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Author and activist Randall Robinson chats with
President LaVerne Ragster, left and Deborah
Fontaine, President Office chief of staff before
Ignorance is Dangerous
When distinctive author and activist Randall Robinson lec-
tured at the University of the Virgin Islands during Charter Week
he heaped a great responsibility on UVI's President Dr. Laverne
Ragster. "You are in a very advantageous position," he told her.
As the president of a university Dr. Ragster has the power to
shape minds and therefore bring about change, he said.
The founder and former president of TransAfrica, the organiza-
tion that initiated the movement to change U.S. foreign policy in
apartheid South Africa, was the featured speaker in the Alfred
O. Heath Distinguished Speakers Series.
In his speech titled "Race and the Making of U.S. Foreign
Policy," Robinson spoke about everything from politics to AIDS,
prisons, education, and the need for each of us to effect change.
"We have to encourage in our young people a sort ofinquisi-
tiveness," Robinson said. "Everything merits debate and ques-
tion." He learned that lesson as a college student, when after
doing a report, his professor asked if the book's author was Prot-
estant or Catholic. It was the first time that Robinson had ques-
tioned the biases of influential people.
"Education is the business of causing young people to think
and to think critically. For that thinking is liberating," he said.
'The key to all liberation starts all in here," he said pointing to his
head. "Once you are liberated here, there is nothing that is not
possible." He likened ignorance to a disease that must be cured,
and peppered his speech with the phrase "what you don't know
will kill you," telling the audience of little known facts that have
the ability to shape perception.
Robinson Lecture continued on next page
March 30, 2006, volxii, number 3
The University of the Virgin Islands Board of Trustees ap-
proved the Fiscal Year 2006 Compensation Adjustment Proposal
for UVI employees at its quarterly meeting held March 11 on the
St. Croix campus. The proposal was drafted by members of the
UVI Compensation Committee, which is made up of UVI em-
ployees who represented faculty, professional staff, regular staff
"This proposal was a strong one because all of us paid at-
tention to the details and the important elements that needed to
be part of it. For that I say thank you," UVI President LaVerne
Ragster said in a March 13 telephone message to employees
following the board's approval. Dr. Ragster extended her grati-
tude to the leaders and members of the Compensation Commit-
tee for their hard work and attention.
The compensation adjustment plan is comprised of three
phases: Phase I involves a base salary increase of 1.5 percent
for full-time employees for each full year of service starting
October 1, 2001 through September 30, 2005, plus an across-
the-board adjustment of $2000, and a 15 percent increase in the
rate paid to part-time faculty. Phase I is expected to be imple-
mented byApril 14,2006.
"I'm glad that the board approved it," said St. Croix campus
StudentActivities Supervisor Clint Ferris, who represented
Compensation continued on next page
March 30 Dookhan Lecture STT
March 30 Motivational Speaker STT
March 30 Theatre Colloquium STT
March 30 Freshmen Meeting STT
March 31 Dookhan Lecture STX
March 31 TJF Talent Show STX
April 1 Spring Ball STX
April 1-4 Little Theatre Play STT
April 1-8 Humanities Festival STX/STT
April 3-6 Career Week STX
April 5 Career Fair STX
April 5 Financial Seminar STT
April 7 TJF Basketball Jam STT
UVI to Bring the Energy for Carnival
i RK M
Join the UVI Carnival troupe today. Costumes depict the four forms of energy: water sun, wind and fire. Costumes
range from $65 to $75 for students and $115 to $125 for the general community. Sign up in the Student Activities
Centers on both campuses, and at Info Tech (Penha House) on the St. Thomas campus. A $20 deposit is due by April 7.
For more information call 693-1672 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org..
Robinson Lecture Continued
Robinson encouraged everyone to hold politicians account- The Alfred O. Heath Distinguished Speakers Series is the
able. "Responsibilities of democracies don't end when you cast University's way of recognizing and celebrating the outstanding
a vote; it begins there," he said. "Democracy requires participa- person and accomplished citizen that is Dr. Alfred O. Heath.
tion. Participation requires information. Ignorance is dangerous The lecture was part of a week of activities to celebrate the 44t
in a democracy." Charter Day of the University.
UVI professional staff on the Compensation Committee. "This
is just the beginning. This is a small step towards a larger solu-
tion," Ferris continued. He said that the University still needs a
compensation system that is proactive rather than reactive.
"There are long-term fixes that we have to put in place."
By June 2006 a study will be presented to the Board outlin-
ing Phase II of the Proposal, which will address internal equity
and market salary analyses. Phase III will be committed to pre-
senting a proposal on a performance incentive plan by Septem-
"Phase I will be implemented by April, but there's still much
to do," Dr. Ragster said in the recorded message. "I hope that
this level of contribution and effort will continue as we develop
)hases II and III."
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FAX: (340) 693-1055
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