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Title: UWI today
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Language: English
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Place of Publication: St. Augustine, Trinidad and Tobago
Publication Date: November 29, 2009
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UWI
ST. AUGUSTINE
CAMPUS


THE UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES ST. AUGUSTINE CAMPUS

SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER, 2009


RESEARCH 08
Hot News for
Agriculture
* Bio-Business


HONORARY GRADUATES 12
Christopher Laird
* Abiding Vision


HONORARY GRADUATES 15
Robert Riley
* Time for leaders
to stand and deliver


HONORARY GRADUATES 10
Angela Cropper
* Look Beyond


HONORARY GRADUATES- 13
ProfArnold
Rampersad
* A Biographer Challenges






Page
Missing
or
Unavailable






SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 3


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Forestry officers from the Department of Forestry worked alongside the Seismic Research Centre during
the Understanding Tsunamis project. They are preparing a site for planting Golden Flower, Almond and
Sea Grape trees along the beach in Bonasse Village during the recent Earth Science Week.

Students from two of Trinidad's remote coastal communities are now better educated on tsunami
safety thanks to an outreach initiative by the UWI Seismic Research Centre (SRC).
This year, the SRC chose Understanding Tsunamis as the main theme for its Earth Science
Week celebrations and targeted two schools for raising awareness on tsunamis. "Currently, there
is a lot of work being done to establish a tsunami warning system for the Caribbean but we still
have a long way to go:' said SRC Education Officer, Stacey Edwards. "In the meantime it is very
important for people living and working in coastal areas to be able to recognize a tsunami's
natural warning signs and to be able to respond appropriately."
During Earth Science Week, the SRC and the Office of Disaster Preparedness and
Management (ODPM) sponsored a group of geography students from Mayaro Secondary School
to attend a student workshop at the SRC in St. Augustine. During the workshop, the students
learned about the causes of tsunamis and they learned how to recognize a tsunami's natural
warning signs.
Students of Cedros Secondary School benefited from a similar educational programme when
a team from the SRC visited the fishing community of Bonasse Village. In addition to learning
about tsunamis, Cedros Secondary students planted trees along the beach as part of the SRC's
Tsunami Ready Environment & Education (TREE) event. According to the Food & Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations (FAO) coastal forests can reduce the depth, force and velocity
of a tsunami and other large wave events.
"It was great that first the students learned about the potential impact of tsunamis and
then they actually went outside and did something to reduce that impact on their community"
commented Dr. Robert Watts, SRC Volcanologist.
The SRC partnered with the Department of Forestry in the Ministry of Agriculture Land
& Marine Resources and the Trinidad & Tobago Meteorological Service and received generous
sponsorship from First Citizens, ODPM, Neal & Massy Foundation, Scrip-J and Cool Connections
Ltd.
Although tsunamis do not occur frequently in the Caribbean, the region is vulnerable to
these events and it is hoped that students will impart the knowledge gained during Earth Science
Week to other members of their coastal communities.


LTD,;i.,.: P


1 0REEARH


CAMPUS PRINCIPAL
Professor Clement Sankat
DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS
Mrs. Dawn Marie De Four-Gill
EDITOR
Ms. Vaneisa Baksh
CONTACT US
The UWI Marketing and Communications Office
Tel: (868) 662-2002, exts. 2013. 2014
Or e-mail: uwitoday@sta.uwi.edu


II u
J ?14


Celebrating Excellence

SAs the regional university, The UWI prides
itself on continuously raising the bar for quality
't. "standards in teaching, research and service. We
P Shave a long-standing tradition of producing
S leaders in both the public and private sectors
nationally, regionally and internationally. In
Fact, during our recent graduation ceremonies
across the Caribbean, we graduated over 6,914
undergraduate and 1,969 postgraduate students
from our four UWI Campuses, including 89
doctoral students. We also paid tribute to 16 specially selected honorary
graduands, each of whom epitomizes excellence, dedication and service to
the people of our region. Like our honorees, I too share the view that strong,
visionary leadership is an important element of human development and
that The UWI has a critical continuing role in building Caribbean leaders
of the future.
As we welcome another contingent of world leaders, this time for the 2009
Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), and discuss issues
related to equitable and sustainable development, we must stand ready to take
full responsibility for our part in creating a more equitable and sustainable
world. After all, privilege and responsibility are two sides of the same coin. As
leaders in our various disciplines, therefore, we must accept the challenge to
be agents of change in the pursuit of a better future for those in our charge.
There are several glowing examples around us that remind us of what
authentic leadership and a drive to excel can produce.
Our honorary graduates have been beacons in this regard and have
remained committed to using their talent and their respective offices to
uplift others. Our many students recognized in the various Faculty Prize-
giving Ceremonies in October also demonstrate diligence and perseverance,
while staff members such as our own Professor Clement Imbert, who was
awarded the Vice Chancellor's Award for Excellence, exemplify the true
meaning of student-centredness, academic leadership and giving back to
the community.
Many more examples abound outside our Campus. Recently our own
Trinidad and Tobago cricket team demonstrated its tenacity and drive
for achieving excellence in a manner which can only communicate true
leadership to the rest of the region. Inherent in these examples of success are
the consistent qualities of commitment, discipline, selflessness, and teamwork,
qualities which I hope to see taking root, more and more, at all levels in our
societies.




CLEMENT K. SANKAT
Pro Vice Chancellor & Principal


EDITO**AL






SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 5


1 0 IISE NENTOA AFMRTO


NO LONGER JUST A RACE

By Raffique Shah


It took a mere six years for the UWI-SPEC International
Half-Marathon to mature-which is quite an achievement
by any standard. What this means is the race came close to
attaining optimum participation. Back in 2004 when an idea
germinated into the most successful half marathon in the
English-speaking Caribbean, the organising committee set
itself a goal of attracting 1,000 participants.
This year there were 950 entrants: 776 officially finished
the event. From the organisational standpoint, the race
was a resounding success. Its water stations, medical and
paramedical facilities, processing of participants before the
start and after finishing, as well as hospitality for runners,
volunteers and VIPs, all functioned as efficiently as could
be expected.
The event might have been even more competitive
in both the male and female categories had a few invited
elite athletes not withdrawn when it was too late to find
replacements. Kenya's Alfonsi Yatich (age 25) turned the
halfway point in just over 30 minutes, putting him on course
for world-class finishing time in our weather conditions. But
lack of competition saw him slow down considerably on the
return leg. He finished in 1:06.47, which could easily have
been 1:02 if he was challenged.
Among female competitors, Nigeria-born Mary Akor
(now a US citizen) also had an easy run, winning in 1:18.48.
UWI (Mona) student Tanice Barnett improved her 2008
time by three minutes to place 2nd in 1:25.
Of significance was an increase in the numbers of
participants from The UWI. Sixty-two students finished the
13.1 mile challenge (compared with 45 last year), with Brian
Maynard maintaining his dominance in 1:17:58. Among the
19 campus staff members who completed the race, Darrin


