UG, GDF ink MOU for Agriculture Associate Degree

11th October, 2017 0 comments

The Guyana Defence Force and the University of Guyana today signed a historic Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for educational collaboration. The signing took place at a ceremony held in the television room of Base Camp Ayanganna. Chief of Staff Brigadier Patrick West explained that the MOU which is in keeping with international norms will result in Officer Cadets of the Standard Officers’ Course Number 50 and beyond receiving Associate Degrees in the field of Agriculture.

“I am particularly pleased today to sign this MOU for academic collaboration which will enhance the academic profile of our Standard Officers’ course number 50 future standard officers’ courses of the GDF at the same time it will develop the Agriculture Corp as a Research Centre with the University of Guyana”, West said. 

According to the Brigadier, “The concept basically sees the implementation of a national security strategy that employs all instruments of national power in a more integrated way to meet the challenges faced by Guyana at this time. This would obviously require a higher degree of inter-agency cooperation to combine defence with diplomacy economic development with law enforcement and civil authority with the Defence Force.”

Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana Professor Ivelaw Griffith says the signing of the MOU is a good expression of what the leadership of the Guyana Defence Force thinks of its ranks.

“We have a critical role not only in enabling our nations individual mandates for us to educate and defend but in the context of those mandates, there are very many elements some of which mean educational collaboration is necessary not simply desired,” Vice Chancellor Griffith told representatives of UG and GDF at the ceremony.

Professor Griffith also encouraged future collaboration with the GDF, especially in the preparation of ranks of its Officer Corp for continued service after retiring their military career.

The Guyana Defence Force’s Agriculture Corp was established almost fifty years ago while the Colonel Ulric Pilgrim Officer Cadet School was established in 1981 and continues to be one of the Regions functioning military training schools.

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UG inks new agreement to further academic programmes with GDF

11th October, 2017 0 comments

As part of enhancing the national security strategy, the Guyana Defence Force, (GDF) yesterday inked a new agreement with the University of Guyana, (UG) to further the academic programme offered to army officers and ranks. According to Chief of Staff, Brigadier Patrick West, the Standard Officers Courses are set to be improved through collaboration with the tertiary institution.

The courses, the GDF Chief explained, are integral to “Effective Transformation for Total National Defence, an implementation of a national security strategy that employs all instruments of national power to meet the challenges faced by Guyana at this time.” “This would require a much higher degree of interagency cooperation than obtains at present to combine the defence with diplomacy economic development with the law enforcement and the civil authority with the Defence Force.”

Giving a brief history on the projects, Brigadier West noted that the Officer Cadet Division at the Training Corps of the GDF evolved into the first Officer Cadet School in the English-speaking Caribbean. “The initiative was undertaken to ensure that a more rounded and educated officer is prepared to fulfill his role in promoting total National Defence. To date 49 Courses have been completed.” “We will see the officer not only being involved in a horizontal relationship between Defence Force, Militia and police but also vertically at the Central and Regional levels.”

Through this initiative, the Brigadier noted that the Officer Cadet Programme will be almost on par with other international programmes. The course is set to last for 24 months. Upon graduation, the students will not only receive their instruments of Commission, to command and lead in this force, but also an associate Degree from the University. “We maintain, today, that we are still the only successful officer Cadet Programme in the English-speaking Caribbean and we will continue to support the training of officers for Joint Services and the Caribbean.”

The arrangement between the GDF and the University is not strange to Militaries and Academic communities since we have been marrying the two worldwide. “I am heartened to see that Guyana is following. I envision that in the future this collaboration will be further expanded.” Meanwhile, UG’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Ivelaw Griffith noted that the University can play a role in preparing members of the disciplined forces prior to their retirement. He believes there are great opportunities for gainful employment and utilization of capabilities and skills of military men and women.

These men and women should be better positioned to take their skills and assets from the armed forces and leverage some additional skills so life after retirement is beneficial, not only for economic benefit but for gainful employment and utilization of their skills. “Within a year of transitioning and moving to retirement [the University] can help them to be better positioned for gainful economic employment,” he added. The University’s Vice Chancellor said that a report has been handed over to the government for action to be taken. The first batch of approximately 40 army officers will begin training next month.

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UG must guard against overproducing graduates - Vice-Chancellor

19th September, 2017 0 comments

THE University of Guyana (UG) has been warned to be very careful with the amount of degree programmes it offers to complement Guyana’s emerging oil- and-gas industry. This is according to Vice-Chancellor, Dr. Ivelaw Griffith, who said taking the professional recommendation into consideration, the university will be offering less degree programmes and more “short courses” in the field. In fact, he said what is actually needed at this time is more technical skills, which are being taught at the technical institutes.

