The sixth Principal of the University of the West Indies at Cave Hill and the first woman to hold the position, renowned Caribbean feminist and development thinker Professor the Most Honourable Eudine Barriteau, is to retire at the end of the academic year in July, she announced to the campus’s council Friday.
“This is my last report as Principal and I am truly humbled to have had the opportunity to serve the Cave Hill Campus, the country Barbados and the Caribbean Community as an officer of the University of the West Indies,” said Grenada-born Professor Barriteau, as she presented her report to review some of the achievements and experiences of the Cave Hill Campus over the past year, highlight some ongoing initiatives and outline future plans.
She declared: “First and foremost, I am a very proud UWI woman, a scholar, academic, and administrator, and I make no apologies. I am very proud of what the UWI has contributed to Caribbean development in its 73-year history and all that it will accomplish in the next 73 years. I am extremely proud that within our university, indigenous sons and daughters from across the Caribbean can attain the pinnacle of leadership – A little country girl from a fishing village in Sauteurs, Grenada.”
An authority on gender and public policy, Professor Barriteau took over as Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor from the Barbadian Professor Sir Hilary Beckles in 2015, after serving in several roles at the university over the years.
In addition to being Campus Coordinator at the School of Graduate Studies and Research for about four years, Professor Barriteau also served as Deputy Principal at the Cave Hill Campus for some six years and then as Principal of The UWI Open Campus for about nine months.
It was last year at its annual business meeting in May, that the university council had approved a recommendation to extend Professor Barriteau’s appointment as Campus principal to the end of the 2020/2021 academic year. This was widely supported.
Chairman of the Cave Hill Campus Council Sir Paul Altman said Barriteau’s retirement was to be discussed during the closed-door segment of the Council Meeting on Friday.
The university is hoping to have an official celebration and toast of her service later this year.
It is not yet clear who will be replacing Barriteau as Principal and Pro Vice-chancellor of the UWI Cave Hill Campus or if she will continue to serve the institution in a different capacity.
Barbados TODAY understands that Professor Justin Robinson is one of the leading candidates for the position.
After joining the university in 1997 as a lecturer in the Department of Management Studies, Professor Robinson was later promoted to Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences in 2003, where he served until 2007.
He returned to teaching in Management as a Senior Lecturer and then as Head of the Department of Management until he was elevated to Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences in 2012 while still lecturing.
Commenting on Barriteau’s pending retirement, her predecessor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who is currently the Vice-Chancellor of the UWI, said the university celebrates her contribution to its development over the years.
“I can speak to this with absolute conviction because I was there at the beginning of her role as a senior administrator, deputy principal and principal, and I am here at the helm. So I know a great deal of her leadership and contribution,” said Sir Hilary, who is now based in Jamaica.
“Indeed, she was recommended for the principalship and celebrated precisely because of a record of distinguished leadership, and she has done an excellent job. I wish to thank Professor Barriteau for her role and contribution within the university as a scholar, as a thought leader, as a public advocate and as the principal of this very loved and distinguished campus, the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies,” he said.
Thanking her for her years of service, Sir Hilary added “we do not take any of your skills for granted. We have never taken the skills and the contributions and commitment of our leaders for granted. So, thank you”. (MM)