Kenya's Alfonsi Yatich, 25, won in 1:06.47


Grenade was also a repeat winner (1:26.13) while Elizabeth
Hackshaw took 1st place among females in 1:50.38.
The half marathon is not just about winners and fast
times. It promotes health and fitness, competition and
camaraderie among a wide spectrum of citizens. Participants
ranged from age 15 to persons in their 80s. Among the
teen-wonders, 15 year-old Andrew Harrilal finished in a
respectable 1:50.53 while Abiane Collymore (16) won her
age group in 1:46.54.
At the other end of the age-scale, Lynette "Granny"
Lucess (81) kept spectators waiting for 3:25 to see the grand-
dame of T&T distance running finish. And 85 year-old
Charles Spooner proved that age is just a number, clocking
3:08. In between, there were some remarkable performances
in the other age-groups, with the top three winners in each
category winning cash prizes. Where does the UWI-SPEC
Half-Marathon go from here? Director Dr Iva Gloudon
spelt it out to committee members: "This is no longer just a
race...it's now a major national event.' There will be changes
for 2010. The limit of 1,000 entrants will be maintained. But
the event's website http://sta.uwi.edu/spec/marathon/ will
feature training programmes to help potential participants
better prepare for what is a demanding distance.
Dr Gloudon will explore through the NAAA the
prospect of having the race sanctioned by the IAAF as the
hemispheric Universities' Half Marathon Championships.
And showcasing this country's culture at the start/finish and
along the course will be a feature from 2010.
What started out as an idea and 300 runners just five
years ago is poised to take flight to heights never envisaged
by the pioneers. It's yet another facet of UWI's quest for
excellence in all aspects of human development.


ique Shah is technical director of the UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon.






SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 5


1 0 IISE NENTOA AFMRTO


NO LONGER JUST A RACE

By Raffique Shah


It took a mere six years for the UWI-SPEC International
Half-Marathon to mature-which is quite an achievement
by any standard. What this means is the race came close to
attaining optimum participation. Back in 2004 when an idea
germinated into the most successful half marathon in the
English-speaking Caribbean, the organising committee set
itself a goal of attracting 1,000 participants.
This year there were 950 entrants: 776 officially finished
the event. From the organisational standpoint, the race
was a resounding success. Its water stations, medical and
paramedical facilities, processing of participants before the
start and after finishing, as well as hospitality for runners,
volunteers and VIPs, all functioned as efficiently as could
be expected.
The event might have been even more competitive
in both the male and female categories had a few invited
elite athletes not withdrawn when it was too late to find
replacements. Kenya's Alfonsi Yatich (age 25) turned the
halfway point in just over 30 minutes, putting him on course
for world-class finishing time in our weather conditions. But
lack of competition saw him slow down considerably on the
return leg. He finished in 1:06.47, which could easily have
been 1:02 if he was challenged.
Among female competitors, Nigeria-born Mary Akor
(now a US citizen) also had an easy run, winning in 1:18.48.
UWI (Mona) student Tanice Barnett improved her 2008
time by three minutes to place 2nd in 1:25.
Of significance was an increase in the numbers of
participants from The UWI. Sixty-two students finished the
13.1 mile challenge (compared with 45 last year), with Brian
Maynard maintaining his dominance in 1:17:58. Among the
19 campus staff members who completed the race, Darrin


Kenya's Alfonsi Yatich, 25, won in 1:06.47


Grenade was also a repeat winner (1:26.13) while Elizabeth
Hackshaw took 1st place among females in 1:50.38.
The half marathon is not just about winners and fast
times. It promotes health and fitness, competition and
camaraderie among a wide spectrum of citizens. Participants
ranged from age 15 to persons in their 80s. Among the
teen-wonders, 15 year-old Andrew Harrilal finished in a
respectable 1:50.53 while Abiane Collymore (16) won her
age group in 1:46.54.
At the other end of the age-scale, Lynette "Granny"
Lucess (81) kept spectators waiting for 3:25 to see the grand-
dame of T&T distance running finish. And 85 year-old
Charles Spooner proved that age is just a number, clocking
3:08. In between, there were some remarkable performances
in the other age-groups, with the top three winners in each
category winning cash prizes. Where does the UWI-SPEC
Half-Marathon go from here? Director Dr Iva Gloudon
spelt it out to committee members: "This is no longer just a
race...it's now a major national event.' There will be changes
for 2010. The limit of 1,000 entrants will be maintained. But
the event's website http://sta.uwi.edu/spec/marathon/ will
feature training programmes to help potential participants
better prepare for what is a demanding distance.
Dr Gloudon will explore through the NAAA the
prospect of having the race sanctioned by the IAAF as the
hemispheric Universities' Half Marathon Championships.
And showcasing this country's culture at the start/finish and
along the course will be a feature from 2010.
What started out as an idea and 300 runners just five
years ago is poised to take flight to heights never envisaged
by the pioneers. It's yet another facet of UWI's quest for
excellence in all aspects of human development.


Raffique Shah is technical director of the UWI SPEC International Half-Marathon.






6 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009


UNESCO, HISTORIES, AND UWI


Master of Public Health

A month ago, The University of the West Indies (UWI)
St Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago officially launched
its new Master of Public Health (MPH) programme,
developed in collaboration with the University of
Alabama-Birmingham.
The new MPH is being offered as a part-time
programme over two years by the Faculty of Science
and Agriculture and the Faculty of Medical Sciences.
The MPH is recognized internationally as the required
degree in many ancillary medical fields including
occupational health, public health, epidemiology,
hospital management, health planning, environmental
safety and food and nutrition.
The programme aims to equip persons with
the essential skills to assess and manage the health
of communities and to advance and promote public
health.
To be admitted to the prescribed course of study for
the degree of Master of Public Health (MPH) candidates
must either:

Be registered medical practitioners, dental
surgeons, or veterinary surgeons, with at least
three years professional experience preferably in
Public Health after successfully completing the final
examination in their discipline;or

Be graduates of an approved university with at least
three years of relevant practical experience; or

Hold an approved technical or professional
qualification awarded by an approved body and
approved by this university and have had at least
five years relevant practical experience; or

Have in the opinion of the University, other
qualifications of special relevance to the course
and in the opinion of the University, have had at
least five years of relevant practical experience.

