May 7, 2012:
KINGSTON, Jamaica – The Annual Business Meeting of the Council of The University of the West Indies (UWI), held on Friday, 27 April 2012, at the Mona Campus, endorsed some strategic decisions taken in February by the University Strategy and Planning Committee. The most significant change is the decision to reinstate a dedicated Faculty of Agriculture which for 14 years had been merged with the former Faculty of Natural Sciences to create the Faculty of Science and Agriculture at the St Augustine Campus. This Faculty has now been demerged to make accommodation for the new Faculties of Food and Agriculture and Science and Technology. Stakeholders in the Agriculture sector have been calling for this reinstatement and it is hoped that the new Faculty with its focus on food and agriculture, will address the pressing problem of food security in the region.
The new Faculty of Science and Technology meanwhile, will have a heavy focus on technology, particularly Information and Communication Technology (ICT), Biotechnology, Renewable Energy Technology and Biomedical Technology. The decision to rename the Faculty of Pure and Applied Sciences on the Cave Hill and Mona Campuses to the Faculty of Science and Technology was not aimed only at standardizing faculty names across the University but more importantly signalled a welcomed widening of focus and the repositioning of Science with Technology throughout the institution.
Expansion of the Law Faculty
In keeping with the decision taken three years ago to expand access to the teaching of Law, Council endorsed the decision of its Strategy Committee to establish a full-fledged Faculty of Law at the Mona and St Augustine Campuses in addition to the original Faculty at Cave Hill. At Mona the LLB programme, headed by Deputy Dean Dr Derrick McKoy, has been in operation for the past three years in a state-of-the-art Faculty building. Students can already register for the full LLB programme at St Augustine, where a building to temporarily house the new Faculty has been constructed. It is expected that the new Faculty of Law at St Augustine will become fully operational in the academic year 2013-2014 with the completion of the new flagship building at the UWI South campus, Penal/Debe.
Division of Liberal Arts Department
The Faculty of Humanities and Education at the St Augustine Campus will have two new Departments, arising from the splitting of the Department of Liberal Arts into the Department of Modern Languages and Linguistics and The Department of Literary, Cultural and Communication Studies. The division had become necessary as a result of the rapid growth in enrolment in the disciplines of Modern Languages and Communication Studies.
MSB and DOMS merged
Another major strategic move is the decision to merge the Department of Management Studies in the Faculty of Social Sciences at Mona with the Mona School of Business. The merged entity, to be known as the Mona School of Business and Management, will operate within the Faculty of Social Sciences and will facilitate the goal of institutional accreditation of all business programmes at the undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels. The merger was commended as a model for the business schools at the Cave Hill and St Augustine Campuses to emulate.
The Optometry Programme
The BSc Programme in Optometry at the St Augustine Campus will now be located in the Faculty of Medical Sciences (FMS), bringing it under the leadership of the Dean, FMS and moving it from its former position in the Faculty of Science and Agriculture.