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Feb 13, 2013

Allison Crawford blasts UB and UB Board

The faculty and staff of the University of Belize are planning a national demonstration on the Belmopan campus on Valentine’s Day. That was the decision taken by the University of Belize Faculty and Staff Association at an open forum held on Tuesday at the Jaguar Auditorium in the capital city. The selection of the day for the protest is deliberately ironic, since there is no love lost between the UBFSA, the UB administration and the UB Board of Trustees chaired by the Minister’s Representative. News Five was in Belmopan on Tuesday and freelance reporter Mike Rudon attended the forum to get the story behind the discord.

 

Mike Rudon, Reporting

The UB Faculty and Staff Association today held an election of members, and the new President Allison Crawford wasted no time in leading the charge against what the Association sees as instances of financial and managerial irregularities by certain members of the Board of Trustees. As evidence Crawford used the findings of an external audit commissioned by UB President Dr. Cary Fraser.

 

Allison Crawford

Allison Crawford, President, UBFSA

“An external payroll audit commissioned by President Dr. Fraser was carried out by the firm of Castillo Sanchez and Burrell with concentration in human resources and budget and finance departments for the year 2010 to 2011. The payroll audit report highlighted managerial and financial irregularities. Members of the UB Board of Trustees are named in the audit as well as UB officials with regard to the irregular practices carried out. Both members mentioned are the chairlady of the Board of Trustees and a former member of the board, representative of the trade union congress at the time. The UB officials include the Human Resource Director and the interim president.”

 

Cary Fraser

According to Crawford, the biggest irregularities circulate around decisions being made by one or two Board members without the approval of the Board.

 

Allison Crawford

“One who approved the change of status of the HR director from contractual to a permanent appointment? Who approved the huge change in salary of the HR director by over ten thousand dollars? Number three, who approved the retroactive payment in salary of the HR director. Number four, who approved the new hires at the cost of one hundred and ninety-seven four hundred and thirty-seven dollars after the approval of the budget. Number five, who approved the new post of Human Resource Assistant in the HR office. Number six, who approved the redundancy of the two posts of Human Resource Clerk two in the Human Resource Office. These questions were never put to the chair at the board level.”

 

Imani Fairweather Morrison

A lot of the Association’s fire today was directed at Chairman of the Board of Trustees Imani Fairweather Morrison, who serves as the Minister’s Representative on the Board.

 

Allison Crawford

“UBFSA wrote the board of trustees requesting an audience with the chair and the president with respect to the audit report. The response was that the matter of the payroll audit has been put to the administration’s subcommittee for further investigation and after tdeliberation on the matter the chair will be better able to speak on its findings. But UBSFA deals this as a major conflict of interest. How can the board of trustees investigate itself or mandate an investigation since the chairperson of the board is implicated in the irregularities expressed in the audit report. The chairperson is a member of the admin subcommittee dealing with the payroll investigation.”

 

On January twenty-eighth, Chairman of the Board of Trustees Imani Fairweather-Morrison fired off a seven page letter to Minister Patrick Faber in which she accuses Crawford of potentially breaching a series of policies, and states that the intention of the Association at this time is to, quote, “distract from breaches they might have committed and further murky the waters regardless of the irreparable damage on the reputation of people and the institution they serve,” unquote.

 

Allison Crawford

“Honorable Dean Barrow, the faculty and staff of the University of Belize is calling on you to put an independent commission to oversee the investigation of the University of Belize and to bring back stability to our national university.”

 

And that plea to the Prime Minister comes on the heels of two unanswered letters documenting the concerns of the Association – one to Minister of Education Patrick Faber on December fourteenth and one to the Prime Minister on December nineteenth. Mike Rudon for News Five.

 

News Five attempted to get comment from the Office of the UB President but we were told that they would need to be given official notice of the intentions of the Faculty and Staff Association before making comment. Late this evening, UB President, Dr. Cary Frazer met with members of the U.B.S.F.A and academic and administrative leaders to indicate that faculty and staff taking part in the demonstration should make necessary arrangements to ensure that regular activities continue at the university. 

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3 Responses for “Allison Crawford blasts UB and UB Board”

  1. Storm says:

    “Financial irregularities” with TAXPAYER MONEY should result in somebody being led to court in steel bracelets. Let’s have names named, and charges brought. Just like dirty police have to go to prison, so do dirty professors and administrators. And they need to be removed immediately from any position of responsibility over public money!

    I hope the media keeps their eye on this crime, and follows it to whatever conclusion the evidence supports.

  2. sickntired says:

    Well about time somebody say something. When UB cut off financial aid to the students everybody jump all over the poor students them but when UB do their nonsense the minister and his cronies no have nothing fi say.

  3. melonie says:

    pure craziness mein!

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