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Nov 21, 2013

It is getting ugly at UB…President Cary Fraser goes on leave

Cary Fraser

Five presidents and seven provosts in thirteen years….that is the track record of the national university at its top two positions since its inception in 2000. And as it stands tonight, the national university is about to lose its current president, Doctor Cary Fraser. Fraser, a Guyanese national, took over from Corinth Morter-Lewis back in August of 2011. But earlier this month, cracks began to surface between Fraser and the Board. Fraser wrote the Prime Minister claiming that the Board of Trustees was undermining the capacity of UB through its interventions and micro-management. He also indicated that he will be leaving office at the end of the academic year, in 2014. On Wednesday night, the chairman of the Board, Harrison Pilgrim, told News Five that Fraser was still in office. That, however, has changed dramatically. The faculty and staff today received a memo that their president is effectively on leave until future notice. But it is not clear, if he requested leave or if Fraser was placed on leave. Head of Public relations, Selwyn King, wouldn’t confirm what went down.


Selwyn King, Public Relations, University of Belize

“We sent out a communication this morning to the faculty and staff indicating to them that the president, Doctor Carey Fraser is on leave and during his absence, the interim provost, Doctor Wilmer Wright will hold over. That was the extent of the information that was communicated to the faculty and staff as early as this morning.  I was not aware of any meeting and I was not privy to any decision that was taken at any meeting if it was held. I have been informed this morning to communicate the information that the president is on leave to the faculty and staff and who will be holding over.”



“That instruction was given by who?”


Selwyn King

Selwyn King

“Alright, well I have a supervisor, the provost.”



“Sir, could you explain to us the nature of that leave? Was there any particular reason given as to why the leave was requested or required?”


Selwyn King

“No, in terms of instruction of the nature over the leave. Leave is leave. And basically that is what we did. We notified in according to the rules and regulations of the university—once the president is on leave and who will be holding over at all times. This is a normal process that we have been engaged in all the time.”



“This leave, how long is it for? We know that of course that statements have been made that Mister Carey intends to leave the university in June of 2014. Is this leave going to last right up to that point that he is going to leave? It begs us to wonder whether that is the case. Is this man being put out to pasture before he leaves?”


Selwyn King

“I don’t know if I concur with your put out to pasture, but what I can say is that the leave is leave and  I will be informed at some point in time in terms of how long the leave will be.”



“But sir, given the nature of circumstances of the sudden decision to announce his leaving the university, it comes a bit sudden and there is the perception that something underlying has taken place. Can you reasonable assure the public and the stakeholders of UB that no such thing has taken place and it is just a simple matter of procedure as you have indicated?”


Selwyn King

“Well I cannot speak to perception. All I can speak to is that the president is on leave and once additional information is made available, I will make that information available to the community and I am sure by extension that the media will be informed as well as you normally appear to be well-informed and well-in tuned. At this point in time, the communication is being circulated to the faculty on staff. The president is on leave and Doctor Wilmer Wright, the interim provost is holding over. Once information becomes available, we will inform the community.”


So tonight, Fraser is on leave and Wilma Wright is in charge at U.B. If things were not shaky, there was the fourth bomb threat at the university today for this semester and classes were canceled.

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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11 Responses for “It is getting ugly at UB…President Cary Fraser goes on leave”

  1. Joe Blank says:

    Typical Banana Republic behaviour. Our society will be better off when transparency is the order of the day. What else is there to say?

  2. SOULSISTA says:


  3. Hatari says:

    Soulsista, talk about a racist! This is exactly the deranged mentality that is plaguing Belize and keeping us in the 3rd world.

  4. Al Rich says:

    #SOULSISTA, please think how many Belizeans do we have that is capable to lead a University effectively. The standards in the education system in our country needs to be upgraded in all areas of the school system. We need an education system that will cause kids to want to go to school and learn.
    Our country is broken and is in need of repair in every area. The problem is that anyone who tries to correct something is put out to pasture. This is why changes are not made. Our country is literally like the land that time forgot. We cannot continue to function as a country in this manner.

    Parents with young children should be at the front lines fighting for change so that their children can have a future that is better than the present. Failure to demand change will allow things to deteriorate to a worse place and your children and their children will be the ones who suffers. Demand change please. Unless Mr Fraser decides to tell his story the truth will never be known, because there is a code in Belize and that is to cover every rotten thing that is not for the greater good of the people and the coutnry.

  5. Exstudent says:

    thigs are bad

  6. Exstudent says:

    Time to check UB Central Farm. Funny things are happening there too. Just ask some presently enrolled.

  7. Buju says:

    I don’t agree with all that soulsista has to say but i am very sure we have a number of qualified and capable Belizeans to run UB.

    But the problem is – we in Belize have the slave mentality

    We have more faith in foreigners that our own – if it was a Belizean in charge you would be attacking her but because it is not we are up in arms to defend this good gentleman

    lol – funny but true

  8. Cayo boy says:

    Al rich, just upgrading our school system and level will not work by itself, we have a huge brain drain going on because we dont have the jobs that fit the education and the pay grade,Belizean long term thinkers leave the country.
    Its them we need to keep here with a future here in belize, but they leave and stay in the states.

    We need companies to come and invest here and then the vacuum in needed jobs need to be filled with the new and ols students , dont only teach what they basicly need to know , also teach the jobs that are offered , not good to teach people to fish when your on a hill in the middle of the jungle .

  9. Rafael says:

    The minister said that he doesn’t micromanage UB…he has a board that does it for him. “As people will know I don’t operate in that manner of micromanaging UB. I appoint a very competent board to do so.”

    We have a an incompetent for a minister.

  10. ceo says:

    Why every dam thing in Belize has to always be drama riddled with politics? The fact that there has been this many presidents in so little time speaks volumes to how poorly the board is doing their job.

  11. karla says:

    For a country which has been independent now for 32 years it is pretty sad that the national university has lost a president from a Caricom country who has worked at other regional institutions over differences with the board of directors and the inability of the government to adequately fund the institution. Cayo boy mentioned the brain drain, but it is not just those of us in grad school in the US who were hoping to return to teach at UB who are now resigning ourselves to the fact that unless is given the resources it needs and the faculty treated with some measure of respect, any return home is impossible. What is worse, current faculty will probably begin to consider emigration to countries elsewhere in the region which will appreciate their talent, scholarship and teaching skills. The state of the national university is a reflection of the state of the society and clearly the mantra the youth are the future means nothing if they cannot even obtain a university degree in their own country.

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