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Nov 29, 2013

UB Faculty and Staff Association concerned about state of affairs of university

Via Phone: Allison Crawford

UB President Doctor Cary Fraser remains on leave tonight amid the turmoil that has ensued since his announcement of impending departure.  While Prime Minister Barrow has gone on record to say that Fraser has not sought an audience with him regarding his reason for demitting office, the UB Faculty and Staff Association is concerned about the current state of affairs at the university.  According to UBFSA President, Allison Crawford, several requests have been made in writing to Interim Provost, Doctor Wilma Wright to determine whether or not Cary’s leave is voluntary.  Those efforts, she says, have proven futile. Moreover, the association contends that a number of decisions not long ago taken by the outgoing president have been reversed in his absence, particularly where they affect the finances of the institution.  In a stern release issued today, UBFSA also calls upon Minister of Education Patrick Faber to satisfy the ministry’s outstanding two million dollar debt to UB.

 

Via phone: Allison Crawford, President, UBFSA

“The association is concerned about the instability of the university without a president at this time.  The president, we understand, went on leave but the association cannot get any response with respect to the type of leave that the president went on.  We had written the acting provost/president twice and we have not gotten any response at all so we are very concerned that he’s out of office and we don’t know the specific reason.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“I understand that there is an appeal for either the prime minister or the Minister of Education to intercede in the matter.”

 

Via Phone: Allison Crawford

“Well that is our stance at this time because we’re uncertain what is taking place.  Normally when a faculty or management goes on leave there is a reason for going on leave.  There is a protocol for us where an application for leave form is filled and the type of leave is indicated and also the duration of the leave and normally when the president goes on leave he informs the community of the type of leave and the duration and that did not occur in this case.  So, we are concerned on whether he went on leave on himself or whether he was placed on leave.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Can you tell us who is acting president at the moment?”

 

Via Phone: Allison Crawford

“At this time we have an acting provost who is now acting as president also and so again we feel that for the top management position at a university that is not stable enough.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Can you identify that individual?”

 

Via Phone: Allison Crawford

“The acting provost/acting president is presently Dr. Wilma Wright.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Okay.  In the release issued by the UBFSA you guys are also addressing the issue of the budget cuts which occur annually and you’re appealing that the Ministry of Education”

 

Via Phone: Allison Crawford

“That was mentioned at the press conference by the board [of trustees] when it came up and so we’re all concerned about the finances of the university at this time.  And since the president’s absence we have noticed that certain decisions that he had made before leaving office have been reversed.”

 

Isani Cayetano

“Can you give us an example of one such decision?”

 

Via Phone: Allison Crawford

“One particular example is that he did not approve at this time for a Christmas social for the university; but in turn he approved for us to have a Christmas dinner, something on a smaller scale.  Since he is out of office that decision has now been reversed and so we are now informed that we’ll be having a Christmas social with a live band and so the association is very concerned of the priority of management and senior officers at this time relative to finances for the effective running of academic programs. The social is costing about thirty-five thousand dollars and that is why we are so very concerned.”

 

News Five contacted Minister Faber earlier today for comment but he told us that he had not seen the press release.

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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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2 Responses for “UB Faculty and Staff Association concerned about state of affairs of university”

  1. sickntired says:

    With all due respect to this lady she need to learn to focus on what she supposed to focus on. Nobody left her in charge so it is not her task to worry about the daily functions of the university – the interim president got that duty. What she could rally people to do is to question political motivation and general direction of our national university. Why we even got such a contraversial outsider like Fraser to begin with? Why the ministry of education owe the university? Why the university no try raise their own funds through research, alumni or business activities to sustain itself? People need to look at the bigger picture and decide if this got place priority on education and if govt does not really value education what do the people plan to do about it? We vote in this govt 2 times and then dare to complain about everything.

  2. indiaspora says:

    A viewer asked why should the president of the faculty and staff association be “concerned with the eery day affairs of the college?” Well, perhaps they are concerned about the possibility that UB’ s president was put on leave while registering his protest at the management of the institution. If he can be sent on leave, what could happen to other faculty? If finances are in bad shape, salaries may not be met, or could be cut. Why on earth should the acting provost also have to be acting president? Why is there no new provost and how can Dr. Wright, a very well respected educator, possibly wear two administrative hats and run UB effectively. You have to wonder if she is not being set up to fail so that she too can be removed… everyone in Belize, not just the faculty and staff association should be concerned. $35,000 Christmas social when there are other pressing matters? Ridiculous. How many student fees could that cover?

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