UG academic board rejects Bourne’s resignation
The academic board of the University of Guyana has refused to accept the resignation of Chancellor Compton Bourne and is urging the University Council not to accept the resignation.
The academic board wants the Chancellor to reconsider his decision and has assured him of the “strongest commitment and support.”
Senior lecturers and workers of the university had called for Bourne’s head, accusing him of not doing anything for the University.
The Board met Tuesday and said that the reason for Bourne’s resignation was not supported by most of the academics on the board, among them all Deans, Heads of Departments, special representatives and top University officials.
“The Academic Board expressed a profound sense of concern at his resignation and deep regret over the circumstances that precipitated it,” Dr Marlene Cox, the chairman of the board said in a press statement.
Dr Cox said that the Board expressed its appreciation for Bourne’s services given to the University as its Chancellor over the past three years and “the effective contributions he made to the functioning of the institution.”
The Board is convinced that Bourne demonstrated a genuine interest in the University of Guyana. He spent an unprecedented amount of time working on behalf of the UG both on and off campus, in and out of Guyana, it added.
The Board said that Bourne worked closely with ad interim Vice-Chancellor Prof. Lawrence Carrington on many projects both internally and externally. These included a number of initiatives toward regulatory improvements.
“Together they worked assiduously to accelerate change at the University of Guyana,’ Dr Cox stated.
Through those efforts the frequency of meetings of the Council was effectively regulated and in their conduct returned closer to the spirit of what is written in the University’s Statutes, the Board stated.
Notwithstanding the critical financial situation that the institution faced and still faces, this allowed the University administrators to more effectively take charge of the management of the institution, the Board added.
Dr Cox stated that because of Bourne, there is a project now underway for the enhancement of the regulatory framework and operational procedures, systems and structures at the University, and the successful sourcing of considerable funding from the Caribbean Development Bank for its implementation.
According to the Board, Bourne had also recently led the process which eventually resulted in the re-appointment of the Registrar, and was leading the search for a Vice-Chancellor with the full involvement of the University Council and academic community in a manner that met the community’s approval.
“The Chancellor’s departure from this process could now seriously set back the search for a suitable Vice-Chancellor,” the Board stated.
The statement from the Board held Bourne as “a committed and sympathetic Officer with international reputation and influence,” saying his conduct is both dignified and erudite.
Unions representing the teaching staff and workers of the University had protested the re-appointment of Bourne.
They said that in his first year, Bourne has managed to make a mockery of the UG Acts and Statutes and alienated the very staff he leads.
The unions said that Bourne facilitated the setting of a precedent that University lecturers can be fired at any whim and fancy of the Council because they are employed at the pleasure of the Council.
The unions further stated that Mr Bourne attracted precious little by way of funding, “thereby entrenching the sense we have that the University is condemned to continue to operate with a $250 million recurring financial deficit at Turkeyen.