* Applicants will be required to submit an online
application and a statement of intent written
application and may in some instances be required to
attend an interview to be eligible for selection to the
programme.


In early October, UNESCO summoned a group of
historians to a meeting at its headquarters in Paris to
discuss the general and regional history series which
UNESCO has sponsored, starting in the 1960s. There are
six of these ambitious, multi-volume series: The History
of Humanity; The General History of Africa; The History
of Civilisations of Central Asia; The Different Aspects of
Islamic Culture; The General History of Latin America;
and The General History of the Caribbean.
Representing the History of the Caribbean series was
Professor Bridget Brereton of the St Augustine campus,
along with Sir Roy Augier of Mona, and Professor Franklin
Knight of The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. It seems
fair to say that UWI historians have played a very large role
in the six-volume work. Four of the six volume editors are
closely connected to UWI: Knight, editor of Volume 3, is a
Jamaican Mona graduate and a recent (2007) recipient of
our honorary degree; the editor of Volume 4, taking over on
the death of the Cuban historian Manuel Moreno Fraginals,
is St Augustine Professor Emeritus Keith Laurence; Barry
Higman, for many years based at Mona, edited Volume
6; and Brereton is the editor of Volume 5, as well as the
author of chapters in Volumes 4 and 6. Many UWI people
wrote chapters for the series, including St Augustine's
Kusha Haraksingh, Keith Laurence, Brinsley Samaroo and
Kelvin Singh. And Augier, Professor Emeritus at Mona,
and a former Pro-Vice-Chancellor, is the President of the
Scientific Committee which has overall supervision of the
series.
The History of the Caribbean, like the other series,
aims to present current scholarly knowledge on the region's
past, for a readership mainly conceived as University
students and the intelligent general public. It is also
designed as a work of reference. Defining the region in the
broadest possible sense, it offers a genuinely pan-Caribbean
perspective, and its authors are all specialists in the history
of the pre-Columbian, colonial and postcolonial periods,
and of all the territories whatever European language they
may currently speak. Five of the six volumes are out and
the last one, Volume 4, is in press and will appear early in
2010.


Professor Bridget Brereton


The Paris meeting was partly to 'big up' the different
Histories, and to celebrate their completion or near-
completion-planning for some began as long ago as the
1960s. But the more substantive agenda had to do with
the next steps for the Histories: how to disseminate them
more widely; how to market them better; how to produce
versions in different media for a wider and younger
constituency.
With respect to the History of the Caribbean, which is
in English only, translating the volumes into Spanish and
French was clearly essential. More people in the Caribbean
speak and read Spanish and French than English; and the
pan-Caribbean conception and design of the series are
undermined when the publication is in only one regional
language. Sadly, it became clear that UNESCO could not
currently fund this project, and that it would be necessary
to find a 'partner' who could sponsor the translations,
and the publication of the translated versions. Plans are
in train for producing a 'youth-friendly', video version of
the History, and it is hoped that funds may be raised for a
three-part series of one-hour film documentaries.


0 NEW PROGRAMME






Page
Missing
or
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8 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009


The New Revolution in Agriculture

Genetics professor says agriculture can be the regions biggest, best bio-business

By Vaneisa Baksh


When people think of agriculture, they generally associate
it with planting food crops. But it is a much wider field than
that. We need to think of it in modern terms and current
realities, with a sharper focus on the business and science
elements of the process, says Pathmanathan Umaharan,
Professor of Genetics at The UWI.
It is a cultural and mental shift that needs more than a
shove to move it from its firmly rooted base.
Recently, as farmers complained that agricultural
land was being diverted to housing, even the Minister
of Agriculture conceded that agricultural development
would not happen without land, but he too appeared to be
in a land-locked frame of mind.
In the small islands of the Caribbean, the availability
of land will always present a challenge for farmers to reap
economies of scale, and with populations growing, the
allocation of land will continue to provoke debates.
Bio-business is the strategically viable and profitable
way to develop agriculture, says Prof Umaharan. Food
security is extremely important, he readily agrees.
"The first requirement is to meet the food needs of the
people in the region and the second is how we can use our
genetic resources to create economic opportunities."
Neutraceuticals from cocoa, for example, create
an avenue to earn revenue. (UWI's Dept of Chemistry
is actually doing work based on the findings that dark
chocolates contain healthy anti-oxidant and nutritive
properties: neutraceuticals. The project seeks to chemically
characterise the flavour and
neutraceutical content of
local cocoa beans and to
correlate their respective
sensory qualities.)
"We have developed new
anthurium varieties which
are resistant to bacterial
blight. These are universal


diseases in the tropics, so it has widespread application.
Mozambique, South Africa, South China, and Hawaii have
requested varieties. We can either licence them and earn
royalties, or sell them to them"
Prof Umaharan believes
that agriculture ought to
be at the centre of regional
development strategy. He
knows more intimately
than most what the regional
approach to agriculture has
not been. As Deputy Dean
of Enterprise Development
and Outreach of the Faculty
of Science and Agriculture,
he prepared a report on a workshop held at the Tropical
Agricultural Congress in December 2008. The report is
a broad, comprehensive document distilling the analyses
and recommendations of a broad group of participants-
public and private sector-throughout the region.
Unsurprisingly, he notes that agriculture has dropped
out of the realm of being a profitable venture.
"Right now there is more of an exodus," he says. "It
is in a depressed state because large, private investors
consider it risky, menial and backward. We have to change
that mindset. Agriculture can be developed and marketed
so that it has a large potential."
It is perfectly suited to be the region's strategic centre
because it is renewable and revolves around our tropical
existence.
"We are in the hemisphere which is the most diversity
rich in the world: the neotropics. We have pineapples,
anthuriums, sweet potatoes, hot peppers and peanuts--
all indigenous to the region-how many are developed
here?"
The business possibilities are endless with careful
planning. Holland is the main anthurium supplier of the


