News Releases

Sir Hilary Beckles to serve as next Vice-Chancellor of The UWI

For Release Upon Receipt - September 5, 2014


UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. 05 September 2014 - An Extraordinary Meeting of University Council convened pursuant to Statue 22 paragraph 5 presided over by the Chancellor of the University, this afternoon accepted the report from the Search Committee established to identify a new Vice-Chancellor and agreed to appoint Sir Hilary Beckles as the next Vice-Chancellor of the University with effect from May 1, 2015. 

The Chair of the Search Committee Dr. Marshall Hall noted that the advertisement for the post attracted in excess of 50 applicants from all over the world and the Search Committee eventually came up with an initial short-list of seven which was eventually whittled down to three candidates who were invited to be interviewed.  As a result of the interview and subsequent discussions, the Committee arrived at a consensus on Sir Hilary as the preferred candidate. The Council expressed its gratitude to Dr. Hall and the Committee for the efficient and expeditious manner in which their work was carried out.

The Chancellor in congratulating Sir Hilary noted that he would be the seventh Vice-Chancellor. He would bring to the position impeccable academic credentials, impressive managerial skills and the gravitas that such an office required. He was confident that Sir Hilary would have the confidence and support of the University’s many and diverse stakeholders.

Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor Designate is well known regionally and extra-regionally and as Principal of the Cave Hill Campus, is currently the longest serving campus Principal.  He has a distinguished record of achievement and service as a university administrator, economic historian and specialist in higher education and development thinking and practice. At the international level he currently serves as a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Science Advisory Board on Sustainable Development, Chairman of the Caribbean Reparations Commission, Vice President of the International Task Force for the UNESCO Slave Route, adviser to the UN World Culture Report inter alia.  He is the recipient of many honours, awards and honorary degrees and serves on the Boards of several of the region’s largest corporations. 

Sir Hilary is an avid lover of cricket, was an accomplished cricketer in his youth, has written extensively on the subject and served on the WICB for many years.  He is married to Mary, a Jamaican (nee Minott) and they have two sons.

We congratulate Sir Hilary and look forward to his stewardship of this regional institution.    

- Ends -

About the Vice-Chancellor

The Vice-Chancellor of The UWI is charged with advancing the University’s academic reputation and global standing, while championing the strategic direction outlined in the strategic plan for the remaining period of the 2012-2017 plan and beyond.

The Vice-Chancellor must possess the credibility, vision and intellectual respect needed to interact effectively with the highest levels of government, business, other academic and international organizations and civic society, at the regional and international levels. 

Pursuant to Statute 5(a) “The Vice Chancellor shall be ex-officio Chair of the Senate and, save in the case of committees under Statute 10.4 and of excepted Committees, of all committees of the Council and Senate provided that the Vice-Chancellor may appoint any person being a member of the University to be Chair of any such Committee.”

Additionally, the Vice Chancellor by Statute 6 is charged with maintaining and promoting the efficiency and good order of the University for which the Vice-Chancellor shall be responsible to the Council.

About The UWI

Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged, regional University with over 50,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Open Campus. The UWI has faculty and students from more than 40 countries and collaborative links with 160 universities globally; it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology and Social Sciences. UWI’s seven priority focal areas are linked closely to the priorities identified by CARICOM and take into account such over-arching areas of concern to the region as environmental issues, health and wellness, gender equity and the critical importance of innovation. Visit