During the period under review, the Office of Administration (OA) continued to execute its traditional roles of providing administrative support to the Offices of the Chancellor and the Vice-Chancellor and providing leadership in articulating the Human Resource policy, encouraging people development and coordinating the internal process review, all
based on the mantra of continuous improvement. In addition, OA embarked on some new strategic directions.
As is customary, the OA serviced the three rounds of Cross Campus meetings of the major standing Committees and Boards of the University. All the decisions emanating from the University Finance and General Purposes Committee, University Appointments Committee, Committee of Deans, the Board for Undergraduate Studies, the Board for Graduate Studies and Research and the University Archives and Records Management Programme were followed through to execution.
In April 2017, the last Annual Business Meeting of the Council chaired by Sir George Alleyne, (now conferred with the title of Chancellor Emeritus) was successfully arranged by the Office.
In the period under review, the Office of Administration serviced the annual meeting of the Joint Committee of Senate that selected the honorary graduands for the 2017 Graduation exercises and processed all the applications for the Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Excellence scheme. Two new categories
in the area of International Collaboration: The Globalisation Award and in the area of Multi-Campus Research Collaboration: The One UWI Award were introduced under this Awards scheme in the year.
The OA also convened two rounds of meetings of the Blue Book Committee and the Career Path Committee and several decisions were arrived at with the West Indies Group of University Teachers. The OA continued to carry out its responsibility for all University ceremonies. These included the Annual Graduation ceremonies; the Vice-Chancellor's Awards for Excellence; the Farewell Black-Tie Dinner for Sir George Alleyne; The Special Convocation for Professor Louise Richardson, Vice-Chancellor of University of Oxford; the Award of the Chancellor's Medal to Professor Emerita Elsa Leo-Rhynie; the Induction of the New Principal of the Open Campus, Dr. Luz Longsworth in Belize and the Induction of the New Principal of the St. Augustine Campus, Professor Brian Copeland.
The Office, in a coordinating role, has already commenced planning for The UWI's 70th Anniversary celebrations in 2018.
Execution of the Human Resources function in the Vice-Chancellery also fell within the purview of the OA and in that regard, 19 successful applications for promotion to the level of professorship were processed. This involved liaising with external assessors with a view to receiving their reports in
a timely fashion for presentation to the University Appointments Committee. Our office also processed 40 cases at Evaluations and Promotions Committee and handled the recruitment process for 13 new staff members, including several professors. It must be pointed out that the recruitment function was administered by one professional and two support members of staff.
The OA was also responsible for arranging and conducting appeals to the Senate from students. This appellate function is very time-consuming and we are fortunate to have Mrs. Marjorie Rose-Parkes, a trained attorney, to oversee this function.
The OA continued to lead the charge for improved Employee Engagement and in that regard,
promoted the philosophy of "Everybody matters". The University Registrar (UR) led workshops on Employee Engagement in the Vice-Chancellery and at the St. Augustine Campus. Additionally, leadership development workshops were conducted for the Committee of Deans and the St. Augustine Librarians. The Directors of Human Resources were also charged with the spreading of the philosophy of "Everybody matters".
The University Registrar, a trained ontological
coach, offered coaching to members of staff across all campuses. In the Vice-Chancellery, Mrs. Lesia Sawyers undertook several initiatives geared towards promoting a greater sense of community viz. the Regional Headquarters Sports Day; Employee Appreciation Week; Self Defence classes, etc. Mrs. Deon Simpson also arranged another successful Wellness Day for the Vice-Chancellery.
The OA, in conjunction with the University Counsel, worked assiduously to advance the case for the domestication of the Visitorial function and it is envisaged that the process should be completed in the immediate future with the amendment of the Charter.
The University Registrar thanks all members of staff in the OA for their sustained support and commitment to the process of continuous improvement.