world but has none indigenously. We buy papayas from
Hawaii, and they are indigenous to this region.
"Small islands do not need to develop many things,
but just need to concentrate on one or two. New Zealand
took the Chinese gooseberry and branded it into Kiwis.
They also worked with dairy and developed their dairy
brand. Our challenge is to utilise these things to add value:'
he says.
There are two types
of peppers, for example in
the region. The Capsicum
annuum includes chilli
peppers, jalapefios,
sweet peppers, etc and
is indigenous to Central
America and the southern
part of North America.
The Capsicum chinense is
more up the Caribbean alley. Among other fiery inmates,
it includes the Scotch Bonnet, Habanero, Congo, the one
commonly called Seven Pot (conjuring the image that it
is hot enough to flavour seven potfuls but which is really
Seven Pod) and of course, the Scorpion, which is rated
the hottest, and looks dangerously like a scorpion with its
aggressively pouting tail.
These flavourful peppers are not marketed well, so
that their export market remains confined to the diaspora
community, and the world has not yet been seduced by
their zesty heat.
"All these are potential markets for development.
Capsicum annuum generally yields about 120 tonnes per
acre. Our hot peppers produce much less, a mere 20 tonnes
per acre. We have to increase our yield potential because
it has always been confined to the ethnic market and so
remains uncompetitive:' he says.
"We don't have the space to grow and sell on large
scales, so we should create knowledge products, licence
them and receive royalties."
The Department of Life Sciences has been developing
what he calls knowledge products based on manipulating
genes in different ways. They have done considerable work
already on cocoa, anthuriums and hot peppers.
The Cocoa Research Unit of The UWI is custodian
of the International Cocoa Genebank, Trinidad, one of
only two such cacao repositories in the public domain. Its
work on cocoa has brought international acclaim, and is
directly related to Trinidad and Tobago being one of only
eight countries classified as an exclusive producer of fine
or flavour cocoa.
The cocoa industry had been almost eradicated
by disease until research led to the development of the
Trinitario variety, which has become associated with the
best cocoa and chocolate products globally.
Likewise, Trinidad had been the largest exporter of
anthuriums to North America in the nineties, but diseases
devastated the industry, and the UWI scientists focused
their attention on restoring life to the beautiful flowers.
They succeeded in identifying resistance to the
bacterial blight and leaf spot that had practically killed
the industry, and now they are working on nematode-
resistance. Next on the agenda is developing new colours-
yellows, blues, purples.
Anything is possible, says
Prof Umahran, and even his
calm, measured tone cannot
hide his excitement at the
prospects.
"An anthurium
normally sells for US 304,
but if you have a premium,


0 REEARC







SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 9


v 17c novel quality, you can get
US$3 for each one. With
this new variety, the risk is
minimal," he says.
They have also
developed a bodi resistant
to three diseases. Cowpea
severe mosaic virus,
Cercospora leaf spot and
Southern Blight. The bodi
is now being commercially grown on five acres at the
Chaguaramas Development Authority's mega farm.
These are simple samples of the kind of ventures that
can be made profitable if a common strategy is developed
regionally. Businesses will enter if the environment is
made attractive. He says it is not about growing a wide
range of crops in small quantities. That kind of kitchen
garden approach is unlikely to attract investment leading
to sustainable livelihoods.


R-r' The key is to identify
g 'one or two crops or items
S- and to develop systems that
d support it right through
the process, from seed to
Market.
Sc "For these things to
work you need to prioritize,
you need strong research
and development. Set a five-
year plan and develop each phase to intense concentration.
We have limited human resources, so we need to pool all
and work together on one project at a time.'
He cites the modus operandi of the US, where they
administer competitive funds in priority areas, which
brings about institutional partnerships.
"We need enabling policies, and that is where
governments come in. The governments need to


provide an enabling
environment, policies, and
support mechanisms. The
Government has a role to
play by putting the the right
incentives to organise and
nurture the industry.
"No industry can
survive without very strong
R&D support. Our farmers
in the past have been left to strive on their own. Farmers
get low yields and are investing heavily to control pests,
etc. They face problems of water-logging, and yields are
poor because of poor quality seeds.
"They import seeds from the US, but these seeds are
resistant to US pests and diseases, not to local ones. You're
buying stuff from them to plant with lower yields and more
need for spraying. Vehicles of disadvantage, I call them."


As part of its sixtieth anniversary celebrations,The University of the West Indies organised an International Congress on Tropical Agriculture entitled"Overcoming Challenges
to Developing Sustainable Agri-food systems in the Caribbean" in 2008. A workshop followed, aiming to find consensus on the way forward for Caribbean agriculture vis-a-vis
rising food prices and concerns regarding food security. It included representatives from CARICOM institutions, technocrats representing the various Ministries of Agriculture
from CARICOM countries, farmer organizations, research and development institutions, agri-business associations and other private sector groups. An attractive document has
emerged from this workshop. Its title alone suggests the optimism engendered by the process: A Green Step Forward Creating a Strategic, Sustainable, knowledge-driven and
technology-based agriculture industry in the Caribbean.The document is to be presented shortly to CARICOM as a white paper for consideration. Its contents are generated by
the insights and recommendations of the stakeholders involved,and provide a blueprint for an innovative and radical approach to an agricultural development strategy. Here are
a few of the areas addressed in the draft document,which can be read at: http://sta.uwi.edu/news/ecalendar/event.asp?id=1019


KEY ISSUES FOR CARIBBEAN AGRICULTURE

FARM LEVEL: Infrastructure, praedial larceny, finance, hurri-
canes and crop insurance,extension, etc.

ORGANIZATION: Lack of or poor governance of market-
ing systems, cooperatives, commodity groups, community
groups

UNDER-DEVELOPMENT: Innovation, technology develop-
ment/procurement and transfer along the agri-food chain (re-
sulting in lower productivity, higher cost of production, lack of
value-added products, low farmer income, etc)

HUMAN RESOURCES: Poorly trained and declining numbers
of human resources

POLICY AND GOVERNANCE: Lack of a focused or consistent
agricultural policy or diversification policy (priorities), lack of
a consistent land tenure policy, inadequate support for farm
and marketing infrastructure and innovation/technology
transfer; inadequate financing systems/subsidies to support
new agriculture ventures, and inadequate incentives for pri-
vate sector investment.


INVOLVING THE PRIVATE SECTOR IN GOVERNANCE TO
IMPROVE AGRICULTURAL INDUSTRIES

CREATING A NEW IMAGE: NEW AGRICULTURE
Agriculture is considered to be a backward, backbreaking,
unprofitable and degrading livelihood in the Caribbean. Ag-
riculture should be marketed as a strategic, forward-looking,
knowledge-driven, technology-based industry that is highly
profitable. Existing agricultural farms should be transformed
into modern, intensive, technology-based, profitable outfits.

