Samuda: ‘PM to deliver statement on CMU soon’

Interim Education Minister Karl Samuda addresses a meeting with the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) management team at the university’s Palisadoes campus on Thursday. (Photo: Donald De La Haye, JIS)

Prime Minister Andrew Holness is expected to make a full statement outlining the Government’s strategy in relation to the future direction of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), in a matter of days.

This was disclosed by Interim Education Minister Karl Samuda, during a meeting with the CMU’s management team, at the university’s Palisadoes campus, on Thursday (Jan 23).

“At that time, he will also present the persons who will be recommended to form the new council,” Samuda said.

The appointment of a new council for the CMU follows the resignation of members in the wake of the Auditor General’s Report on the operations at the university over the period 2016 to 2018.

Samuda informed that Cabinet will receive the names of possible candidates to serve on the council next week.

“The Prime Minister will vet it and make his input and his recommendations. Once it is approved by the Cabinet, then the natural process is that the Permanent Secretary is responsible for ensuring that what is to take place will take place,” he said.

Samuda noted that the council is expected to meet immediately after appointment and will be briefed by the acting president of the university, as well as heads of departments.

“From there they will take the appropriate decisions consistent with government policies,” he said.

Meanwhile, Samuda emphasised that there will be no disruption in the CMU’s operations and the day-to-day management of the university.

(Photo: Donald De La Haye, JIS)

“The university could not have reached this stage without the extraordinary contribution of the teaching staff, the advisory staff and, indeed, Board members who played their part. Errors have been made in the approach to management and administration… that is a matter that will engage the hearts and minds of a new Board,” he explained.

The minister without portfolio commended the academic staff who have played their part in “bringing the institution to this level”.

“I know there is a sense of concern, even doubt as to what the future holds. The future of the CMU is a bright one. I am looking forward to sharing the successes that I am sure will rebound from your efforts, and seeing the expansion of the student body,” he said.

Meanwhile, the interim minister reminded the staff that they should carry out their duties, bearing in mind the principles of good management and accountability.

“There can be no escaping the need for a sense of good discipline, good order, good fiduciary management and a commitment to ensuring that everything that we do can be accounted for and that we can show at the end of the day what our efforts produced, in a manner than can stand any scrutiny,” he said.

“No one should be able to shine a light on any aspect of the management of this institution ever again and damage either the integrity, the strategy, the principles that guide your actions and suggest that there has been any impropriety of any kind. Never again should we ever find where our actions are anything but squeaky clean,” the minister added.

— JIS