Speaking with the Guyana Chronicle, Professor Griffith said what is needed for the energy sector is definitely not what has been initially touted. “It is technical skills; it is persons coming out of the technical institutes. So we have to strike a balance between investing methodically enough so that we do not overproduce,” he said. There have been much talks about Guyana’s level of preparedness as it moves to embrace the new sector, which will undoubtedly transform the country’s economy. The concerns were particularly over what role the premier tertiary institution could play in paving the way for the country in managing the oil-and-gas sector.

UG Chancellor Dr. Nigel Harris had previously sounded a warning that the university had better be prepared for the sector with new and innovative programmes. But new information reaching the institution suggests that there is much more than programmes that needs to be pursued. The advice has come from several quarters, particularly from universities in oil- producing countries. Those institutions have been doubling up on their programmes over time. Griffith said an adviser from the University of the West Indies (UWI), St Augustine Campus said that institution made the very mistake with the energy degree programmes it offered, only to later find out that the absorptive market was not there.

“We have got to walk a thin line between starting programmes, getting a good idea of what is needed here and elsewhere and in partnership with other universities, do things that are better suited,” Griffith said. In that regard, he said UG is actively pursuing partnerships with several universities, including UWI and the University of Trinidad and Tobago (UTT), which have very robust oil-and-gas programmes.
“I signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of the West Indies in July. We will use that MoU as a part of ramping up the partnership with the UWI campus,” he said. He said he will soon be leading a mission to the UTT and the UWI to find out how they can partner to address Guyana’s peculiar situation.

The VC said it is quite clear that most of what the country needs for the oil-and- gas sector, cannot be answered by the university at this time. He said UG is however beginning conversations with its local partners, including the Ministry of Natural Resources. It has also taken a strategy for the short courses to the School of Entrepreneurship and Engineering.

“We recognise that some of what they need, we don’t have and we can’t pretend to have them overnight, so we are developing partnerships”, he told the Guyana Chronicle. The vice chancellor said as Guyana braces itself for the oil and gas sector, several questions must be answered, including what skills would the sector need, whether the university has the teaching resources to deliver the skills needed and the economic question — given what the needs are, whether the university would be better off doing some things in partnership with other institutions. “There is no sense pretending. We don’t have what will be needed in the next year or two, so we have to find partnerships, so yes, we have begun those conversations,” Griffith said.

Chancellor Nigel Harris had last year said that U.S. oil and gas company Exxon Mobil had approached the university, and was enquiring about its current arrangement for an industry that is likely to place the country’s economy on another level. He had promised to arrange for assistance from the University of the West Indies (UWI). According to Harris, UWI has been training petroleum engineers and other persons in the industry for the past four decades. “It may be that the UG may not be able to provide all the staff they need. So, we are planning to link the University of Guyana with other international institutions. I will be pushing for links with UWI…. It does not make sense that we have the next-door neighbours and not take advantage of the programmes,” Professor Harris had promised.

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Change will come only with investment - UG Vice-Chancellor

16th September, 2017 0 comments

THE University of Guyana (UG) in its attempt to stand out as a world-class tertiary institution must be able to attract considerable amounts of support and investment. By this, all stakeholders, including government, must be willing to invest not only financial resources, but every available reserve that could push it in this direction. UG Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Ivelaw Griffith said the changes being sought for the country’s premier tertiary institution can in no way come about if stakeholders do not invest and has even called on his critics to see the “bigger picture” in what he, and to a wider extent the university’s administration, is trying to achieve.

During an exclusive interview with the Guyana Chronicle on Tuesday, the vice- chancellor, who has been serving in the capacity for just over a year, said the university has been receiving much criticism, especially by persons who have a “myopic view of reality” and who are stuck in the past. Most of the criticisms, he said, are not based on facts. “This university is not a university of the 1970s. Over the years, the institution grew in student numbers but not in support system, not in full-time lecturers or administration. If you are going to make improvements at the university, you will have to spend,” Dr Griffith told this newspaper.

The professor had received some criticisms following a multimillion-dollar proposal to the university’s Council earlier this year for the renting of a Camp Street, Georgetown facility, which would have been regarded as a “downtown campus.” That proposal was shut down by the Council; however, it did approve the establishment of a School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “The idea of that new campus was to do some innovation and expansion. It was not only to spend money, but to make money. To establish a business development unit,” he said.