PRIVATE SECTOR IS INVOLVED IN DECISION MAKING
The private sector should be part of boards of institutions/or-
ganisations so that they become part of the decision-making


process. Publicly funded institutions and organizations may then
adopt a private sector culture.

ASSISTANCE FOR TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER
State assistance to local universities to set up technology trans-
fer systems will allow R&D institutions to convert innovations
into business models that can be marketed to the private sector.
Where local technologies are not available, incentives for technol-
ogy acquisition,transfer, or partnership with foreign organizations
should be fostered.This could include incentives for foreign direct
investment, support for adaptive research, support for organising
local or regional technology transfer workshops or training pro-
grammes, etc.

REGIONAL INVESTMENT FORUM
An investment forum should be organised on a biannual basis for
the research organizations involved in agriculture to showcase the
investment portfolios and business models.This could be coupled
with trade shows. In addition,the food and beverage sector, agro-
chemical sector and other input sectors, should be encouraged to
participate in agriculture conferences, workshops and boards of
institutions and organisations,to create awareness of investment
opportunities.

DEVELOP INNOVATION AND
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY SYSTEMS
An intellectual property (IP) policy, legislation, regulations and an
implementation mechanism need to be set up so that these can
be the basis of negotiations and partnership.The research and de-
velopment institution may license a product or technology to a
private sector company/service provider or enter into a partner-
ship arrangement or sell the technology to a private sector com-
pany.

INCUBATORS AND ACCELERATORS
TO DEVELOP INTO SMES
Universities and research institutions should be encouraged to
develop public-private sector collaborations in the form of incu-
bators/accelerators towards providing research support and ser-


vices to the agro-industry, using venture capital. An innova-
tion policy, regulatory framework and implementation system
is imperative to achieve this. The incubators should lead to
the development of SMEs which should slowly move from a
national focus to a regional and global agenda, so that they
can become viable entities in their own right. Governments
should provide incentives to support such development, par-
ticularly in the beginning, and also ensure that risk involved in
operating in a small economy is mitigated.

FISCAL AND OTHER INCENTIVES TO THE PRIVATE SECTOR
Government to provide fiscal incentives to promote private
companies to engage in innovative agricultural initiatives and
adaptive research. Reduce agricultural risk by provision of bet-
ter infrastructure, agricultural insurance, protection against
praedial larceny, etc.

WEANING R&D AND SERVICE INSTITUTIONS
Over time, research institutions should be weaned from gov-
ernment funding and expected to generate revenue through
IPs, incubator companies, consultancies and international
competitive grants.

NURTURE NATURAL EVOLUTION OF
STRONG REGIONAL PRIVATE SECTOR INSTITUTIONS
Encourage national level institutions to merge or transform
into larger regional level institutions that are capable compet-
ing at the international level.

GOVERNMENTS CONFINE ACTIVITIES TO POLICY,
OVERSIGHT AND PROVISION OF PUBLIC GOODS
Governments in the longer-term completely out-source ser-
vices (research, extension, support services) from the private
sector, as necessary.They should ensure that business models
proposed for development are evaluated not only for eco-
nomic sustainability but also for environmental and social
sustainability.






10 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009


GRAUAIO CEEONE 200
W HONOARY GRADUATE


CREATE LEADERSHIP,



LOOK BEYOND YOURSELVES

This is an abbreviated excerpt of Honorary Graduate, Angela Cropper's address to the Graduation Ceremony,
Faculties of Science and Agriculture, and Medical Sciences, The UWI, St. Augustine, October 30, 2009.


I appear before you as a graduate of this University, within
which I have had my grounding at the Campuses of St.
Augustine and Cave Hill, and from which I have taken my
bearings. I thank the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, and
of Barbados, whose taxes bore the cost of my education.
I am still trying to find a way to give something back to
this region that could possibly be commensurate with that
investment.
I regard this honour as the culmination of my moth-
er's decision, taken more than half a century ago, to make
it possible by whatever means to allow and enable a 'girl
child to get education' I became the first among her twelve
children to have the opportunity for secondary school-
ing and in due course also for university education. And
throughout my life I have been conscious of that privilege,
and tried to shoulder the responsibility and meet the ex-
pectations that came with that investment in me. Likewise,
I will see this honour by the University as another invest-
ment in me against which I still need to deliver.
At this Campus I had the further privilege of being
tutored by Lloyd Best, and I pay tribute to him for expand-
ing my horizon from that of a rural village girl to a sense
of identity as a Caribbean citizen, and a perception of a
Caribbean replete with possibility. This certainly laid the
foundation for my own evolution as a global citizen.
The University, and this Campus in particular, is as-
sociated in my mind with more than my intellectual devel-
opment and philosophical outlook. It brought John Crop-
per to the Caribbean through its offering of a Diploma in
Tropical Agriculture. He then served his entire profes-
sional life in this region, most of it through the University
or other regional institutions. This Campus brought me in
contact with him, and he became my life partner and my
compass for 34 years. His support, encouragement, coun-
sel, and subordination of his own interests in favour of my
professional opportunities were unwavering.
I acknowledge the respective contributions of these
three major influences to the course of my life and per-
sonal development.


Fortunately for me, not everyone who has had a hand
in the shaping of Angela Cropper, such as she is, can be
described as 'late'. There are many others still available to
me, some here in this audience, who have guided, encour-
aged and assisted me along the way, whether as teacher,
colleague, mentor, or friend. I thank them all.
My fellow Honorary Graduand, Mr Robert Riley
thinks that "the real failure of the Caribbean is leadership
in all its spheres'. His statement echoed the words of Lloyd
Best to me some 40 years ago that "the first obligation of
leaders is to create new leadership." These words still ring
in my ears. Mr Riley also said that at bpTT they are "devel-
oping people whose duty is to look beyond themselves."
I cannot think of any combination of insights that
could better serve as inspiration and motivation to a grad-
uate of The University of the West Indies, than those I have
just cited. Create leadership. Look beyond yourselves.
The creation of The Cropper Foundation nine years
ago reflects similar inspiration and motivation engendered
in me by others.
Its creation is our way-John Cropper's and mine-of
giving something back to the Caribbean and to this Uni-
versity, and of facilitating others to do so.
From my mother who could always "feed another
mouth:' as she would put it, however slender our resourc-
es, I came to understand that philanthropy is not about
how much one has, but it is about what one does with what
little one has.
The Foundation's rationale embodies these insights
of demonstrating and creating new leadership and look-
ing beyond oneself. I remain ambitious that we will bet-
ter manifest these values as we go along. The Foundation
is also a mechanism for continuing engagement and col-
laboration with University colleagues. I am encouraged by
the University's commitment to such a relationship as evi-
denced in our Memorandum of Understanding, and I am
pleased by the interest of this Campus Principal and the
Vice-Chancellor to deepen this relationship.


