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Human Resources Committee

Sir Dennis Byron – headed the investigating team into UWI operations

The operation of the University of the West Indies has come under scrutiny by a high-powered committee that was set up to review its performance over the years.

Headed by former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice (CCJ), Sir Dennis Byron of St. Kitts, the committee has submitted its detailed report which pointed in the direction of several major weaknesses in the structure of the institution.

The report is now attracting attention throughout the region as its contents have found its way into the hands of the media.

Today, THE NEW TODAY focuses on some of the governing bodies with UWI:

Purpose

To assist the Council and the Campus Councils to fulfil their governance responsibilities with respect to human resource matters related to University employees.

The Committee may consider specific matters relating to staff delegated to it by the Council. It would be responsible for providing overall monitoring of the University’s human resources framework, with a view to ensuring that policies and practices are equitable and current.

Membership

At the Regional level,

A membership of eleven (11) is proposed.

  • Chair (external person nominated by the Chancellor)
  • Chairs of the Campus Human Resources Committees
  • One Council Representative with Human Resources expertise
  • A legal practitioner with expertise in labour law
  • 3 representatives of organisations representing different categories of staff

University Registrar to be in attendance.

At the campus level

A membership of eight (8) is proposed.

  • Chair (external)
  • 2 persons (external) with experience in human resources management
  • Director of Human Resources on the campus
  • 3 representatives of organisations representing different categories of staff
  • A legal practitioner with expertise in labour law Campus Registrar to be in attendance.

Functions

At the Regional Level

(i) Propose guidelines and procedures for the recommendation and selection of candidates for Vice-Chancellor and Campus Principal and ensure that procedures for the appointment of all persons to senior leadership positions are followed

(ii) Propose a framework for performance management of senior UWI leadership

(iii) Annually review UWI’s management structure and succession plans

(iv) Review and recommend to the Council, through the ECC, guidelines for management compensation

(v) Review management recommendations for programmes, policies and practices with respect to the development of UWI’s human resources, and make appropriate recommendations to the Council, through the ECC

(vi) Review and recommend to the ECC, on behalf of the Council, any substantial concerns or changes to employee benefit or pension plans.

At both the Regional and Campus Levels

(i) Monitor compliance with the University’s policies on Human Resources, keep such policies under review and make recommendations for amendment as necessary

(ii) Review University and campus policies and decisions made with respect to salaries or remuneration, and define duties and their tenure of office or employment, and report to the campus ECC

(iii) Monitor compliance with the relevant health and safety legislation

(iv) Keep under review and report to the ECC any disciplinary matter which has the potential to receive external public scrutiny

(v) Keep Council informed of internal and external human resources issues and activities that could impact the University

(vi) Make recommendations on the development and administration of a Whistleblower Policy (the adoption of which is recommended in this Report).

Student Success Committee
If The UWI is to remain competitive in the region and better attract international students, it is critical that the experience of its students on all campuses, both “landed” and Open, is a positive one.

The establishment of a Student Success Committee at the regional and campus levels is proposed in light of several gaps identified in the quality of student life and student services, many of which were captured in the Report entitled Governance of the University of the West Indies: An Examination and also in the ATTAIN

Purpose

The purpose of the Student Success Committee is:

(a) To promote academic success by providing support services appropriate to the University’s student population

(b) To identify and recommend for implementation innovative ideas to enhance student retention and persistence and the quality of the students’ overall university experience

(c) To explore and make recommendations on issues relating to “campus culture” so that the student experience at UWI is positive – preferably, exceptional.

Membership

At the Regional Level-

A membership of 18 is proposed:

  • Chair – President of the Central Executive Committee of the UWI Alumni Association or Nominee
  • Deputy Principals
  • 2 Chairs of the Campus Student Success Committees (on a rotational basis)
  • 2 Pro Vice-Chancellors responsible, respectively, for undergraduate and graduate studies
  • Presidents of the Guilds of Students
  • 2 Directors of Student Services (on a rotation basis)
  • 1 person (external, with experience in customer service)

Assistant/Senior Assistant Registrar (Examinations): In attendance

At the Campus Level

A membership of 8 is proposed:

  • Chair- President of the UWI Alumni Association or Nominee
  • Deputy Principal
  • Chair of the Student Success Committee
  • Director Student Services
  • President of the Guild of Students
  • 1 Postgraduate Representative
  • 2 external persons, one of whom must have experience in customer service

Assistant/Senior Assistant Registrar (Examinations): In attendance

Functions

These would include:

(i) Ensuring that University policies and strategic priorities promote academic success, personal growth and a rewarding student experience

(ii) Ensuring that University and Campus managers are taking definitive steps to enable greater harmonisation of student service systems

(iii) Ensuring that campuses provide safe, caring, just and ethical environments;

(iv) Ensuring students can provide meaningful input into framing strategic goals related to student life and services and in monitoring the achievement of these goals

(v) Providing opportunities for students to give open feedback about matters which affect their well-being, without fear of reprisals

(vi) On-going assessment of concerns expressed with respect to student services and monitoring the degree to which they are addressed.

