(Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News)
Some of the persons who have sat on the Board of Governors of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) for more than 10 years would have to observe today’s (June 13) graduation exercise as an ordinary member of the public, considering that they were all relieved of their duties by the Cabinet.
Some of the members of the Board were serving since 2009.
It was noted that the Government decided to bring a change to the statutory organization. The change was made by Cabinet during its May 23 meeting.
In the report on the meeting, it was stated that, “Cabinet revoked the appointments of the members of H. Lavity Stoutt Board of Governors in accordance with the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Act, 1990, Section 3(2).)
This change of the Board is part of the Government’s announced policy to streamline statutory organizations. The announcement was made by Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie last month.
During a sitting of the House of Assembly, the Premier explained that the new policy would see Boards serving throughout the tenure of the Government.
In explaining the reason for the decision, the Premier pointed out that under the law, the Premier and the Leader of the Opposition are allowed to select a candidate. However, he said that if the Government changes and the tenure of the Board continues, the person who was selected as the Premier’s choice might not be the person the current Premier would have selected.
Further, mention of the new way of dealing with statutory boards was made by Minister of Transportation, Works, and Utilities, Hon. Kye Rymer, who told the House of Assembly on May 17 that the policy was already being implemented.
Hon. Rymer told the House, “It is the position of this new administration that the tenure of any board member should not go beyond the term of any sitting Government. This is a new policy being implemented by this Government.”
The members of the revoked HLSCC Board of Governors are Dr. Charles H. Wheatley, OBE, who served as Chairman, and is President Emeritus of HLSCC; Eileene L. Parsons, OBE – Deputy Chairperson, Judith Vanterpool- HLSCC President, Denise Sargeant-James – Board Recording Secretary, Professor Arthur Richardson, Derek Dunlop, Lorna Smith, Lydia Pickering, Marcia Potter, Lester Hyman, Henry Jarecki, Coleen Farrington, Wendell M. Gaskin, Cromwell Smith, Jennifer Potter-Questelles, Sandy Harrigan-Underhill, and Erlin Vanterpool.
Among other duties, the functions of the board are to manage, conduct and supervise the activities of the HSLCC; determine the salaries, terms and conditions of all employees of the college and of the board; and to inquire into and adjudicate upon disciplinary charges against students or members of the staff of the college.
The H. Lavity Stoutt Community College Act, 1990 provides for a Board of Governors of not less than 12 members to be appointed by the Minister, from among persons of proven capacity in matters relating to the aim of the college, and who are likely to contribute to its further development.
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ReplyRemoving all college board members and limiting their terms to a singular administration appears to be vindictive, punitive, and political pay back. People who have helped built and grow that college are being kicked out. Very very unwise decision.
I believe this move is not in the best interest of the college as they are getting rid of valued talent and experience in one swoop that cannot be replaced overnight.
While I do not believe college board members should be serving for life and their terms should have some limitation that may encompass multiple administrations, essentially firing the entire board is and will prove to be bad decision.
The education of the territories children and future generations should not become a political football. Shame on the cabinet that made this decision.