Principal's Report - Cave Hill Campus

Professor V. Eudine Barriteau

Professor V. Eudine Barriteau

Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados

The academic year 2016/2017 was one in which the Cave Hill Campus enjoyed several successes in spite of the continued financial crisis with which it continues to be faced. These successes were due to the dedication and support of our staff and students as well as that of our benefactors in both the public and private sectors.

One of our notable achievements during the period was the successful completion of the Institutional Accreditation Mid-Cycle Review conducted by the Barbados Accreditation Council (BAC) during the period March 30–31, 2017.

The review team of Mr John Randall (leader) and Dr. David Wissman stated that Campus' Mid-Cycle Self Evaluation Report was reflective and analytical and addressed the various challenges faced by the Cave Hill Campus. The evaluators found "that while the Campus has faced significant financial challenges arising from the recession, from continuing outstanding payments due from the Government of Barbados, and from the introduction of student fees, it had anticipated some of these changes and is managing them as well as could be expected in difficult circumstances". The team further noted that the Campus and the University have leadership that is well equipped to address the challenges they face.

Overall, the team commended the Cave Hill Campus for: the cultural change towards a greater acceptance of professionalism in teaching and learning; the work of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL); the Guide to the Academic Quality Management System prepared by the Campus' Academic Quality Assurance Committee (AQAC) and the proactive management of its financial challenges. The Campus is committed to the recommendation of the reviewers that greater attention needed to be paid to improving its internal operating processes.

We are also extremely pleased to report that the evaluation team concluded "the Campus and the University continue to operate academic systems that enable them to have confidence that they meet international standards in the programmes they operate and the degrees they award".

Another major achievement was recognition by the National Committee on Foreign Medical Education and Accreditation (NCFMEA), of the Department of Education, USA, that the standards used to accredit the MBBS programme of the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Cave Hill Campus, are equivalent to those used for the accreditation of US medical schools. This has important implications for the internationalisation of the Campus' medical programme.

In order to maximise on this decision, a rapid response team under the chairmanship of Dr. Kenneth Connell, Deputy Dean, Faculty of Medical Sciences was commissioned to develop an optimum public information programme. Since then, its scope was expanded to become a task force on articulation and to explore opportunities to work with international medical programmes to expand opportunities to attract international students to study medicine at the Cave Hill Campus.

The Campus is grateful for the leadership provided by the Honourable Ronald Jones, Minister of Education, Science Technology and Innovation, Mrs. June Chandler, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Science Technology and Innovation, and Mrs. Lorna Parkin, Executive Director of CAAM-HP who prepared and submitted the extensive documentation required by the NCFMEA.

As a campus we are attuned to the needs of our region, and readily respond.

Opening of Mandela Freedom Park

The Cave Hill Campus was honoured to have Ms. Ndelika Mandela, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, join Professor Ihron Rensburg, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburgh; UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; to declare open the Mandela Freedom Park on March 28, 2017 in a celebratory evening of performance, and witnessed by Prime Minister, the Honourable Freundel Stuart. The Cave Hill Campus was honoured to have Ms. Ndelika Mandela, granddaughter of Nelson Mandela, join Professor Ihron Rensburg, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Johannesburgh; UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles; to declare open the Mandela Freedom Park on March 28, 2017 in a celebratory evening of performance, and witnessed by Prime Minister, the Honourable Freundel Stuart.

As we indicated in the last year's Report to Council, the development of the Faculty of Science and Technology is a major strategic focus of the Campus. We are therefore pleased to report that during the year, the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) approved the Campus' request for technical assistance for a Conceptual Study for the Enhancement Project for the Faculty of Science and Technology (FST). The objective of the study is to assist the Campus in determining the programmatic, institutional and infrastructure requirements for a revitalised Faculty. Three of the five consultant firms who responded to the request for Expressions of Interest (EOI) were shortlisted and invited to submitted technical proposals and associated costing. To date, two of the three firms have met the deadline for the submission of proposals. These have been evaluated by the Campus Evaluation Team.

During the year, the Campus received the Town and Country Planning Department's approval of the detailed plans for the development of the Dukes Lands at St. Thomas. Professor Leonard O'Garro, Director of the Centre for Food Security and Entrepreneurships (CFSE) will be leading on the recommendations required by the Department. The objective of this project is to develop a state-of-the-art Agribusiness Park, which will position Barbados to become a regional hub for entrepreneurial development, educational training and cutting edge, agri-business research in a 21st century, expansive, multi-faceted complex. A significant portion of land has been set aside for farming. The park will accommodate agro-processing and meat curing facilities, chocolate manufacturing and training facility, cotton processing facilities, food standards laboratory, sewerage treatment plant, and a 500-seat conference facility.

