The theme of the reporting year's annual report, Harnessing Resources for Economic and Social Growth, while succinctly capturing this University' raison d'être, also encapsulates the Mona Campus' mission over The UWI 2012–2017 Strategic Plan, as well as the Campus' accomplishments over the reporting 2016/2017 academic year, the final year of the Plan period.
The Plan focussed on six perspectives: financial, employee engagement and development, internal operational processes, teaching, learning and student development, research and innovation, and outreach. The Mona Campus assigned "owners" to each, and monitored achievements against the objectives set out under the perspectives.
Against the background of static government contributions to our budget, we revisited our funding model and resolutely sought to harness expanded and strengthened relationships with private- and public-sector partners to provide basic amenities such as a reliable water supply, improved teaching facilities and increased student housing.
Employee Engagement and Development
A number of initiatives, deployed through the Office of the Campus Registrar and each faculty and campus unit, including professional training opportunities and development of a performance management system that has as one of its foci, staff rewards and recognition, have set the stage for strengthened staff empowerment and ownership of the academy.
Internal Operations and Processes
We harnessed our IT services to expand enterprise computer-based information systems in support of improved academic and administrative process efficiency. This initiative broadly targeted areas such as student academic performance, workforce development, financial transactions and facilities management.
Teaching, Learning and Student Development
We increased student intake by some 12% over the Strategic Plan period, introduced new, and modified existing programmes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels to align them to student and sector demands and, with our private sector partners, grew financial support to students, all with a view to developing the region's human capital.
Research and Innovation
We highlight the Campus' success at harnessing its faculty's research and innovation capacity to find solutions to
the myriad social and economic challenges facing our country and region. The impact that these efforts make will depend on our policy-makers' uptake of the researchers' recommendations, and we implore their engagement and financial support in the interest of our region's growth.
Understanding that economic development rests with the empowerment of a nation's people, the Mona Campus focussed on developing the human capital of our neighbouring and underserved communities. Our work in the Greater August Town and Mona Common communities serves as a template for community development in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean.
As we move into the new 2017–2022 Strategic
Plan period, with its goals towards greater access, alignment and agility, the Mona Campus' dedicated faculty, staff and administration will continue to ensure that we are fully equipped with the tools
and ammunition to effectively shape and support the region's future through increased public and private sector partnerships to enhance The UWI's reputation as the region's higher education vanguard institution.
I am pleased to welcome Mr. Earl Jarrett as the Campus' new Council Chairman. He assumed duties in the current academic year, succeeding Dr. the Honourable Marshall Hall who did yeoman service to the Campus for some nine years. Mr. Jarrett's commitment to Mona is well known, and we look forward to his contribution as, together, we grow our capacity to harness the region's resources towards development and sustainability.
The 18th staging of the Mona Campus' annual Research Days, under the theme "Driving Development through Research and Innovation", was aimed at making the public aware of the academy's research skills honed over these 69 years and positively impacting Jamaica's economic development. The media, including social media, was integrally engaged in the three-day exhibit, which showcased recent research. Crime, Human Rights and Justice emerged as an underlying theme, especially in the faculties of Law, Social Sciences and Medical Sciences. More than 4,500 persons, including students, visited the main exhibition. In all, there were 60 major exhibits, 127 posters and 50 interactive displays.
There were also other signature events, including forums, public lectures, panel discussions, book launches and tours of heritage sites, that contributed to visitors' appreciation of the depth and breadth of The UWI expertise and acquired institutional knowledge.
The work of 23 researchers and their teams,
as well as six students was highlighted in the Research for Development booklet. Their research covered a wide range of topics, many of which are linked to the economic agenda.