As a University of Guyana graduate (LLB programme), I join in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the university and acknowledge the contributions of those who have contributed to the growth and development from its modest beginnings to the stage where its existence in the Guyanese society is being lauded as an educational institution of repute.
It is of course important that persons who have made significant inputs into that institution’s development be named and recognized, and that in so doing, for whatever reason, such recognition is dealt with fairly and impartially. Thus, it is a matter of concern to many Guyanese that at no time in announcing its plans for celebrating or adverting to those who have contributed meaningfully to the university’s development the name of Professor Harold Lutchman is ever acknowledged or mentioned.
An explanation of this state of affairs may well be due to incomplete records; be that as it may, on demitting the office of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, a plaque which was presented to the Professor stated that “he has traversed all the tiers of academia of the University of Guyana and has left an indelible imprint in everyone of them…” One may feel that this statement of apparent homage may well be thought one of exaggeration, if not generosity, but the test is to the extent to which it is reflective of Dr. Lutchman’s record. The facts are that he served on all the administrative bodies of the university including as Dean of both the Department of Political Science and Law, and Management Studies. Also notable in this regard were two separate terms as Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences. Among the courses which he taught were Public Administration to senior civil servants (Director of Diploma in the Public Administration Programme); Political Science and Law ( including Constitution Law, and also Managerial Law).
In the field of research and publications Dr. Lutchman was active in promoting research and publications. A perusal of Transition, (the academic periodical of the Institute of Development Studies of the University) would reveal a number of his articles as would a review to the History Gazette published by the History Department of the Faculty of Arts; a record of which could be located in the university library, and also encouraging other members of the Department of Political Science and Law to undertake their own research and publications. Further, he was Editor-in-chief of the Guyana Law Journal which was published by the Department of Political Science and Law. Additionally he supervised many graduate students in pursuit of their post graduate work. Further, he has also authored books by himself and co-authored with others.
In addition to the above he served on all of the policy making bodies of the university such as the Council, Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GP) and the Appointments Committee.
His public service record while serving at the University of Guyana is also worthy of note. It reflects inter alia contributions to Public Service reform, trade-unionism and labour education, and arbitration of labour disputes.
Editor, with such a record as Dr. Lutchman’s, such a faux pas, whether by commission or omission is a poor reflection on the administrative competence of the university.
Avette J. Richards