Less than two weeks after he assumed office as the Tenth Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith has said that he is not prepared to be the VC of a university where politics intrudes and undermines the work of students and faculty.
Addressing the first conference of Education Resource Ambassadors last evening at the Marriott Hotel, the vice chancellor said, “Part of what I am talking about is this overtime on both the PNC watch and the PPP/C watch.” He added that an unmitigated disaster could be in the making by playing politics off against academics “in a way that is hurtful to the institution and hurtful to the education enterprise.”
Letting the chips fall where they may, he stated, “I have raised it before and I know people are not comfortable about what I said. But I like to be candid and transparent and I am calling it as I see it. … If the government wants a vice chancellor that is going to be amenable to allow you to make decisions to guide what happens; get another vice chancellor.”
Griffith also commented briefly on the new academic admission requirements for incoming students stating that the university would have to “revisit the admission standard.”
In January, the university had announced that the Academic Board had approved that the number of CXC sittings as a requirement for admission to the university be removed from the institution’s general entry requirement.
However, Griffith said that this was, “not in my view in the best interest of the university, as we are moving toward dumbing down who comes in and compromising the delivery of… [education].” In such a situation, he said, students aren’t prepared for the work.
Yesterday, several of the Education Resource Ambassadors voiced their concerns on a plethora of issues ranging from safety hazards at the two university campuses to the state of the buildings, which are falling apart.
The conference involves some 48 members of the Guyanese Diaspora as well as several local professionals, who have expressed interest and commitment to contribute financially and technically to taking UG forward.