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Top Guyanese academic could be next UG Vice Chancellor

Last Updated on Monday, 6 July 2015, 16:57 by GxMedia

Professor Ivelaw Griffith

by Zena Henry

One of the most prominent persons tipped for the post of Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana is Dr. Ivelaw Griffith who has been living and working in Guyana for several decades now.

Given the political shift, it is understood that Griffith is seeking to make his contribution locally in his associated fields of expertise.

Education Minister Rupert Roopnarine told Demerara Waves Monday July 6 that Griffith has applied for the post and after proper screening and the functioning of the University’s council a decision will be made. Griffith is among several prominent persons who have applied for the job, but sources said things are looking bright in his direction.

Griffith is also known in the US as a specialist on Caribbean security, drugs and crime, and served as a consultant to Canada’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, the United States Agency for International Development. He has published seven books and has another out in 2014, entitled, “Challenged Sovereignty.”

The Ministry of Education announced recently that the government intends to have Professor E. Nigel Harris nominated through its representative on the Council to serve as Chancellor of the University of Guyana.

Current UG Vice Chancellor Professor Jacob Opadeyi’s contract expires in February, 2016 and he has four months leave pending. He is not popular amongst the unions and student body. They have all called for his resignation.

Griffith, who is said to be the first student to receive a distinction in Political Science at the University of Guyana, has made other significant achievements including being the President of the Fort Valley State University located in Georgia USA.

According to background information, Griffith grew up in Georgetown and left Guyana in the early 1980s; moving on to bigger academia prospects. On June 30 last, he stepped down as president of Fort Valley State University after only two years of service.

According to information from the US University, the Board of Regents credited Griffith with raising admissions standards to university level, establishing the Honors Program and Undergraduate Research Program, designing and implementing a new student recruiting plan and process and signing key articulation agreements with institutions among other significant achievements.

The board said that “Dr. Griffith has overseen key changes in Fort Valley’s administration and operations to better serve students,” before thanking him for the service despite the short stint.

The University report stated that, before going to Fort Valley, Griffith had been provost at York College since 2007, and also served as provost while meeting his tenured professor duties at Radford University in Radford, Va. He was a professor of political science.

He was also budget dean for the College of Arts and Sciences and Sciences at Florida International University in Miami. He was also dean at FIU Honors College.