UG plans to revise the University Act

first_imgThe University of Guyana (UG) on Thursday hosted its first annual business meeting at the Education Lecture Theatre (ELT).The table was spearheaded by Chancellor Nigel Harris, Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith and the newly appointed Pro-Chancellor, Joe Singh.One of the first items being dealt with was the exploration of roles and responsibilities of council members of the university. A new council to be appointed is said to be smaller than the previous one which comprised 26 members. Chancellor Nigel Harris explained that this was decided upon to reduce politicisation and promote efficiency, effectiveness and accountability. It was announced that an orientation will be held in approximately six weeks in which council members will be able to obtain a better understanding of their responsibilities.From left: Pro-Chancellor Joe Singh, Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith, Chancellor Nigel Harris and Dr Nigel GravesandeInitially, Chancellor Nigel Harris explained that the University Act has not being revised in any major way since 1963; hence, it will be reviewed in the days to come.“Many of the University’s policies and regulations are outdated,” Harris explained.After an extensive period of discussion and reflection, a proposal was presented to the council which is subject to further deliberation. However, the new University Act ultimately has to be approved by Parliament.The Chancellor is hoping that the proposal is approved and carried forward stating “This is an important moment for the University, a moment for transformation and it is essential that its governance, its act, its status be modernised, in keeping with what we hope is going to be a more modern and dynamic university.”Additionally, a series of decisions were also made in relation to the allocation of lands initiatives that are ongoing. These included the allocation of 10 acres of land towards the proposed JOF Haynes law school; UG’s Yucatan Centre for Greening Research, Information and Sustainability; approval for a draft document for the establishment of a UG broadcasting trust and the approval of a legacy project which will cater for behavioural studies. Some of these initiatives are in existence due to donations and gifts from entities who wish to partake in the University’s development.“One of the realities of the University’s operations is that by virtue or deed of gift that precludes us from renting or selling land. This is an arrangement and it’s not a new arrangement where hosts, so there is no rent charge. There is an expectation that services for construction will be funded by whoever the host is. There is expectation that services for maintenance will also be honoured by whoever the host is,” Professor Griffith explained.Meanwhile, Vice Chancellor Ivelaw Griffith stated that the University is searching for areas in which partnerships can be built. One of the main issues arises from the lack of resources.The Vice Chancellor stated, “It has to be part of a larger paradigm shift. What we’re saying is that we’ve got as a university, conscious of the limitations of the Government to ask other entities to support.”He said the University does not establish a firm, sustainable base with its graduates, asking them for assistance. However, he stated that this must be done as it is a normal practice of many private and public universities.This year, the University also introduced the Artist-in-Residence, Dave Martins, who will be preforming in areas such as Anna Regina, Linden, Lethem and Berbice.UG is planning to implement these new agendas with the intention of asking the council what new can be done to raise the standards of the institution for the future.last_img read more