Angela Cropper. Photo: PIPS PHOTOGRAPHY


"From my mother who could always feed another mouth,' as she would put it, how-

ever slender our resources, I came to understand that philanthropy is not about how

much one has, but it is about what one does with what little one has."






SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 11


[]


GRADATO CEEONE 200
UW OOAR GRADUATE


I and the Foundation are guided by the maxim that
"Life is about more than personal advantage'. This guiding
line was suggested by the first awardee of the Devanand
Cropper Memorial Award which is offered at the London
School of Economics, in recognition of students who have
contributed to the wider community of LSE and beyond.
Everything comes together in that tag line. It echoes Mr
Riley's motivation to "develop people who understand that
their duty is to look beyond themselves'.
So how can these snippets from my modest story be
made relevant for the Medical Graduands?
You have an opportunity through your own practice
to contribute to leadership, and to be an example for our
Caribbean leaders in their role to orchestrate the economic
foundations, the cultural and social conditions in which
we might realize that sea of Caribbean possibility of which
Lloyd Best used to speak, and which has been a template
in my mind.
Why do I say that? Because our economies and societ-
ies are sick and are in need of intensive, creative, compas-
sionate and holistic care. Because patients are to you what
the body politic is-or should be-to the leaders. Because
your vocation exists to serve and sustain your patients'
health and well-being, and analogously, so should theirs.
How might you contribute such example to other
realms of public service?
I expect that your training would lead you to take the
extra effort to address the underlying causes of an ailment,
not just the patient's symptoms-that you would focus
on prevention and counsel your patients towards routine
cultivation of well-being, in order to avoid the need for
emergency treatment or for life support systems. That you
would practice early intervention in order to avoid later
distress. That you would assist your patient to look with-
in-at life style, at personal practice, at responsibility for
oneself-and enlist the patient's capabilities in the healing
process.
For the Graduands of Science and Agriculture: Your
patient is the Planet.
It is a living organism. It comes to you already in very
bad shape. It needs a similar kind of intensive, creative,
compassionate and holistic care. But there is no life sup-
port system outside of itself that you can offer to it. It also
warrants attention to the root causes of its problems, not
just to its symptoms. So it needs diagnosis and prescrip-
tion and practice based on an understanding of the whole
organism, and of the entire pathology.
You also might approach your duty in a manner that
gives example for leadership elsewhere. The approach ad-
dressed to the Medical Graduands is equally applicable in
your domains.
I expect your training would lead you to exemplify
"the duty to look beyond yourselves'. That you would be
guided by the sustainability imperative "to meet our own
needs without compromising the ability of future genera-
tions to meet theirs'. That your horizon would be the needs
and interests of the next generation, as distinct, analogous-
ly, from looking just to the next election. That you would
be good stewards of the patrimony of this region, its natu-
ral capital, which could be its enduring asset.
You all have a duty of care. We all have a duty of care-
beyond ourselves, for others, for the health and well-be-
ing of the citizens of this region, for our collective regional
future, and for this Planet without which humankind will
have no home.


&i
o
0
0
0


Christopher Laird spoke on behalf of the five honorary graduates at a cocktail reception hosted by St Augustine Campus Prin-
cipal, Prof Clement Sankat on October 30. Listening from left: UWI Chancellor Prof George Alleyne, Honorees Yesu Persaud,
Angela Cropper, Robert Riley and Prof Arnold Rampersad, UWI Vice Chancellor Prof E. Nigel Harris, Dr. Rohani Maharaj and
her husband, Prof Sankat. Photo: RICHARD SPENCE


Christopher Laird and Prof Arnold Ramper-
sad were jointly presented with their honor-
Honorary Graduate, Robert Riley with his beaming parents, Camilla and ary degrees at the first of the four graduation
Rupert, after the graduation ceremony. ceremonies.


Chancellor Prof George Alleyne tips his mortarboard to the new holder of the honorary D.Litt, Christopher Laird.
Photos: PIPS PHOTOGRAPHY.






12 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009


GRADATO CEEONE 200
W HONOARY GRADUATE


ABIDING VISION

Christopher Laird spoke on behalf of the honorary graduates at a reception on October 30, 2009.


Ever since I received news of this award I have wondered
what it is that made an ordinary person, like me, develop
a track record that the University would judge worthy of
honour. The answer I keep returning to is inspiration. That
is the only thing that could have driven me to my limits.
Reading the published remarks of my fellow graduates the
word "Vision" kept coming up. Something inspired in us a
vision that informed and motivated our efforts.
As far as my own story goes, my parents have an abid-
ing passion for this country and this region. Dreams of
the development of a Caribbean civilisation were woven
through and through our lives as we grew up. Federation
was in the air and the young Derek Walcott, fresh from St.
Lucia; the young Rex Nettleford, in Trinidad to pay hom-
age to Beryl McBurnie; Carlisle Chang, Boscoe Holder,
Noel Vaz, CLR James, the pioneering anthropologists Dan
Crowley and Andrew Pearse, deeply engaged in the pro-
cess of claiming space on the world stage for our culture,
were all people who would be in our house at one time or
another.
Imagine it: My father erected a full size Federal Flag in
the front yard of our home in staid St. Clair, that beautiful,
optimistic, innocent flag of sun and sea would greet me ev-
eryday as I walked home from QRC with its own tradition
of intellectual advancement and service.
As an architect my father dreamed of being the Carib-
bean Oscar Niemeyer and building a Caribbean Brasilia
when Port of Spain was chosen for the capital city of the
Federation.
When I went away to study in London, I became im-
mersed in the Caribbean Artists Movement under the
leadership of such giants as Edward, now Kamau, Braith-
waite, Andrew Salkey and John la Rose. There I met and
engaged with Wilson Harris, the young Ken Ramchand,
Shiva Naipaul, Wayne Brown, Michael Anthony, Aubrey
Williams all inspired by the vision of a wider Caribbean
civilisation. It is not a coincidence that three of the honor-
ary graduates this year were all intimately involved with
the Caribbean Artists Movement.
I returned home to further idealistic inspiration from
Lloyd Best and those in the Tapia House Movement. In
fact, the first time I met Angela Cropper was at a Tapia-


