Newly inducted Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The University of the West Indies at Cave Hill, Professor Clive Landis has pledged to draw on The UWI’s strategic vision of driving Caribbean development to position the Cave Hill Campus as a pillar of innovation in Barbados.
He outlined these plans during his inaugural address, at the ceremony for his induction as the sixth Principal of the Cave Hill Campus on Saturday, November 13, 2021.
“In my vision for the Cave Hill Campus, I intend to tap into this burning fire to serve the region, to open new avenues, through which staff and students can find meaning and fulfilment through service in the community,” Professor Landis stated.
The prolific scientific researcher, who has served The UWI for almost two decades, including in varying administrative positions, signalled a willingness to work in partnership for the advancement of the Campus.
He indicated his readiness to engage the Government of Barbados and the private sector for the development of innovation systems to help transform the instinctive creativity of Caribbean people from the spark of an idea to a commercially viable product.
Professor Landis said the diversity of expertise at each UWI campus had bolstered the resilience of the institution during the pandemic, thereby allowing the continuous delivery of service to students, while providing a regional research platform to support policymakers for evidence-based decisions.
On the issue of community outreach, he said there would be an increase in the years ahead as he lauded the highly successful “Seek and Save” initiative that involved over 400 students collaborating with the Ministry of Health to visit Barbadian households in a bid to contain the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Principal announced a UWI Cave Hill Africa Health Strategy to take advantage of growth opportunities for South-South collaboration with the African continent in areas of medical education, health economics, health disparities research and ethical biobanking.
He noted that Cave Hill’s intellectual property assets in health education and research services were ideally placed for trade with partner institutions to garner health benefits for peoples of the African diaspora.
Saturday’ Induction Ceremony which had a scaled back in-person attendance because of COVID-19 public health restrictions, nonetheless exhibited the usual pomp and circumstance associated with the occasion.
During the two-hour event, the Principal was praised for his wealth of experience, visionary leadership, extensive research, and principled stance.
Among the more than two dozen people who paid tribute were fellow principals of the other four UWI Campuses, representatives of national and regional agencies, UWI staff as well as current and former students.
In his speech delivered after the traditional robing of the new Principal, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said Professor Landis has not only demonstrated intellect but integrity of purpose and citizenship within The UWI.
“We are proud of his record of achievement and commitment. We respect him, we admire him, and we salute him on this day. He is a man of the moment, there is no doubt. He possesses all the relevant skillsets to lead this distinguished Campus. Not only is he competent, but his consciousness will enable his dramatic impact upon the leadership of the Campus and this University. I am confident that Cave Hill will continue to thrive under his leadership because we know of his judgment, we know of his temperament and, critically, we are comforted by his impulse for social justice.”
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Barbados, Minister of Education, Technological and Vocational Training, the Honourable Santia Bradshaw expressed hope that the new Principal would continue the Campus’ focus on training, innovation, and entrepreneurship necessary for post-COVID recovery in the region.
She said the government remains committed to supporting the investment in higher education despite competition for scarce financial resources. “Linkages formed between The University of the West Indies and the Government of Barbados have not only significantly advanced the island’s educational development, but also the economic and social well-being of Barbados,” she added.