The University of Guyana (UG) this evening said that outgoing Vice Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Griffith has withdrawn his request for a renewal of his contract.
The surprise announcement came amid furious debate at the level of the UG over a decision to pay him in lieu of terminal leave and a method to evaluate his tenure as Vice Chancellor.
While he has fervent supporters in and out of the university community, Griffith has come in for criticism from the UG unions and others over his record in office.
A statement from UG follows:
On June 7, 2019, The University of Guyana Council convened to make a determination on the matter of the renewal or non-renewal of Vice-Chancellor Professor Ivelaw Lloyd Griffith’s contract. At the centre of the issue was the evaluation of Professor Griffith’s term in office as one basis for the determination of the matter.
During the course of the meeting, correspondence was received from the Vice-Chancellor withdrawing his previous request for a renewal of his contract. The University Council accepted his withdrawal and hereby notifies the public that as of June 14, 2019, Professor Griffith, who is at present on terminal leave, shall cease to be Vice-Chancellor of the University of Guyana. The public is further advised that a Transitional Management Team has been duly approved by the University Council. The Team will be chaired by Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Academic Engagement, Professor Michael Scott; with Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Philanthropy, Alumni and Civic Engagement, Professor Paloma Mohamed serving as the Deputy Chair and Registrar, Dr Nigel Gravesande will serve as Secretary to the Management Committee.
According to Pro-Chancellor Major General (retd) Joseph Singh, “The Team has been identified to take control of the Management of the University with effect from June 14, 2019, until such time that a new Vice-Chancellor is appointed.” He further stated that, “The aforementioned notwithstanding, the University Council will continue to pursue its agenda, including the conduct of a Management Audit, the identification of a new Chancellor and the soon to commence search for a new Vice-Chancellor”.
The University Council looks forward to a cessation of the recent exchanges in the media on the University’s internal processes, but in the interest of openness, will keep the University Community and the wider society informed of unfolding developments as the University seeks to continue its work and to provide for a seamless transition of leadership in the interest of its students, faculty and staff members.