The Alumni and Friends of the University of Guyana (AFOUG) are in full support of the renewal of the contract of tenth Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Guyana (UG) Professor Ivelaw Griffith.
AFOUG said it has been working closely with Professor Griffith, and the university to improve and enhance the institution’s profile.
“Our organization supports the vision of the Vice-Chancellor to rebrand UG, and to work with the public and private sectors, alums and friends to make UG a world- class university,” the body has said. According to AFOUG, the excellence and pursuit of success are engrained in Griffith and has been evident in his decades long career in education and the numerous accolades he’s received.
According to the organization, “Professor Griffith, has the honour of being the first person in the University of Guyana’s history to graduate with Distinction in Political Science in 1980, he has an outstanding record as a scholar, academic leader and teacher. His accomplishments include work in consultancy to Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, USAID; testifying before the United States Congress on Caribbean security; serving as a consultant to the Commonwealth Secretariat.”
Professor Griffith is the past president of the Caribbean Studies Association, and a visiting scholar at the William Perry Center for Hemispheric Defense studies in Washington DC; the Royal Military College of Canada, and the George Marshall European Center for Security studies in Germany.
He has been the Provost of York College in the City University of NY; Provost at Radford University in Virginia, Dean of the Honours College at Florida International University, and Budget Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Florida International University, he’s also left his mark as President of Fort Valley State University even as he maintained his tenure as a professor of political science.
According to the AFOUG, Professor Griffith took over an institution that was “long-neglected as an educational enterprise; which he knew needed transforming to become a meaningful facilitator of educational and economic development.”
“A fact-finding visit to UG in 2016 by the named group of Education Resource Ambassadors (ERA’s)…found an institution in stark disarray with shocking physical infrastructure needs. A library without funds for repair or expansion; classrooms without chairs and a lack of hygienic or recreational facilities and security on campus resounded with students and staff alike. The university needed help and it needed someone with vision to turn it around.”
“The appointment of Professor Ivelaw Griffith as Principal and Vice-Chancellor heralded a new day for the university. Professor Griffith is a product of the university and had the best drive to see his Alma mater rise like a Phoenix from the ashes. UG has changed for the better and this is evident under his short years at the helm,” AFOUG added.
In pointing out some of the achievements under Professor Griffith’s stewardship, the organization stated that the School of Medicine has regained its accreditation, a new student complex is underway, and the Walter Rodney Chair was restored. It further said that there is a Distinguished Artist-in-Residence; and the anniversary of former President Cheddi Jagan was observed.
According to AFUOG, Wi-Fi is now available on campus, and the Turkeyen and Tain talks have discussed a number of issues relevant to the development of Guyana. Further it was pointed out that there are new programs in Food Science, Social Work, Petroleum Engineering and Civil Engineering, among others that have made UG better because of the Vice-Chancellor; a detailed description of all these improvements can be found on the UG website.
“Professor Griffith has pointed out that the work has just started,” AFUOG revealed.
“He is optimistic about UG. The new Jay and Sylvia Sobraj Center for Behavioral Science and Research, and improvements to the landscape will enhance the reputation and standard of the institution. The Vice-Chancellor welcomes transparency and accountability and he is openly approachable to the staff, students and the unions for improving the university quality and standards,” AFOUG noted.
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