The professor said there are still sections of society that are accustomed to “the cheap.” “The cheap does not earn you respect and investment,” he said, continuing that whether it is the proposed “downtown campus” or any other, “this university has to go beyond Tain and Turkeyen.” He said the university’s population has grown to some 8,000 students and with that magnitude, the institution continues to endure complications, including sewerage and parking space.

“We are not going to get a changed university until we are willing to invest. We need to be willing to invest. Ask graduates to invest, ask government to invest, businesses and also we have to be innovative,” he maintained. He made reference to a 2012 Hamilton Associates Report, which addressed the university’s need to pay better salaries, having at least four deputy vice-chancellors and a better support system. A task force established by Chancellor Dr. Nigel Harris also pointed out similar deficits. While steps are being taken to make the necessary changes, the efforts have been stymied. “The university must be the enabler of better educational and economical livelihoods. The university must be an agent for change and innovation. It must also be the place that has a developmental role linking Guyana to the rest of the communities including the Caribbean, other parts of South America.”

Professor Griffith said the university is at a point where it has been neglected and under-resourced, noting that there is need for a massive infusion of funding. That funding, he pointed out, is not expected only from government. “It has to go beyond government. It has to ask how we can connect with graduates, with Guyanese in the business world and non-Guyanese who have a passion for education who want to give back to the university. We are not going to be able to do those things if we only tinker with what we know, if we are averse to change and innovation.” According to him, while steps are being taken to upgrade the level of faculties and teaching staff, he said lecturers are not going to come to the university with the salaries it pays. He said a university is not only a teaching institution, but also a business. “Think of being a lecturer, a researcher, where every day your power goes out, not only at the university, but at home.”

He said there are conditions that will have to be improved in the university and society to be able to attract lecturers. “So part of my strategy was to look to see who in the diaspora would want to come back as I did for less pay, come back and endure circumstances of insufficient labs, power shortages, etc. It’s not about getting new lecturers, it’s about creating the conditions for the qualified lecturers to come, not as a way station to stay for a few months.”

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UG Turkeyen Campus to have two convocations

16th September, 2017 0 comments

THE University of Guyana (UG)’s Turkeyen Campus will this year observe its annual convocation ceremony in two parts, Vice-Chancellor Dr. Ivelaw Griffith has said. The graduation exercise will be held on November 11, and will have two sessions. According to Dr Griffith, the move is an attempt to reduce the lengthy hours spent at the graduation ceremony. “One of the things we are doing differently is, we are going to have two graduation ceremonies rather than one. There are four to five hours, and by the time you get to technology, half the people gone,” the VC said on Tuesday.

“Why not create two shorter ceremonies and excite people who are graduates to come back,” he added. The two ceremonies will have two former graduates as guest speakers. The first session, which will be held early in the day, will hear from Guyana’s Ambassador to the United Nations (UN) and former UG student, Mr Michael Tenpow. The name of the second speaker is yet to be announced, he said. The following week, on November 18, the Tain Campus will hold its graduation ceremony, and will have as its guest speaker Lawyer and graduate, Ms Patricia Bacchus. The vice-chancellor said he hopes to begin a culture of inviting graduates to speak at convocations going forward, “so that students can see what they can become in the future.”

Meanwhile, the university has announced that it has added some 16 new programmes/ courses to the 2017/2018 Academic year. These courses include eight from the newly established School of Education and Business Innovation (SEBI), and include the Bachelors of Science in Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management, Marketing, Supply Chain Management, Tourism Management and Special Education Needs. The other programmes are an Associate of Science Degree in Mining Engineering; and a Bachelor of Science in either Environmental Science, Forestry, Industrial Engineering, Medicine or Surgery.

There are also the Master of Social Work, Master of Science in Agro-Technology and Business, and Master of Medicine in Diagnostic Radiology.

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The University of Guyana Investiture Ceremony 2017

16th August, 2017 0 comments

Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith was officially installed as the tenth Vice-Chancellor of University of Guyana.

The Investiture of Professor Griffith will formally grant him the authority and symbols of high office.

June 14, 2017, was the one-year anniversary of Professor Griffith’s selection as the University’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal.

This historic ceremony, the first of its kind for a Vice-Chancellor at the University of Guyana, will involve a procession with faculty attired in academic regalia and the conferring of the official powers and responsibilities of the office to Professor Griffith by the Chancellor of UG Professor Nigel Harris.