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Digital Transformation Committee
No large 21st century organisation, particularly one that is the size of The UWI whose presence is dispersed across a million square miles of sea, can progress or even survive without a robust technological base.

The Commission noted that responsibility for the overall direction and management of ICT throughout the University lies with the University ICT Steering Committee which reports to the University F&GPC. ICT committees, established at the campus level, ensure that approved policies and management practices are implemented.

While these campus committees report to their respective Campus F&GPCs, their connection to the University-wide ICT agenda is maintained through their reporting obligations to the University ICT Steering Committee and also by the fact that all the chairs of the campus committees are members of the Steering Committee.

Connected to the Campus IT Committees are advisory groups within Faculties and other units at the campuses. To be sure, the University has made significant progress in ICT development over the years.

However, current and projected demands indicate, that instead of the traditional intermittent approach to development, the University must pursue an aggressive and transformative ICT and digital agenda.

This matter is of such importance that the Commission has devoted an entire section in this Report to it.

The Commission believes that in the proposed restructured governance arrangement, such an agenda must not only be driven by the University’s top leadership but must be overseen and monitored on behalf of the Council by the ECC with the support of a dedicated committee of persons that includes external members with the requisite technological knowledge and expertise.

Purpose

(a) To evaluate, and provide advice to the Council, through the Executive Committee, on ICT and Digital Transformation policies and strategies and to monitor and make recommendations on the progress of the digital transformation programme

(b) To make recommendations on the prioritisation, oversight and risk monitoring of ICT investment

(c) To review and advise on the adoption or otherwise of recommendations for improvement in the ICT governance and management systems made from time to time by various review bodies

(d) To make recommendations on an ongoing basis with respect to the management of ICT at the regional and campus levels.

Membership

A membership of nine (9) is proposed

  • Chair (external person with relevant expertise)
  • 3 external persons (with experience in change management, communication strategy development and ICT)
  • Vice-Chancellor or nominee
  • Pro Vice-Chancellor, Strategy and Planning
  • 1 Campus Principal (on a rotational basis, representing Campus Principals)
  • Chair of the University ICT Steering Committee
  • 1 representative of the Committee of Deans

In attendance: University Registrar, University Bursar, Chief Information Officer;

University Librarian; all leads of functional domains in the digital transformation rollout process.

These would include:

(i) Assess and monitor University ICT plans, strategies and programmes and make recommendations to strengthen and accelerate digital transformation throughout the University;

(ii) Review reports, and provide advice and make recommendations on the digital transformation process and on progress made towards the accomplishment of strategic goals;

(iii) Review submissions for the approval of ICT projects of strategic importance in the context of the University’s Strategic Plan and the digital transformation programme, and make such recommendations as the Committee thinks fit;

(iiii) Review and comment on time-lines, and track timeliness for execution of planned ICT and digital transformation activities;

(ivi) Review and advise the Council, through the ECC, on major ICT and digital transformation risks, including disaster recovery and audits;

(vi) Provide advice and make recommendations for the approval of ICT and digital transformation prioritisation submissions by the University ICT Steering Committee to inform the University’s planning and budget cycle;

(vii) Ensure that an annual Cycle of ICT Governance Business is established and maintained and that it includes reports, submitted through the University ICT Steering Committee, on the University’s current ICT Disaster Recovery plans and procedures;

(viii) In consultation with the University ICT Steering Committee, recommend a communication protocol to provide the University community with information on the ICT Governance Framework, the prioritisation of ICT projects, and other ICT-related decisions;

(viiii) Bring to the attention of the University ECC any matter that appears to be impeding the digital transformation process and make such recommendations as it thinks appropriate;

(ixi) Refer to the other University Council Committees any ICT and digital transformation matter that has implications for their respective mandates;

(xi) Respond to other University Council Committees on any referred matter with ICT or digital transformation implications;

(xii) Recommend the creation of joint sub-committees, task forces or teams as considered necessary to facilitate review and decision-making in respect of cross-cutting ICT or digital transformation issues.

Relationship between the Executive Committees and the Advisory Committees and the University ECC and Campus ECCs

The proposed regional and campus Executive Committees of the Councils (ECCs) and the Advisory Committees of the Councils are intended to have close relationships, with the Advisory Committees providing effective support to the ECCs to enhance their ability to make good decisions on behalf of and recommendations to, their respective Councils.

The details of their interaction would have to be refined. However, the Commission suggests that to avoid very crowded agendas which can undermine the time available for interrogation of important matters, the construct of meetings of the regional ECC should be designed to enable succinct reports from the Vice-Chancellor (or Campus Principals) as well as from select Advisory Committees, depending on the matters to be considered at a given time.

The campus ECCs would be expected to bring to the ECC of the Council matters that affect the University as a whole.

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