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Saint Lucian inducted as UWI open campus first principal and pro-vice chancellor

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Contact: Shannon Lebourne


Wednesday, October 21, 2009 –  Saint Lucian born, Professor Hazel Simmons McDonald, the First Principal and Pro-Vice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Open Campus, was formally inducted into the position on Friday evening.


Professor Hazel Simmons McDonald was inducted under the patronage of Government General Dame Pearlette Louisy at Government House.


Witnessing the momentous occasion, were members of her immediate family and several friends.


In her maiden speech, Professor McDonald spoke on the importance of education to human survival, and the impact of crime on Caribbean societies.


“Now is a critical time to reflect on, and evaluate our systems, to determine why it is that whilst  countries have increased expenditure on primary education and other social services, there are  high rates of functional literacy and escalating crime and violence persists.”


Speaking at the official induction ceremony, Prime Minister Honourable Stephenson King congratulated Professor McDonald on behalf of the government and people of Saint Lucia.


Mr. King says, her appointment is indicative of the role and contribution of women on societies across the West Indies.


“She is poised to make future contributions to the advancement of education in the Caribbean. Professor Hazel Simmons McDonald is a true example of the value of women and the role they play in society. Currently, women hold influential positions in government, the private sector and academic institutions,”said Prime Minister King.


As the first Principal and Pro-ice Chancellor of the University of the West Indies Open Campus, Professor McDonald is expected to spearhead the development of the Open Campus to provide more efficient services to Caribbean nationals.


During her first year as Principal of the Open Campus, UWI has recorded improvements and increases in the number and range of study programmes at all levels.

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