This was not a proper meeting of the Academic Board

Dear Editor,

I begin my reply to Mr. Al Creighton’s letter captioned “This letter was not authorized by UGWU and UGSS; as for the Berbice Campus, Director Thakur has no authority to hire new lecturers” (07.11.08) by repeating the call made in my letter of the same date in SN – let’s go in front of an audience and debate the UG crisis. If the private sector people are reading this because many of their children are affected by the indefinite postponement of the annual graduation, then I would urge them to take up my suggestion and finance a live debate between the tiny, conspiratorial group of academics that has a secret agenda and the two unions – students and workers. Let us give the audience our differing perspectives, then answer the questions from the audience including the press.

Mr. Creighton describes what occurred at a meeting of the Academic Board that had no legal status. Here is what happened. The Academic Board was called into being but because there was no Vice-Chancellor or his deputy, the lead Dean had to chair the meeting.

All the Deans declined. The meeting then transformed itself into an informal discussion. Instead of using the term, “concerned academics,” Mr. Creighton wrote his letter and informed us that there was a meeting of the Academic Board. When I pointed out to the conspiratorial cabal that it was not properly constituted, here is what I was told; “we were there, so it was a proper meeting.” This is how University teachers reason, no wonder the wider society thinks very lowly of us. A legal meeting of the Academic Board took place on Tuesday, November 6. It was the first legitimate conference of the Academic Board since August. It was chaired by Dr. James Rose. Out of protocol I will not describe what happened there, suffice it to say that over 95 percent of those present didn’t say anything at all. I also reiterate the point in my Nov 8 missive – Mr. Creighton drafted and sent a letter to SN that over 90 percent of the members of the Academic Board did not see.

There is no point rebutting his old, worn out argument about me and Jason Benjamin. Our unions are apprised of what we do. Now here is an interesting development that took place last week on the campus that shows who are the good guys from the bad guys. Mr. Creighton and his cabal met three of my colleagues in the UGWU and insisted that the union must have administrative propriety by electing their representative to the council.

I am the union’s emissary to the council. So we did what Mr. Creighton, the Vice-Chancellor and the conspiratorial cabal never do. We went on an accountability and transparency exercise.

The Union’s executive met in a democratic vote to choose its representative to the council.

The move was to oust me. Why would union members listen to Mr. Creighton who when he was DVC dismissed some of our members and we had to go to court to get them reinstated. One union member when he heard Creighton had met with three of our executive lost his patience and became very angry. He was once illegally dismissed by Mr. Creighton. We fought in the courts to get him reinstated and won. I was elected unopposed.

The union membership knows who have their interests at heart and who struggle for their rights.

There can be no question in my mind that the tiny group with their anti-future agenda will never agree to a public debate. And why? When they tell the audience about the wrong things the council did, the union is going to agree with them. Then the embarrassing moment is going to come. The union will inform the audience of another bad thing that the council has done – impose Dr. Rose three times on UG without an application from him and without evaluation which the Academic Board agreed to in 2005 at the suggestion of the former Dean of the Faculty of Technology after the evaluation principle was raised at the meeting.

So why the embarrassment? Because they accept that particular perversity of the council because it coincides with their agenda. Thus they will not want to face questions from the audience on Dr. Rose.

This conspiratorial cabal is only interested in wrong-doing by the council that directly affects them. They are not in the least respectful of the principle.

Yours faithfully,

Frederick Kissoon

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