Academic Board account was accurate
The letter by Al Creighton ‘Kissoon’s account of Academic Board meeting inaccurate‘ (SN, September 14) refers. Let me remind readers what led to Mr Creighton’s accusations against me. They relate to two statements I made about specific issues at UG. First, a legal and moral depravity has been going on for years now and continues in the Academic Board. A member or two out of fifty voting representatives would say something. It carries no discussion but when the minutes are written it reflects a decision of the Academic Board. Second, there was the statement that the Academic Board never, I repeat, never, rejected the resignation of the Chancellor, Prof Compton Bourne.
Before I go further readers need to know that at the last Academic Board meeting, the resignation issue came up again, in which it was pointed out that the matter is in the public domain and the Academic Board needs to definitely say if it rejected the Chancellor’s resignation. The Board declined a discussion. Now for the reiteration of my statement.
Dr Paloma Mohamed spoke on the manner in which the Chancellor tendered his resignation and called for his return. Dr Patsy Francis, Chairman of Operation Rescue UG, rejected this. There was an exchange between the two. There was no further audience participation and the matter ended there. Under ‘Any Other Business‘ when most voting members had left, Mr Creighton rose to speak on the position of Dr Mohamed with a view to getting a decision. There was no debate one way or the other. There was no audience participation on Mr Creighton’s further intervention. Looked at from any angle this was not a decision of the Academic Board. Mr Creighton quoted from the minutes. There is nothing in the minutes that points to him speaking on the resignation. So he concludes that there was no discussion under ‘Any Other Business.‘ But he raised it there and since the minutes do not refer to it, Mr Creighton cannot supply proof to contradict my point. Let him do so.
Mr Creighton quoted from the minutes in his letter in which he chose to be selective. He deliberately left out the last paragraph which read: “Dr P. Mohamed and Mr. Al Creighton agreed to volunteer to draft the letter.” It was only these two persons who spoke on the need to have the Chancellor come back to UG, therefore it is inaccurate for the Academic Board minutes to read as follows: “The members felt that the Council should not accept the resignation.”
Mr Creighton failed to mention that he was one of the persons who raised the resignation issue. He deliberately omitted this because the minutes didn’t reflect it. The fact that this is not recorded in the minutes does not mean it did not occur.
I challenge Dr Mohamed, Mr Creighton and the Acting Vice-Chancellor to name the other Board members who took such a position. I challenge them to state if such a decision had majority backing and if it was formally put to the Board. It was for this reason at its last formal session, the Board declined to hear the issue again. But there is a certain dimension of misrecording in the minutes that needs to be exposed
Operation Rescue UG publicly rejected the Chancellorship of Prof Bourne. The organization publicly put forward the names of Sister Mary Noel Menezes and Yesu Persaud as alternatives. Since Operation Rescue UG has voting members on the Academic Board, how can the minutes state that the Board rejected Prof Bourne’s resignation? The minutes are deceptive because Dr Francis did not support Dr Mohamed’s position. It was Dr Mohamed versus Dr Francis and the matter ended there with Mr Creighton picking it up again under ‘Any Other Business.’
The debate is finished because the last statutory meeting of the Board declined further intervention. This then is an account of what truly transpired. As for Dr Mohamed, Mr Creighton and Dr Marlene Cox, the nation eagerly awaits an in-depth assessment from them as to what Prof Bourne contributed to UG in the three years he was Chancellor.
Finally, Mr Creighton wrote that I hardly attended statutory meetings of the Academic Board. That was and is true, the reason being I had total contempt for the administration of Messrs Rose and Creighton and Dr Cox. There was no way I would have lowered my dignity to be part of such a farce. Just take a look at UG today