News Releases

UWI hosts global HR Conference

For Release Upon Receipt - December 3, 2007

St. Augustine

The University of the West Indies (UWI) will host the third conference of the Human Resource Management (HRM) Network of the Association of Commonwealth Universities (ACU), from May 23rd – 25th, 2008 in Tobago, West Indies.

Considered the premier event for Human Resource professionals across the globe, the conference will combine keynote addresses from Bryan Gould, David Arkless and Norm Smallwood with a menu of smaller interactive sessions. This flagship ACU HRM Network event targets university registrars, human resource managers, heads of departments, and any practicing professional with staff responsibilities or with strategic responsibility for HRM. Conference participants will benefit from an unparalleled opportunity to network with colleagues from throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.

Themed “HRM: Adding Value or Adding Complexity?”, this standout event offers cutting edge international expertise on strategies for confronting the challenges now facing several Human Resource departments, as they undergo the transformation from a traditional process-based role to a more strategic role which enables them to contribute to the overall performance of the institution. Sub-themes will address the role of HRM in framing procurement strategy, tackling talent flight, managing different levels of performance, developing leadership and management capability, and maintaining competitive advantage. The call for proposals is now closed.

The conference venue is the Tobago Golf and Spa Resort, set on the Atlantic Ocean beachfront, and located fifteen minute’s drive from Tobago Crown Point International Airport in the beautiful Caribbean island of Tobago in the West Indies. Hotel guests can enjoy the 18-hole Tobago Plantations golf course, three swimming pools, plus a spa and fitness centre. Tobago is the smaller of the two main islands that make up the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, the southernmost nation in the Caribbean archipelago. With its relaxed pace of life and lush  natural beauty, it is the ideal setting for academics, executives, administrators, and practitioners to discuss, share, plan and implement ideas. For more information on the conference venue, please visit Hilton Tobago Golf and Spa Resort, or

For Conference and travel details, please visit For registration information, please contact the Conference Secretariat at Email: or; Tel: (868) 662 2002 Ext 3000 or 3004; Fax: +1 868 645 3275. For more information on the ACU, or to find out if your university is an ACU member, please visit


The University of the West Indies (UWI) is the largest and most longstanding higher education provider in the Caribbean, with main campuses in Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, and Centres in Anguilla, Antigua & Barbuda, The Bahams, Belize, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, St Christopher (St Kitts) & Nevis, St Lucia, and St Vincent & the Grenadines. UWI is an international university with faculty and students from over 40 countries and collaborative links with over 60 universities around the world. Through its seven Faculties, UWI offers undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Pure & Applied Sciences, Science and Agriculture, and Social Sciences.


Bryan Gould

Bryan Gould is a highly respected commentator on issues in tertiary education. Following a political career in Britain spanning 20 years, during which he held several posts in the Shadow Cabinet and was the Labour Party's Campaign Director in the 1987 general election, he returned to New Zealand in 1994 as Vice-Chancellor of the University of Waikato. He chaired the New Zealand Vice-Chancellors' International Committee in 2002-2004, and served on the ACU Council in 2004. He is currently the foundation Chair of the National Centre for Tertiary Teaching Excellence, and has been appointed by the Ministry of Research, Science and Technology as Mentor to a newly formed group of emerging social science researchers. His keynote speech at the conference will explore human resource management from the perspective of the Vice-Chancellor.

David Arkless

David Arkless is Manpower Inc's Senior Vice President for Global Corporate Affairs and is a member of the company's Executive Management Team. He is responsible for governmental and international affairs, as well as various strategic relationships with high-profile organizations, such as the World Economic Forum, the Centre for Eurpoean Policy Studies, the US Departments of State and Labor, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security of China and the government of Shanghai. He serves as a board member of both the International Organisation for Mirgration and the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, and was named Special Envoy of the End Human Trafficking Now! movement. His keynote speech will address global demographic challenges and the implications for HR professionals.

Norm Smallwood

Norm Smallwood is a recognised authority in developing businesses and their leaders and co-founder (with Dave Ulrich) of The RBL Group, which was ranked as the #1 Leadership Development firm in the world by Leadership Excellence in 2005 and 2006. His current work relates to increasing business value by building organisational, strategic HR and leadership capabilities. He has co-authored a number of books and has published more than 150 articles in leading journals and newspapers, including the Harvard Business Review. He was selected as one of the top 100 Voices in Leadership by Executive Excellence magazine in February 2005. His keynote speech will look at applying current business HRM thinking in a university context.