An agricultural science park is high on the agenda for newly inducted Principal of the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Professor Eudine Barriteau.
She named this venture, aimed at embellishing Barbados’ agricultural products and production, as part of four ‘intersecting mandates’ that she intends to accomplish during her tenure as the first female principal of the 50-year-old institution.
Delivering her inaugural address following an induction ceremony full of pomp in the Roy Marshall Teaching Complex last evening, she noted that the campus was beset by financial constraints but signalled that she would not be deterred as she listed the agriculture centre, returning the campus to financial solvency, quality assurance in education, and becoming a regional think tank as priorities.
“It is well known that the Campus is navigating some turbulent financial waters. But I am Captain Fred’s, a fisherman’s daughter and I am not afraid of rough seas. However, let me hasten to add that I do prefer placid waters,” she said while indicating her determination to tackle head-on the issue of reducing finances on the hill.
“We are working with the Barbados government to return the Campus to financial solvency even as we continuously develop and pursue new initiatives to strengthen the Campus’ financial viability. Vigorously pursuing the international student market while growing the English as a Second Language Programme are examples of the latter strategy.”
Barriteau said the self-imposed directive regarding the development of ideas is, “to conduct research aimed at contributing to the continuous well being of Caribbean societies. The Campus intends to be at the forefront of generating ideas to improve and add value to Barbados and the Caribbean. I believe the University of the West Indies must function as the region’s think tank, and the Cave Hill Campus embraces that role”.
Work on Barriteau’s agriculture enhancement mandate begins early in the New Year.
She said, “the Campus will submit plans for the redevelopment of the Duke’s lands generously bequeathed to the Campus by the Edghills,
“Under the unwavering leadership of Professor Leonard O’Garro, Director of the Centre for Food Security, the Campus will seek approval for the creation of a science park for agricultural business and entrepreneurship. We have already secured some high value agri-business ventures. These have already been identified and committed and we will share more information on these in the New Year.”