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Nov 15, 2013

U.B. President Carey Fraser confirms 2014 departure

In Thursday’s newscast we showed you the press conference hosted by the University of Belize’s Board of Trustees, ostensibly to clarify the resignation, removal, or none of the above – of UB President Cary Fraser. There wasn’t much clarification, since the board was not saying much and President Cary Fraser was noticeably absent. But the faculty of the university was there, en masse, and they weren’t happy. Apparently, the president is just one issue, but there is much more bubbling beneath the surface. One of those pressing issues, to no surprise, is money. The faculty has been asked to cut its budget by fifteen percent as part of a belt tightening measure. Allison Crawford is president of the UB Faculty and Staff Association, and they have a big problem with the budget cut.

 

Reporter

“We were informed that that cut was instructed from the Board because everybody keeps attacking the President saying that we cannot manage with this amount, we cannot work with what we have presently. Could you please comment on that?”

 

Harrison Pilgrim, Chair, Board of Trustees, UB

Harrison Pilgrim

“The comment that I would make in regards to that, or the comments, are twofold. In hard times everybody has to trim their sails, everybody has to be prepared to tighten their belts and the University of Belize is no exception to the need for austere programs in troubled times, and so we are very grateful to the senior managers and middle managers who have rallied to the calls and who have expressed and have shown an ability to be resilient in spite of the changes. One of the things we must remember in this world is that change is not something we must fear. Change often provides a challenge that takes us to another level, a higher level.”

 

Reporter

“What actually is going on and what is our money being used for if our faculty members and the departments cannot get the money they need to get things going? Please can you answer that question?”

 

Harrison Pilgrim

“That along with a number of other pressing administrative issues are matters which we hope the president, had he been here, would have been able to answer for you because those are administrative matters. The Board does not administer the university. In austere times, people must take austere measures and if there is any shortfall in the expected revenue of the organization prudence dictates that we take the necessary remedial action. And as a Board on advice of those who understand the financial implications of overspending or deficit spending this Board felt an obligation to hold our expenses within our known expected revenue.”

 

Reporter

“So is there any truth then that the shortfall is coming from the government side?”

 

Harrison Pilgrim

“I have no comment on that regard.”

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Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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