Christopher Laird. Photo: PIPS PHOTOGRAPHY


inspired teacher volunteer session at a school in Tacarigua
nearly forty years ago.
These models and mentors inspired me with their
faith in our place in the history and future of the world. As
ordinary as I felt myself to be, I could not fail their faith.
They and many others afterwards, too many to name here,
ensured that I did the work and pushed ever toward the
dream, the "vision."
Many of those special souls are here today in spirit if
not in the flesh as special guests of the honorary gradu-
ates. We honour them especially. My work in the arts and
in mass media has been devoted to putting the achieve-
ments and the vision of those who inspired us and others
like them before the eyes of subsequent generations, that
we may as a society act on their inspiration.
There cannot be anything too special about my sto-
ry. My fellow honorary graduates, I am sure, can attest to
those influences that have inspired their work and sup-
ported them in maximising their potential.
That The University of the West Indies has seen it fit
to give us this honour is wonderful. Recognition not only
helps us who are recognized but also, we have to assume,
identifies models for the inspiration of future generations.
In a world where greed seems to have supplanted vi-
sion, young people today are as hungry as ever for inspira-
tion, eager to adopt a positive vision of our future. From
my own experience as a student and as a manager of scores
of young people in a creative enterprise like Gayelle, the
most valuable gift a teaching institution can give its stu-
dents is an inspiring vision of how they can best place their
talents in actualising our ideals.
We are deeply appreciative of this special honour even
while we are acutely, if not guiltily, aware of those deserv-
ing many, working with great fortitude in the grip of a vi-
sion that consumes them, yet to receive such prestigious
recognition.
On behalf of my fellow honorary graduates I wish to
acknowledge the investment The University of the West
Indies is making with these awards and assure you that we
are inspired to redouble our efforts and live up to the ex-
pectations implicit in this recognition.


"My father erected a full size Federal Flag in the front

yard of our home in staid St. Clair, that beautiful,

optimistic, innocent flag of sun and sea would greet

me everyday as I walked home from QRC with its own

.-a ",tradition of intellectual advancement and service."






SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 13


GRADATO CEEONE 200
UW OOAR GRADUATE


IN SEARCH OF THE SELF

A BIOGRAPHER ISSUES A CHALLENGE


This is an abbreviated excerpt of Honorary Graduate, ProfArnold Rampersads address to the Graduation Ceremony,
Faculty of Humanities and Education, The UWI, St. Augustine, October 30, 2009.


I thought I would speak to you this morning about the
central target of my work as a scholar-critic committed to
biography and autobiography. That target has been what
we call "the self" in each of my scholarly subjects-the
essence of the life in question. "The self" is a vexed term,
but we know the word and some of its variations only too
well: selfish, unselfish, selflessness, self-absorbed, self-reliant,
,, li,,ii,,t and so on. Is the "self" the same as what we call
the soul? How do we know when we have found it?
Biography has often aroused criticism as a way of
getting to the self. In his Nobel Prize speech, V.S. Naipaul
pitted the novelist Marcel Proust against the critic
Sainte-Beuve, who believed, in Naipaul's words, "that to
understand a writer it was necessary to know as much as
possible about the exterior man, the details of his life." Not
so, said Proust; Sainte-Beuve "ignores what a very slight
degree of self-acquaintance teaches us: that a book is a
product of a different self from the self we manifest in our
habits, in our social life, in our vices. If we would try to
understand that particular self, it is by searching our own
bosoms, and trying to reconstruct it there, that we may
arrive at it."
The so-called father of psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud,
also took biographers to task. "Biographical truth is not to
be had," he insisted. "Anyone turning biographer commits
himself to lies, to concealment, to hypocrisy, to flattery
and even to hiding his own lack of understanding." One
might say that at least three selves seem to exist in any one
person. First of all, there is the face one shows the world,
often with an ingratiating grin. Next, we have a private self
we reveal to our family. And then there is the self that one
keeps largely hidden even from one's family. This is the
self we often think of as painfully misunderstood, a place
unreachable by others.
Who do we think we are? Who do you thinkyou are?
So much depends on your answer! To what extent are you
aware of some dangerous gaps that exist between the face
you show the world and the face you show your family,
and between those faces and the face that faces you when
you look into a mirror? We achieve honor and integrity
by trying to align these different selves or parts of the
self. However, a completely harmonious alignment isn't
possible. It may not always be desirable. Here, what we call
the self washes up against what Freud called the "ego" and
then against what he called the "id," the irrational world
that artists, in particular, tap into in order to create inspired
poetry or painting or music or acting.
We have an obligation to try to monitor these selves.
This task entails a commitment to the famous maxim
Socrates set down at his trial, just before his suicide, when
he declared that "the unexamined life is not worth living.'
"Know thyself" was the command written above the
portals of the temple at Delphi. But what are the basic parts
of the self? When we say, sometimes defiantly, "Thats just
who I am:' to what are we referring, or deferring? Each of
these major parts can be both a source of strength and also
a weakness. Perhaps the major parts of the self derive from


Prof Arnold Rampersad. Photo: PIPS PHOTOGRAPHY

our beliefs about the following factors: race or ethnicity;
social class and/or money; gender-male, female, or in
between; and religion. And there's at least one other. This
is the nagging desire for freedom from the chains of the
preceding four. This last category has dominated the
modern world, especially our younger people. If "Know
Thyself" was the motto of antiquity, as someone points
out, we tend to want to follow Oscar Wilde's alternative
command: "Be Thyselfi"
Sometimes we must embrace race and ethnicity as
the key to our selfhood. In probably the lowest point in
modern African American history, WE.B. Du Bois wrote
of the dilemma of the black American, considered by some
whites to be sub-human and forced to live in "a world
which yields him no true self-consciousness, but only lets
him see himself through the revelation of the other [white]
world. It is a peculiar sensation, this double-consciousness,
this sense of always looking at one's self through the eyes
of others.... One ever feels his twoness, an American, a
Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled strivings;
two warringideals in one darkbody, whose dogged strength
alone keeps it from being torn asunder'. Du Bois went on:
"The history of the American Negro is the history of this
strife, this longing to attain self-conscious manhood, to
merge his double self into a better and truer self."
Nevertheless, race-pride and ethnicity-pride can be
double-edged swords. One cannot detach oneself from
the greater world without losing something precious. As
John Donne wrote: "No man is an island, entire of itself.
Every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main...
Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved
in mankind. Therefore never send to know for whom the
bell tolls; it tolls for thee'. Those of us who centre ourselves
in race pride should ask ourselves: "How does this pride
affect the way we treat our spouse, or our children? What
consolation is it to a neglected or suppressed wife, or an


