News Releases

Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald inducted as UWI Open Campus Principal

For Release Upon Receipt - October 2, 2009

St. Augustine

On Friday, October 16, 2009, the first Principal and Pro Vice Chancellor of the Open Campus of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, will be formally inducted. The induction ceremony for the Saint Lucian-born Principal, will take place in her homeland on the grounds of Government House at 6:00 p.m., under the patronage of the Governor General of Saint Lucia, Her Excellency, Dame Dr. Pearlette Louisy.


UWI Chancellor, the Hon. Sir George Alleyne will conduct the official induction in keeping with University tradition, and the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia, the Hon. Stephenson King will bring greetings to the new Principal. Other officials on the evening’s programme include the Chairman of the Open Campus Council, Sir Dwight Venner; UWI Vice Chancellor, Professor E. Nigel Harris; Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Cave Hill Campus, Professor, Sir Hilary Beckles;  Dr. Didicus Jules, Registrar of the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC); and Mrs. Charmaine Gardner, of the St. Lucian Private Sector.


As the first Pro Vice Chancellor and Principal of UWI’s newest campus, Professor Simmons-McDonald has the responsibility of leading the effective implementation of one of the main strategic aims of the UWI’s 2007-2012 strategic plan. This is to create an Open Campus to enable the University to expand the scope, enhance the appeal and improve the efficiency of its service to the individuals, communities and countries which it serves.


Among the initiatives implemented during her first year as Principal, have been the creation and successful establishment of the Open Campus from concept to implementation of an institutional system within a distributed environment across the Caribbean region and the forging of a distinctive culture that promotes quality Open and Distance learning (ODL) within the University. 


Professor Simmons-McDonald has served the University since 1991, and has provided leadership as Deputy Dean (Outreach -1993-1995); as Head of Department (1995-1999); as Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education (2003-2007) at the Cave Hill Campus. She has considerable experience in and understanding of the educational needs of the Eastern Caribbean countries. Her professional experience began in 1970 in the UWI School of Continuing Studies in St. Lucia as a part-time Instructor of English Language and Literature. She was also Acting Resident Tutor from 1973-1974.


In addition to her responsibilities as Pro-Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus, Professor Simmons-McDonald continues her substantive academic duties in teaching and advising doctoral students, as well as her research work, publications and presentations at conferences.



About Pro Vice Chancellor & Principal, Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald

For Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald’s profile, see


For photos of Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald, see


About The UWI Open Campus

The newest UWI campus was formally launched in June 2008 and offers multi-mode teaching and learning services in over 40 physical site locations and virtual locations across 16 English-speaking Caribbean including Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Montserrat, St Kitts & Nevis, St Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago and the Turks & Caicos Islands.  The UWI Open Campus offers an open and flexible learning environment for pre-university, professional development, undergraduate and graduate courses and programmes in online, face-to-face and blended format.


About UWI

Over the last six decades, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a full-fledged University with over 40,000 students. Today, UWI is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the English-speaking Caribbean, consisting of four campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and the new Open Campus. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 100 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate certificate, diploma and degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences. As an icon of Caribbean integration and culture, UWI remains committed to enhancing every aspect of Caribbean development and improving the well-being of the people of the Caribbean.


For more information on the Open Campus and/or the Principal’s Induction Ceremony, please contact:

The Marketing & Communications Unit,

The University of the West Indies, Open Campus

Tel:  876-927-1201 or 876-970-0720

Fax: 876-977-3443