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.

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Ivelaw Griffith Installed As UG's 10th Vice-Chancellor

2nd August, 2017 0 comments

Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith was officially installed as the tenth Vice-Chancellor of University of Guyana.

The Investiture of Professor Griffith will formally grant him the authority and symbols of high office.

June 14, 2017, was the one-year anniversary of Professor Griffith’s selection as the University’s Vice-Chancellor and Principal.

This historic ceremony, the first of its kind for a Vice-Chancellor at the University of Guyana, will involve a procession with faculty attired in academic regalia and the conferring of the official powers and responsibilities of the office to Professor Griffith by the Chancellor of UG Professor Nigel Harris.

Professor Griffith had explained that the officially swearing ceremony takes place one year after the Vice Chancellor’s appointment to allow him an opportunity to prove that he is capable of performing in that capacity.

Professor Griffith had expressed confidence that he has achieved a lot within his one year tenure.

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 enrollment, enhancing the academic profile, controlling spending, launching Honors 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 provost and senior vice president at York College in New York where notable achievements included growing the full-time faculty by 30 percent, re-organizing Academic Affairs into Schools of Business and Information Systems, Arts & Sciences, and Health Sciences and Professional Programs, and enhancing research and scholarship by creating the Provost Lectures, the Distinguished Scholars Lectures, and the Undergraduate Research Program. He also established Discovery to celebrate and incentivize faculty excellence in research and service. Earlier, he was provost at Radford University in Virginia, budget dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida International University (FIU), and dean of The Honors College at FIU, all while holding his professorship.

A UG 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 Ph.D. in Political Science from The City University of New York Graduate School. As well, he graduated from the Harvard Graduate School of Education’s program in educational leadership. An expert on Caribbean and hemispheric security, drugs and crime, he originated the concept called 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.

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The University of Guyana Vice-Chancellor Griffith invested

2nd August, 2017 0 comments

Just after 5 pm yesterday, Professor Ivelaw Griffith took his seat as the Tenth Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Guyana (UG) to the tune of trumpet fanfare.

He had just been installed in the position for a second year by Chancellor Nigel Harris as part of an investiture ceremony held in the recently renovated George Walcott Theatre. First installed in June 2016, Griffith’s first year was marked by big ideas, big investments and colourful ceremonies, although he has been accused of being preoccupied with grandeur.

President of the UG Students’ Society Ron Glasgow told those gathered that for the students the year with Griffith has been like eating a creole fish dish – sweet, but filled with pesky bones.

He stated that like most Guyanese, UG students like fish and have enjoyed the new lecture theatre, better Wi-Fi across campus and more comfortable ways of paying tuition.

The increase in tuition, however, was one of those pesky bones with which they have found it difficult to contend.

Glasgow congratulated Griffith on the actions, ambitions and visions of both him and his staff, which have improved the learning experience, but took time to encourage the strengthening of transparency and communication.

He urged the VC to “keep on, keeping on,” an encouragement echoed by Captain Gerry Gouveia, who spoke on behalf of the private sector. According to Gouveia, though persons have questioned Griffith’s audacity in several areas, he holds the support of the private sector.

Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences Dr Emmanuel Cummings credited Griffith with healing several wounds which proliferated across the university. “We have a much healthier university,” he told those gathered.

Minister of Education Nicolette Henry congratulated Griffith, saying that the government and people of Guyana look forward to his continued contribution to the creation of an innovative education system.

“In the past year, you have brought a drive towards innovation at a time when the university was in danger of stagnation. You have contributed to a sense of augustness and appropriate academic decorum at time when it was increasingly being seen as a place undeserving of respect,” she stated.

Bolstered by this encouragement, the VC committed to the continued implementation of Project Renaissance as a means to bolster the university’s diminished resources, esteem and perspicacity.

“For the University of Guyana to have tomorrows beyond crisis management and beyond avoidance of being practitioners of the science of muddling through, the renaissance bridge-building must be sustained at least for the next three years,” he told those gathered, noting that it was a continuation of the dreaming and doing which saw the university established five decades ago.

Project Renaissance aims to rebuild UG’s educational and economic enterprise and enable it to become a consequential national and international stakeholder.

Throughout its first year, the project has seen several changes being instituted to the organizational structure and operations of UG. Operating under the four pillars of Capital Investment, Academic Enhancement, Economic Viability and Alumni Engagement, this project has birthed the School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation, the Turkeyen and Tain Talks, two undergraduate research conferences and the just concluded diaspora engagement conference, among other things.

