Freddie responds to Al Creighton
I hereby offer my reply to Mr. Al Creighton’s letter (“Kissoon’s Account of Academic Board Meeting Inaccurate.) As in his correspondence in both independent dailies as Vice-Chairman of the University’s union two days before the national elections last year, Mr. Creighton wants readers to believe that he is someone familiar with the distinction between right and wrong.
In countless letters to the media stretching over a decade or more, I have always classified Mr. Creighton as a person who has done immense harm to the University.
At the University there was the well known partnership of James Rose, Al Creighton and Marlyn Cox. Rose had eight years as Vice Chancellor. Creighton three years as his deputy, five years as Dean and sat on a number of important committees. Marlyn Cox had six years as Deputy Vice Chancellor and six years as Head of Office of Resource Mobilization. Against this backdrop, here is the analysis of UG not from Freddie Kissoon but the Guyana Review of the Stabroek News of July 2009; “ Cleaning the Turkeyen’s Augean stables will not be easy …the squalid physical conditions, the scrawny assets and shaky standards are notorious… UG continues to languish as a third rate university of diminishing international repute.”
This was written in 2009. Here is what the Stabroek editorial of March 2003 said of UG long before Messrs Rose and Creighton and Ms Cox took over the leadership of UG; “Salaries are deplorable, physical conditions of buildings, library and laboratory leave much to be desired and demoralization is widespread.” I will leave it to readers to ponder what happened after 2003 for the Guyana Review to observe what it did in 2009. I offer these quotes so readers can judge Mr. Creighton for themselves against his background of comments on my integrity in his Sep 14 letter.
I will reply to his accusation that I misrepresented the UG’s Academic Board deliberation on the resignation of the Chancellor, Compton Bourne but for now let me quote his November 26, 2012 letter so readers could judge for themselves who can distinguish between fact and fiction. Creighton wrote; “The affairs of the UGWU have been handed over to Mr. Frederick Kissoon and has (sic) appeared as its representative on all boards except one.”
Here is the record and the facts. I only represented the UGWU on three aspects of its entire life as a union – the UG Council, Academic Board and Appointments Committee. I was nominated and voted in by the Executive. I was not the representative on the following; Finance and General Purpose Committee (the second most important arm of UG after Council); Strategic Plan Committee; Climate Change Committee, Disciplinary Committee, Heath and Environment Committee; TUC Executive Committee; TUC May Day Planning Committee. I never represented the UGWU at any international and local forums. In all these processes, the UGWU has other persons involved. I signed less that five percent of the documents that came out of the UGWU during my tenure. Is this the person who speaks of facts and accuracy?
Here are a few quotes on Mr. Creighton by well-respected Guyanese scholars. But before that, here is Mr. Creighton himself. After painting a rosy picture of a top class university in the December 10, 2005 edition of the Stabroek, in the very newspaper a year after (Oct 19) Mr. Creighton’s caption is; “In the last academic year, the University approved $6million Guyana for research grant.” At that time this was equivalent to $30, 000 American. This amount can hardly suffice for one research paper in the natural sciences. Mr. Creighton saw nothing wrong with announcing to the world that UG’s grant for research by its staff was a mere $US30, 000. This was what UG became under Rose, Creighton and Cox
Here are some quotes on Creighton while he was second in charge of UG and writing constant letters in the press on UG’s great standards (see his December 10, 2005 letter in SN). In SN of June 30, 05, former science lecturer Alfred Bhulai wrote: “Deputy Vice Chancellor, Al Ceighton’s disappointment of not getting $3 million American (as a loan to UG) is an exposé of the kind of research he has done.”
Then in KN, Jan 22, 06, in a missive titled, “UG’s Administration and their Attempts at Deception,” Dr. Anand Daljeet, former lecturer in chemistry wrote. “Mr. Creighton denied these problems existed …on reading the details, I saw another attempt to mislead and show further contempt and disregard for the students and all Guyanese.” In SN of April 9, 2006, Dr. M.Y. Bacchus of the Guyana Medical Council wrote’ “The medical school at UG needs to be upgraded and infused with equipment and personnel if it is to serve a meaningful role to medicine in Guyana.”
In KN, 1, 06, Dr. Seelochan Beharry, former science professor observed; “Mr. Creighton’s misconceptions have been stated before …we have shown these to be false… where is the core of well qualified staff in the sciences?” In KN of Sep 19, 06, Jason Benjamin, the student president intoned; “Some of the plights students are encountering are antediluvian books, potable water supply shortage, filthiness in our lavatory facilities, absence of bookstore and printery.” Finally, Dr. Daljeet wrote in KN, Nov 4, 06; “Mr. Creighton continues to mislead the Guyanese public without any reprimand whatsoever from the public.”
This has been a long letter so I will stop here and pen a reply proper to his assertion that the Academic Board rejected the resignation letter of Chancellor Bourne. That is not true. I repeat the Academic Board did no such thing and Mr. Creighton is being deceptive. Not even five out of sixty voting members spoke on the subject. But more on that later