As we close one year and look forward to the opening of another, I would first like to thank all of my UWI colleagues and students for the instrumental, collaborative initiatives you have achieved in 2012. It is interesting that during particularly difficult socioeconomic times, we can rise to the challenge and achieve, what may seem at times to be, Herculean tasks.

I believe that our strategic, highly productive, student-centric way of operating has augured very well for The University of the West Indies (UWI) St. Augustine Campus. For instance, one of our major achievements at St. Augustine is the renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for agricultural technology cooperation with The Crop Research Institute of Guangdong Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CRIGAAS) of China, in December 2012. This MoU underscores a milestone in The UWI’s commitment to investigating sustainable solutions to current food and agricultural challenges. After 25 years, The University has finally acquired lands at Orange Grove. The research done on these lands will build capacity and have a tremendous impact on our agricultural future.

For the past 35 years I have seen our Campus face numerous challenges, yet we continue to learn from our mistakes and challenge ourselves to enhance our strengths. During my tenure I have seen colleagues, staff and alumni work together to ensure the expansion of both the undergraduate and postgraduate student communities, while focusing on ensuring that the quality of academic offerings and service delivery remain of the highest calibre. Also, the attainment of accreditation of a broad spectrum of professional programmes, such as Engineering, Medicine, Veterinary Medicine and Dentistry, capped off by the achievement of institutional accreditation by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad & Tobago (ACTT), are achievements that we should all celebrate.

We know that the growth of our student body has made space a premium on our Campus and we have been working long and hard to enhance our infrastructure with the construction of the Sir George Alleyne Health Economic Centre, the Sir Arthur Lewis Hall of Residence on St John’s Road, the Canada Hall Renovation, refurbishment of the Main Administration Building, the New University Inn, the Facilities Management Head Office, the Teaching and Learning Complex located on Circular Road, St Augustine, and the establishment of the satellite South Campus at Penal-Debe − site of the Faculty of Law currently under construction − among many others.

Over the years, our administrators, researchers, teachers, students and alumni have helped us to lay a resilient foundation and forge robust partnerships, not only with the Government of Trinidad and Tobago, and stakeholders in the private sector, but also with local, regional and international organisations.

As we celebrate the tenth anniversary of our newly formatted UWI STAN magazine, which began as a gazette edited by retiree, Robert Henry, and has grown into a flagship publication for the Campus, I wish to thank you all for your support. At this juncture, let me congratulate the Editor, Ms. Anna Walcott-Hardy for her excellent leadership in establishing UWI STAN as our flagship Campus publication, which has won four international awards and was a finalist for an International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) Gold Quill Award in recognition of excellence in publishing. During Anna’s 12-year engagement with The UWI St. Augustine Campus, her intellect, creativity, warm personality and always thoughtful writings, have endeared her to many at our University. But the STAN publication has also been a team effort, and our entire Department of Marketing and Communications must be thanked for this. We look forward to this creativity being enhanced in the next decade.

It was Saint Augustine who asked, “Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.”

It is with great joy and humility that I say ‘thank you’ as I look forward to serving this great institution for another term.

I hope you enjoy this anniversary issue and keep sending us your comments and contributions.

Professor Clement Sankat
Pro-Vice Chancellor & Campus Principal

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