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UVI Board of Trustees Elects Officers & Approves Two New Master of Arts Degree Programs in the School of Education

UVI Albert A Sheen Campus stock photo

In the regular session of its meeting on June 4, on the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix, the University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees re-elected Henry Smock to serve as chairman and Alexander Moorhead as vice chairman.

Board Chairman Smock welcomed Mary Moorhead to the Board of Trustees. Trustee Moorhead serves on the Board by virtue of her positon as chair of the VI Board of Education. Smock also thanked Trustee Sinclair L. Wilkinson for serving on the Board of Trustees. “I came, I saw and tried to make my contribution to the University,” said Trustee Wilkinson. “I am leaving with a better understanding of how boards function. This is not an ordinary board. This is a job. This is a second job.  I really applaud all of you for the kind of commitment you have made.”  

At the meeting, the Board voted to establish two new Master of Arts degree programs in the School of Education at the University. The Master of Arts degree Program in Educational Leadership and Master of Arts in School Counseling and Guidance are designed to prepare school professionals for the 21st Century with its changing roles of school professionals and the many challenges facing the territory, the wider Caribbean and the nation. 

The Master of Arts in Educational Leadership will be a rigorous program designed to prepare aspiring principals, assistant principals, and other educational professionals for leadership positions to become strong and effective leaders that are capable of facing challenges. The program will provide students with professional and pedagogical knowledge and skills in its core requirements and a solid content knowledge in the area of educational leadership.  

The Master of Arts in School Counseling and Guidance is a rigorous program designed to prepare aspiring school counselors to become strong and effective and capable of facing the challenges of a changing territory, Caribbean and world.

Currently, the School of Education offers a Masters of Education degree with concentrations in the areas of educational leadership and of school counseling and teaching.  These two new degrees replace the degrees with the concentration in educational leadership and in school counseling.

The Board also approved:

In his report to the Board, UVI President David Hall highlighted the accomplishments of UVI students, alumni and faculty. UVI students are using the 3D printer in the Innovation Centers to create low cost functional prosthesis for those who are missing limbs. Students in the UVI Innovation Design and Entrepreneurship Association (UVIDEA) have teamed up with the national non-profit organization, E-Nable, on its “Enabling the Future” project, who are working to use open-source prosthetic designs to create functional replacement limbs. Ish-Shawn Halbert, a UVI biology major, is taking the lead with the prosthetic project, with support from the UVIDEA student club. “This is just the beginning of those types of projects growing out of the Innovations Centers,” said President Hall.

University students made 39 presentations and publications during this period, he said. “That is an outstanding achievement by our students in a short period of time to be able to do some work and be able to present that work at national forums,” said President Hall. “That is something we should be really be proud of.” Dr. Hall noted that UVI faculty also made 24 presentations and 21 collaborative presentations at Research Day.

Dr. Hall announced to the Board that the Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center (SBDC) received notice of accreditation by the American SBDC Accreditation Committee on April 5, 2016. The program is now fully accredited and eligible to participate in federal funding. “We are proud of SBDC for this achievement,” he said.

Gail Steel accepts award from President David HallAs customary, President Hall recognized UVI employees or units that have performed exceptionally with the President’s Appreciation Award. This meeting’s award was presented to Gail Steele, liaison to the Board of Trustees, and Una Dyer, director of presidential operations. “They have not only made an outstanding contribution to the University since our last board meeting, but make outstanding contributions throughout the year, said President Hall. “Without their effort, often in the background and within the shadows, I would be a less effective president – you would be a less effective Board.”

“She serves this board with the highest level of thoughtfulness, professionalism and care,” he said of Steele. “Board matters and meetings operate smoothly because of her tireless and committed attitude toward her work. Gail is a gem and the Board and this University are fortunate to have her in our midst.”

Una Dyer accepts award from UVI President David Hall“As president, I depend directly on Ms. Dyer for every aspect of my work and my day,” Dr. Hall said. “She manages the President’s Office and supports me in ways that certainly enhances everything that I do. She is the epitome of customer service and professionalism.”

The board also heard an update on the UVI Research and Technology Park and a presentation of the key performance indicators before moving into executive session.

While in executive session, the Board approved a resolution authorizing its Executive Committee to amend the Policy On Public Access To Documents and Information, prior to the next regular meeting of the Board, to allow the president of the University, once each year, upon written request from a Virgin Islands newspaper, to provide a listing of the name, job title, and salary of all employees of the University, provided that, in order to preclude the salary data from being used to steal the identity of employees, all salary data shall be rounded to the nearest one thousand dollars.

Formerly, UVI’s Policy On Public Access To Documents and Information, in part, specified that “No information from the personnel file of any employee shall be provided to individuals who are not authorized University employees other than to confirm that the employee is in fact employed by the University, unless express authorization for such disclosure is given in writing by the employee or a determination has been made by the Director of Human Resources that the information may be released.

In accordance with that policy, the University has declined periodic requests to provide a list of the name, job title, and salary of all the University’s employees and has instead provided only a list of the positions held by employees and the salary of each of those positions.

While in executive session, the Board also granted tenure to two faculty members; approved the minutes from executive session of March 5, 2016; approved a new grievance procedure; approved recommendations and initiatives regarding the UVI Next project and also received personnel and legal matter reports.

Board Chairman Smock thanked outgoing Trustee Dr. Richard Hall, faculty representative, and Trustee Devon Williams, student representative, for their service on the Board.

The next regular meeting of the UVI Board of Trustees is scheduled for Oct. 22, on the St. Thomas Campus.