According to Griffith, the next year will see even more innovation with the establishment of the Renaissance STEAM task force which will be chaired by Drs Norman Monroe and Suresh Narine.

This team will be examining the university’s implementation of its Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math programmes. Also on this year’s agenda is a review of the university’s law program.

This project also has an identified chair in the person of Professor Velma Newton, Regional Project Director of the IMPACT Justice Programme.

Others who delivered remarks at yesterday’s ceremony were Principal of the St Augustine Campus of the University of the West Indies Professor Brian Copeland, President of the University of Liberia Professor Ophelia Weeks, Director of the Trent Centre for Biomaterial Research at Trent University Professor Suresh Narine, President of the Caribbean Development Bank Dr Warren Smith and Lillian Misick of the UG class of 1980.

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Professor Griffith officially installed as UG Vice-Chancellor

2nd August, 2017 0 comments

Before an audience of about 300, Professor Ivelaw Griffith in the George Walcott Lecture Theatre was yesterday officially installed as the 10th Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana [UG] at an investiture ceremony.
Ahead of the ceremonial installation, which was executed by Chancellor Professor Nigel E. Harris, tributes from various academic and professional factions were presented.

The greetings were all flattering and amplified, among others things, that Professor Griffith was best suited to effect an already in progress paradigm shift at the university which boasts a 8,645 student-population across two campuses – Turkeyen and Tain.

The Vice Chancellor was yesterday even credited with healing wounds, some self inflicted, at the national university. It was emphasised by Chancellor Harris before the ceremonial installation that when Professor Griffith accepted the appointment as Vice Chancellor in June 2016, it was an immense sacrifice he made. But there have been criticisms, he observed. Chancellor Harris said that while he believes in criticism, they should however, at all times, be constructive.

There were however no criticisms yesterday. Among those who physically extended favourable greetings yesterday to the Vice Chancellor were– on behalf of students – Ron Glasgow, President of the University of Guyana Students’ Society; on behalf of UG staff – Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Dr. Emanuel Cummings; on behalf of the alumni – Turks and Caicos resident, Ms Lillian Misick of Class of 1980; on behalf of the University of the West Indies, Professor Brian Copeland of the St Augustine Campus; on behalf of the University of Liberia, its President, Professor Ophelia Weeks; on behalf of the Trent University, its Director for Biomaterials Research, Professor Suresh Narine; on behalf of the Caribbean Development Bank, its President, Dr. Warren Smith; on behalf of the private sector, Chief Executive Officer of Roraima Airways, Captain Gerald Gouveia and on behalf of Government, Education Minister, Ms. Nicolette Henry.

The ceremony commenced with a procession with faculty heads attired in academic regalia. It was after a musical rendition by Mr. Keith Waithe, a visiting distinguished artist, that Professor Nigel Harris administered the oath of office and installed Professor Griffith.

The historic moment was followed by a bout of drum rolls and trumpet sounds that emanated from the Police Force Band.
The ceremony advanced with Professor Griffith, who entered garbed in his doctoral robe, being asked to disrobe after which he was helped into the Vice Chancellors’ ceremonial attire.

In his inaugural address as the first installed Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Griffith acknowledged that although his charge is to lead the university forward he is fully aware that it did not “magically” arrive at the place it is currently at.

“There was dreaming and there was doing,” said Professor Griffith who recalled visionaries the likes of the late Presidents, Cheddi Berrett Jagan and Linden Forbes Sampson Burnham and C. V. Nunes, a former Minister of Education.

According to the newly installed Vice Chancellor, it was dreaming and doing that allowed UG to move from a class of 154 in 1964 to more than 8,000 in 2017.

But it has not always been smooth sailing from the inception of the university, Professor Griffith noted even as he shared his intent to build on the work that was started a long time ago.

Among those who witnessed the auspicious occasion yesterday were President David Granger; Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo; Government ministers and other dignitaries.

Professor Griffith was appointed the 10th Principal and Vice Chancellor of UG in June 2016.

He had earlier served 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 enrollment, enhancing the academic profile, controlling spending, launching Honors and Undergraduate Research programmes, and initiating a feasibility study to establish a School of Entrepreneurship and Business Innovation.

Professor Griffith has also introduced a number of similar programmes since taking up his appointment and, according to him, he has plans to do even more as the renaissance of UG continues to unfold.

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