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Jul 27, 2017

U.B. Formally Welcomes Clement Sankat as New President

The University of Belize, its faculty and staff, student body, as well as the country, formally received its new president this evening here in Belize City.  It was an installation ceremony at St. John’s Cathedral that came with all the bells and whistles, complete with an academic procession and musical interludes.  Professor Clement Sankat took over as UB President in mid-February, but it wasn’t until today that he was invested as the highest-ranking executive officer of the national tertiary institution.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano has that story.

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

The installation of Professor Clement Sankat, as the seventh president of the University of Belize, was indeed quite a formal affair.  The ceremony being held at St. John’s Cathedral, a host of dignitaries, government representatives, as well others from academia, attended the event.  Taking office at the helm of Belize’s foremost tertiary institution on February fifteenth, Dr. Sankat succeeds immediate past president Alan Slusher.  Professor Sankat, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, was officially introduced today, before being robed by Governor General Sir Colville Young.

 

Harrison Pilgrim

Harrison Pilgrim, Chairman, Board of Trustees, UB

“The Board of Trustees is confident that under his leadership the University of Belize will rise to proud levels of achievement and deliver men and women with the capacity and the quality to build a strong and socially cohesive Belizean nation.  Sir Colville, I present to you Professor Emeritus Clement Sankat as a fit and proper person to lead our national university Dr. Sankat, please rise.”

 

Since its establishment in 2000, the university has endured a number of challenges; growing pains, for want of a better description.  But as the institution has expanded in reach, so too has its enrollment and course offerings.  Under the leadership of the former Pro Vice Chancellor and Campus Principal of the University of West Indies, UB is poised for greatness.

 

Clement Sankat

Prof. Emeritus Clement Sankat, President, University of Belize

“I hope that I will be able, as your leader, to bring the knowledge resident at the university to shape and develop a pathway for Belize’s development through leadership, research, creativity and innovation and altogether bringing service and engagement to the people of Belize. My hope and aspirations for this young institution are to widen our reach, providing access especially to our students of the far corners of this land, giving many of them hope for a better tomorrow and in giving them hope you extend that hope to their families, the community and this country.  Through tertiary education to strengthen our responsiveness to the knowledge needs of our Belizean society and being engaged in problem solving, treating with national issues like poverty and crime, the economy, industry, tourism, for example, thus shaping the possibilities for a better future.”

 

Deputizing on behalf of Minister of Education Patrick Faber, Chief Education Officer Debbie Dominguez also welcomed the new UB President.

 

Debbie Dominguez

Debbie Dominguez, C.E.O., Ministry of Education

“We have seen great leaders at the helm of this institution and at the helm of the institutions that were amalgamated to become the University of Belize, including our very own Governor General, His Excellency Sir Colville Young.  As is the case with many other young institutions, we have had our fair share of struggles and there is a lot desired in terms of where it is we want to go.  The work ahead will be no easy task and hence leading the institution is a job for giants.  Ladies and gentlemen it is a distinct pleasure for him and for me, and all our colleagues from cabinet and in the Ministry of Education, to welcome such an education giant in the person of Professor Emeritus Dr. Clement Sankat.  The challenges that Professor Sankat will face, although gigantic, are not insurmountable.  What is needed is that all in the Belizean society understand that although in Professor Sankat we have a highly qualified, highly competent, indisputably capable leader that by himself the job cannot be done.  For the objectives of the new University of Belize to be realized, we must all be willing to work, all hands on deck.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.

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