Ministry denies report link over UCCI resignations

| 18/03/2015 | 15 Comments
Linford Pierson

Linford Pierson

(CNS): The education ministry has described the departure of the chair and deputy chair of the UCCI board as “somewhat of a coincidence” and denied that the resignations are linked to the publication of the college’s viability report. The departure of the two board bosses leaves a vacuum in the leadership at a time when the college is about to embark on some major changes to cut operating costs. The ministry said that their loss could not be ignored and Cabinet would make a decision in the coming weeks.

The former chair, Sheree Ebanks, resigned earlier this month and yesterday it was revealed on CNS that Linford Pierson, the deputy chair, had also written to the ministry signaling his departure at the end of this month. The two have quit just a few weeks after the board revealed a report detailing the financial difficulties of the college and the need for some drastic changes to keep it open but the ministry said this was not connected. Both were appointed to the board for a three-year tenure but have resigned after just 18 months.

“Although the timing of the resignations coming in close succession may appear to be linked to the publishing of the Viability Report, creating somewhat of a coincidence, the Ministry wishes to confirm that neither the Ministry nor Cabinet has sought any resignations, and that any such conjectures are unfounded,” officials stated in a release Tuesday evening following the revelations that Pierson had resigned.

“Cabinet will make decisions in the upcoming weeks as to the membership of the Board, including the Chair and Deputy Chair positions, in order to minimize any impact on the governance of the University College,” the ministry added.

Acting Chief Officer Christen Suckoo thanked Pierson and Ebanks for the time they dedicated to serving.

“The loss of two excellent members of the Board of Governors cannot be ignored, however the Ministry is confident that the expertise, experience and commitment of the remaining members will go a long way to minimizing any short-term impact on the governance of the University College,” he said

Tara Rivers, the education minister, also thanked them for their hard work and wished them well but made no further comment about the departure of the two, who were both, as with other board members, political appointees.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    HigherEducationConsultant: First, colleges and universities may only award honorary degrees in which they have no comparison degree(s) on campus. This explains why a master degree institution can award honorary doctorates and that they can award them in academic fields in which they have no expertise.

    That said, it is important to note, that regional accreditation takes in to account much more than “national” accreditation which is what UCCI holds. Concern exists as to how ICCI became University CCI. While being applauded for striving high, it is important to follow accreditation standards to “prove” to peer institutions that what a college or university says it achieves, is comparable as apples to apples and oranges to oranges. The same holds true for honorary degrees, governed by standard accreditation regulations.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully they have more than the minimum associate degree!

  3. Sceptic says:

    A friend showed me recently a letter signed by Linford Pierson. Below his signature, it said “Dr the Honorable”. I gather the “honorable” part comes from some stupid McKeeva thing that needs to be cancelled but when I asked about the “Dr” part I didn’t get much help. Apparently he got a PhD through some religious organization called ITLD which was operating here. That group gave out Masters to at least one ex Education Dept person with no brains. Linford is NOT in that category; he is smart. So what is ITLD? Are they accredited? I mean, seriously-a PhD???

    • Anonymous says:

      If you google ITLD you will find it is a Jamaican entity founded in 1989. Its webpage gives no indication of granting of PhDs. You are correct in saying Linford Pierson is smart so presumably he got his award from somewhere properly accredited (ITLD appears very lightweight). You are also correct in that he does indeed refer to himself as Dr the Honorable which many of us think is a bit “over the top”. Frank McField used to do it too when he was a Minister.

  4. Anonymous says:

    where there is SMOKE there is FIRE, something is going on .Just saying

  5. Anonymous says:

    Are you serious? There has always been a vacuum at the top else why do so many young Caymanians reject UCCI?

  6. Anon says:

    Probably had enough of the President and his primary school principle micro management style – like almost all of the other Caymanian staff & faculty that have left UCCI over the last few years.

    There is I believe only 1 Caymanian on the Faculty now. + A few Caymanian staff elsewhere at UCCI.

    • Anon Teacher says:

      9:56, you are not being fair to the President. He was a primary school principal for only a very short time then he was a teacher at the High School for a short time then manager of a Car Dealership and politician the rest of the time. Whatever management style he has, it doesn’t come from being a primary school principal.

      • Anonymous says:

        so he was a teacher for a short time and then made Principal and presumably then discovered he was not cut out for that either and went into car dealership.

  7. Anonymous says:

    As usual, politics interfering in our education system!! Can’t these political morons and their goons see the damage that our education system has suffered for decades because of this?? This is beyond sad! People who put their political and fraternal goals above our children’s future should be flogged in public!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I had to chuckle as I read these two first postings — I actually do believe that the resignations have nothing to do with the so-called viability report. However, because of the lack of transparency generally some in the public have a naturally skeptical reaction — and no one can blame them.

      My theory is that the selection was poor to begin with — the chair of a university board is usually selected on the basis of seniority and allround achievement that takes the individual out of the risk of conflict of interests. And where conflicts may arise, that careful selection allows the individual to be in a position to relinquish those connections. Here, we have someone who is still carving out a career. I hope that the ministry will think a little more carefully in selection this time round.

      It is clearly disruptive and engenders distrust when these types of mid-stream changes are made, especially at such an inopportune time, given all that is going on. I think that the impact might have been lessened had the announcement had been made at the time the resignation had been tendered back in November. At that time, the Ministry could have indicated at the board chair had been asked to stay on until the end of what is now clearly a preliminary report.

      In a truly transparent environment, such an announcement would have been made, removing the basis for a lot of the suspicion.

      In an environment in which secrecy is rife and transparency seems to be an unfamiliar concept, we unwittingly create public relations problems where they need not have occurred at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        Your chuckle is as complicit as thick as the incompetency at the top of UCCI, you may have a job when the current President leaves. They also laugh off many concerns of the students and faculty. Get serious or go home.

        • Anonymous says:

          My chuckle was not to laugh at the public’s concern — it was just a little ironic that because of the usual lack of transparency, even when a situation may be exactly the way they say it is, they are not believed.

          That is the danger of a lack of transparency and a general lack of sharing of information. Credibility sinks so low that you are not believed at all, even whe you are being honest. The joke was on the Ministry — though, I totally agree, it is no laughing matter.

          And by the way, I do not believe that the president laughs at student issues — he may or be perfect, but he does take student issues quite seriously.

  8. Disusted! says:

    Coincidence??!! BS! And I have some oceanfront property in Arizona for sale!!

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