During the year, the Campus welcomed the establishment of The UWI Faculty of Sport, of which the Academy of Sport at Cave Hill became a department. We also congratulate Mrs. Amanda Reifer, Head, Academy of Sport, on receiving the National Sports Council's 34th Annual Sports Award Administrator of the Year award and The UWI Cave Hill Sports Club on being named the Council's Shorts Club of the Year.

Cave Hill successfully hosted the largest ever UWI Games from May 24 to June 2, 2017 under the theme ‘The Making of Champions'. The 2017 Games introduced new standards of medical care for athletes, consistent with best practices established for multi- discipline sporting events. An innovation was the creation of a UWI Games app developed by Cave Hill software engineering student, Mr. Theo Taylor, under the supervision of Dr. Janak Sodha, Head of the Department of Computer Science, Mathematics and Physics. The app housed a database of the athletes and provided a schedule of events, a geo-location feature, and live score updates. Deputy Principal, Professor Clive Landis chaired the Campus' local coordinating committee.

We are very pleased to report that the Campus in collaboration with the RBC Royal Bank of Canada hosted the inaugural RBC Race for the Kids charitable 5k run on April 17, 2017. The event raised BD$63,000 which provided scholarships for students and supported the Campus' First Year Experience (FYE) programme. The RBC Race for Kids also supported students facing mental health issues.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Sport and Culture, the Campus was pleased to co-host the CARIFESTA XIII Symposium. Dr. Marcia Burrowes, senior lecturer, Cultural Studies served as Co-Convener of the Symposium, The Errol Barrow Centre for the Creative Imagination hosted a wide range of events between August 19-23. The Symposium was of course embedded within the activities of the Festival which ran for 10 days between August 17-27, 2017. During 2017, Cave Hill joined with its sister campuses in preparing to celebrate The UWI's 70th Anniversary in 2018. A campus-wide 70th Anniversary Committee chaired by Dr. Henderson Carter, Senior Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy will oversee the development of an exciting year-long programme of activities to be implemented in 2018. The first of these activities, a church service, was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral on Sunday, January 28, 2018.

The Cave Hill Campus continued to enjoy the support of benefactors in the wider community, and is extremely pleased to acknowledge the following new scholarships which were established during the academic year:

  • The Edgar and Joan Hyman Scholarship valued at BD$15,000 over three years
  • The Co-operators General Insurance Company Ltd (CGICL) Scholarship valued at BD$5,000
  • The Freddie Miller Memorial Scholarship valued at BD$30,000 over three years
  • The Carlos Holder Memorial Scholarship valued at BD$2,000

The Campus also established the Dwight Venner Memorial Scholarship in honour of the late Sir Dwight Venner, the longest serving Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank. Two scholarships would be awarded annually to students primarily from the OECS to study Economics or Banking and Finance.

Adoption of The UWI Strategic Plan 2017-2022

A major focus for the Campus, during the review period, was a comprehensive strategic planning exercise as it developed Cave Hill's input into the wider University Triple A Strategic Plan 2017-2022, Revitalising Caribbean Development. The Campus' consultative process was wide-ranging involving discussions across the institution and including SWOT analyses by all faculties, institutes and centres; a successful one-day management retreat on November 22, 2016 and a Town Hall meeting held on December 6, 2016 to inform staff on the strategic planning initiatives.

A critical component of the Campus' strategic planning process was its development of the Smart Campus Initiative. This is a major reorienting of the Campus' mode of delivery of higher education goods (i.e. degrees and certificates) and services (i.e. research, expert advice and consultancies) to meet the human resource needs of Barbados and the region. The new model seeks to harness information technology to transform all services, faculties, administrative processes and most importantly pedagogical strategies. The UWI cannot revitalise Caribbean development and continue to use antiquated pedagogical platforms and service systems. Critically, the Smart Campus Initiative will assist with advancing the attainment of the Triple A goals, particularly the goal of access which the Campus is prioritising. It also generates new revenue earning strategies. The Smart Campus Initiative was presented to the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) and the annual meeting of Campus Council in January and March 2017, respectively. It was finally rolled out after full consultation and adoption, at a Town Hall Meeting held on September 13, 2017.

Given the decrease in student numbers since the introduction of student payment of tuition fee, the Campus has decided expanding access would be a major focus over the first two years of the strategic planning cycle. Eight of the Campus' 15 strategic initiatives are aligned to The UWI's strategic goal of increasing access.