News Releases

Dr Francis Severin Appointed Acting Principal of the Open Campus

For Release Upon Receipt - July 19, 2021


The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Francis Severin as Interim Principal of its Open Campus effective August 1, 2021. The appointment was approved at the Annual Business Meeting of University Council held on Friday April 30, 2021 via Zoom.

The current Principal, Dr Luz Longsworth will retire on July 31 this year after serving for six years.

Dr Severin, a national of Dominica, has had a long and distinguished career with The UWI.  He is currently the Deputy Principal of the Open Campus, a position he has held from August 1, 2020.

Prior to being the Deputy Principal, he served as Director of Open Campus Country Sites (OCCS) from October, 2013, having acted for long intervals in that post prior to that date.

He served The UWI part-time as local Tutor in The UWI Distance Education (UWIDEC) Programme, School of Continuing Studies (SCS), in Dominica from 1994 to 1998, facilitating the courses: Introduction to Caribbean History for Law and Social Sciences and Introduction to Sociology of the Caribbean.

On January 1, 1999, he was appointed to his first full-time role in The UWI as Programme Officer in the Office of Administration and Special Initiatives (OASIs), headed by Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Marlene Hamilton, who was the Mona Campus’s first female Deputy Principal and first woman ever to be appointed as PVC at The UWI. OASIs was a Centre Unit in the Vice Chancellery, headquartered then on the Mona Campus in Kingston, Jamaica.

In August 2005, Dr Severin returned to Dominica to take up the post of Resident Tutor and Head, School of Continuing Studies. While in that post he participated in the historical transition from the former entities that comprised the Board for Non-Campus Countries and Distance Education (NCC’s & DE) to the Open Campus.

Dr Severin graduated from The UWI, Cave Hill Campus in 1991 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Social Studies with Education. He went on to complete his postgraduate studies at The UWI Mona Campus: in 1998 with the MSc in Sociology specializing in Social Policy and Administration, followed by a PhD in Education, in 2006.

Dr Severin has served on numerous Campus and University boards and committees, including: University Council; University Appointments Committee; Board for Undergraduate Studies (BUS); Board for Graduate Studies and Research (BGSR); Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GPC); Open Campus Academic Board; Senate Committee on Ordinances and Regulations (SCOR); Campus Evaluations & Promotions Committee (EPC); Campus Appointments Committee (CAC); University and Campus ICT Steering Committees; University Executive Management Team; and the University Senate and Library Evaluations and Promotions Committee. Dr. Severin was the Chair of the Committee of Deans in academic year 2019-2020 and has been the Open Campus’ Public Orator since 2010.

“It is a distinct honour for me to have been invited to assume this noble task of leading the vital Open Campus for the next year, particularly as we prepare to usher in the emerging UWI Global Campus – and a number of transformational and cutting-edge initiatives,” Dr Severin said in response to his appointment.

“I am wholly conscious that the task before me as leader is both a challenging and exciting one. My assurance resides in the fact that I have an excellent executive team as well as a family of employees who are passionate about the work we do to ensure increased access and empowerment through the quality education of the hitherto disenfranchised and marginalized, Eastern Caribbean people and those far from physical Campuses in particular,” he added.

“In all of this, I wish to further enable and champion the ONE UWI philosophy. I am eternally grateful to our outgoing Principal for setting a strong foundation for the Campus’s future,” Dr Severin concluded.




Notes to the Editor


Photo Caption: Dr Francis Severin, Acting Principal of the Open Campus


About The UWI

The UWI has been and continues to be a pivotal force in every aspect of Caribbean development; residing at the centre of all efforts to improve the well-being of people across the region.

From a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948, The UWI is today an internationally respected, global university with near 50,000 students and five campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, Five Islands in Antigua and Barbuda and its Open Campus, and 10 global centres in partnership with universities in North America, Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.

The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Culture, Creative and Performing Arts, Food and Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities and Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science and Technology, Social Sciences, and Sport. As the Caribbean’s leading university, it possesses the largest pool of Caribbean intellect and expertise committed to confronting the critical issues of our region and wider world.

Ranked among the top universities in the world, by the most reputable ranking agency, Times Higher Education, The UWI is the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists. In 2020, it earned ‘Triple 1st’ rankings—topping the Caribbean; and in the top in the tables for Latin America and the Caribbean, and global Golden Age universities (between 50 and 80 years old).  The UWI is also featured among the top universities on THE’s Impact Rankings for its response to the world’s biggest concerns, outlined in the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including Good Health and Wellbeing; Gender Equality and Climate Action.

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(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)