Friday, January 24, 2020

SALCC conversion at advanced stages

GIS: The College is in the Process of Transitioning into A Full-Fledged University.

The Sir Arthur Lewis Community College (SALCC) is in the advanced stages of the process to become a full-fledged university.

SALCC Principal, Professor Olivia Saunders, joined the institution two years ago, with the mandate to lead the transformation process. Discussions about transforming the 32-year old college into a full-fledged degree-granting university began in 2008.

“Subsequent to 2008, when we got a cabinet conclusion mandate for the transformation, committees were formed and quite a bit of money was spent on hiring consultants. Now, we have a slew of reports and recommendations on how the transformation should occur. So the first thing that I did when I came in was to review a number of these documents, and we formed a transformation unit and we tried to populate it with professionals, but given the financial restraints of the college, we could not populate it as we would have liked, so we formed 16 technical working teams and I really would like to thank all the members of these teams. The teams comprise not only of staff faculty at the college, but also alumni and persons who simply have an interest in the work of the college and its transformation to a university, and it’s all voluntary.”

Dr. Saunders said the work accomplished so far by the technical working teams is fantastic. The teams are responsible not only for reviewing and updating the reports and recommendations, but also for overseeing their implementation as well.

“Essentially, we have been trying to implement the transformation from last year. It’s not completed by any stretch. We have not been able to move as far as we would like, but some of the things we have done that I think are significant in identifying us as a university is the reconstitution of the academic board. Academic matters are really under the purview of faculty,” she said.

“The next is the organizational restructuring,” Dr. Saunders continued. “We have a principal, a vice principal, and managers without any distinctive categorization, so the college from an administrative perspective is now divided into three main areas: Academic Affairs and Research; Students Affairs; and Administration and Finance.”

The SALCC is, at present, rationalizing the curricula to reflect the university status that it’s aspiring for.


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