The UWI, Mona Campus_Annual Report 2021-2022

Principal’s Message

Facing the Challenges of a Changed World

Professor Dale Webber Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal, The University of the West Indies, Mona

W e are coming slowly, painfully, with stops and starts, out of a health pandemic while facing a future that promises further challenges. Yet we have survived because of the strong pillars on which our Campus was built – putting our students and staff first; assessing and responding consistently to our financial status; and being ever mindful of our leading role in tertiary education. We continued to forge meaningful partnerships with all our stakeholders, and committed to the greening of our Campus and our economy.

In this Report, at times I speak in the first person, but hopefully representing the sentiments and experience of the collective staff. COVID-19 more than any other disaster we have shared, affected all of us in ways that brought us closer together as a UWI family bent on survival. One of the dilemmas I was faced with over the last year was ‘how does a Principal operate under such conditions? Financial instability shook us the most, and was perhaps the factor that was most critical in determining how everything else unfolded. The first base that I needed to ensure, was therefore the financial springboard from which to facilitate the Campus’ needs and directions it must take. The main changes that we had to contend with were (1) the falling number of students, but more importantly the inability of students to pay their fees, and (2) that governments were faced with a new unprecedented crisis and the University budget moved further down the hierarchy. We had to think about how we were going to change our financial model because we were roughly 40% government, 40% commercial operations, and 20% students. Students fell as low as 15% contribution over COVID. This meant that the commercial operations actually became the most important part of running the Campus, but this was hampered by the fact that over the COVID years half the companies and half the operations on the Campus were closed. We had to find creative ways to give debt relief or provide

Under the headings Rebuilding Foundations that Support Student Development, Securing the Future of Higher Education and enhancing Quality Improvement Processes , we have fostered the Access that is underscored in the current UWI Strategic Plan. We have Aligned our services both to the needs of the Campus community, the regional society, and to global concerns by Rebuilding Foundations in the Improvement of Health and Wellness, Promoting Sustainable Development and Enhancing the Orange Economy . We have proven our Agility by Rebuilding the Foundations for Financial Sustainability, and bolstered the supports for Staff Development at every level. Finally, still focused on our access, alignment, and agility to respond, the Report ends with some Prescriptions for Future trends and possibilities that will advance a progressive path of growth and development.

In this accounting for the period August 2021 to July 2022, we are reporting on the foundational pillars on which the Campus was built, operated, sustained, and sometimes refashioned. “Rebuilding Foundations for the Post-COVID Era” refers not to demolishing those structures that have worked for us in the past and shored up by many who have gone before me. It focuses instead on the critical assessment and adjustments that the lessons of COVID have taught us, how they shook these foundations and created a profound awareness about the need to rebuild them to face the new uncertainties ahead. All the signposts of climate change and health crises, signal the fundamental need for us as a people and a Campus to be prepared to adapt to a future post- COVID world. It is not a time for complacency, but for harnessing the intelligence that we have gained and putting that to good use.

10 UWI Mona Annual Report 2021 - 2022


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