Georgetown, Linden and New Amsterdam.

Article adapted from: http://www.kaieteurnewsonline.com/2017/06/29/ugs-development-hampered-by-serious-pilfering-problem-vice-chancellor/


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