abused child, to know that her husband or his father is
proud of his racial or ethnic origins? How is their hurt
lessened?
The same might be said of those of us who try to fix
our personal star, or sense of individual self, by the dollar;
or by fondling the idea of having aristocratic ancestors
(who perhaps never existed). As for gender, its emergence
for women as a main pillar of selfhood certainly had been
long overdue. But it, too, can cut both ways. The acclaimed
modern American poet Sylvia Plath confided to her
journal her belief that "being born a woman is my awful
tragedy" Plath, by the impact of her writings, reminds us
that tragedy can be a redemptive force. But what did her
literary success mean to her when, still a young woman,
she killed herself? Or to the small children she left behind?
Or to her son, who recently, after living what seemed a
fulfilled life, also killed himself?
And then there is religion. Conscience driven by
religious doctrine can make us aware of our faults or
sins, to the greater glory of God; or it can simply make us
better human beings. But autobiography, the search for the
self by the self (as it were), is often seen as incompatible
with true faith in God. What, after all, is the worth of the
individual self when measured against the power of Allah
or Jehovah or other deities? Autobiography is largely a
Western enterprise, while all of our great religions came
out of the East. A deep belief in God should in theory
efface the self. And yet, are we prepared to sacrifice secular
autobiography, a form that has been so important to the
growth of civilization?
For this reason, among others, I am sharply reminded
that this morning we are assembled on doubly hallowed
ground. The first hallowing has to do with the near-sacred
dedication of this university to the pursuit of learning for
the betterment of humanity. The other hallowed element
lies in the place-name "St. Augustine.' How fortuitous to
speak about the need to search for the self in a place named
after the man universally credited with being the father of
modern autobiography, through his grand achievement
many centuries ago in The Confessions of St. Augustine.
St. Augustine's life story ends, to all intents and
purposes, with his growth beyond a life of sin to his final
surrender to God. Despite the fact that what he started as
a religious enterprise evolved over the centuries into one
mainly secular, he surely comforts those among you who
find your deepest identity in God. "Seek for yourself, 0
man; search for your true self," St. Augustine wrote. "He
who seeks shall find himself in God.'
Whether you are religious or not, his core injunction
rings with original power: "Search for your true self, 0
man." This university has given you women and men a
wonderful foundation on which to follow St. Augustine's
injunction as you build your future. I know you will do so
with a sense of integrity worthy of this fine institution, and
also do so with the joy that comes with a life honorably and
richly lived.

















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SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009 UWI TODAY 15


GRADATO CEEONE 200
UW OOAR GRADUATE


OUR TIME TO STAND AND DELIVER

This is an abbreviated excerpt of Honorary Graduate, Robert Riley's address to the Graduation Ceremony,
Faculties of Engineering and Law, The UWI, St. Augustine, October 31, 2009.


I came from very humble beginnings and I must thank
my parents for the sacrifices they made to ensure that I
had a proper education. It is not just about the material
contributions: the fee and books, but about the values
they instilled in me and the interest they showed in my
development. They took some hard-earned money, scarce
as it was then, to enrol me in a speed-reading course, which
I did-a skill which I have used every day and one which
has given me a distinct advantage in a world with an ever-
growing pace of change and proliferation of information
and opinion. ...
I can clearly recall that time 28 years ago when I first
graduated from this campus with an honours Degree in
Agriculture, convinced in my heart that I was going to
change life in Trinidad and Tobago, and perhaps the world,
forever.... I believed then, and I still do now, that a coun-
try that could grow its own food and feed itself would have
a true experience of independence.
My first job was that of plant pathologist at the Minis-
try of Agriculture Lands and Fisheries and somewhere in
that Ministry I lost my dream. I lost the dream, but I did
not lose the passion for development and independence,
not just in the country but in the region.
I have since been a lawyer in private practice and then
in the field of energy-oil and gas-moving forward always
with this passion for people and the dream that we can in
this region create a society that is sustainable through in-
tegration, high moral and ethical standards and the intel-
lectual and artistic contribution that enables all citizens a
better standard of life in an increasingly difficult world.
I have been very fortunate in the opportunity to lead
the largest and most successful petroleum company in this
country since the 1970s-fortunate in that I have always
had great mentors and great support from every level in
the company. When I was appointed Chairman and Chief
Executive Officer of BP Trinidad and Tobago 2001, I be-
came the first national of this country to lead such a large
multinational energy company in Trinidad and Tobago. I
have merely had the privilege to guide, challenge, support,
and serve a wonderful team of great individuals who all
believe in the vision that in delivering extra-ordinary per-
formance we would be pioneers in BP that would be part of
the development of this country and the wider world and
that we would positively affect the lives of every citizen.
...[As] graduates about to launch careers, there is an
immediacy in your destiny that is of critical importance to
the future of this region-a region in great challenge with-
out a clear vision and without, at this time, the broad cohe-


Robert Riley. Photo: PIPS PHOTOGRAPHY


sive force of leadership to chart a sustainable future.
When you belong to this elite group, you must be pre-
pared to give at least as much to society as you must give to
yourself if you want to see society progress. Among you are
people destined for leadership roles in this country.
To move forward beyond the doldrums of stagnation
and decay that we find ourselves in as a region, we have
to look for new solutions and approaches to problems.
We even have to describe and interpret those challenges
differently, in a way which creates forward momentum,
rather than intellectual description without real action
and results. We must begin to change the ordinary into the
extraordinary. To do this, leadership in this region must
become less self-seeking with greater emphasis on service
to country.
The sort of performance that I am hoping for from you
is the kind that was so easily becoming of people like Tubal
Uriah "Buzz" Butler, who is one of the most formidable
heroes of Trinidad and Tobago. Buzz Butler did not think
twice about putting his own liberty at stake in order to
champion the nobility of the notion that all men are equal
and all men are entitled to fair and equal treatment. Butler
is undeniably one of the founding fathers of nationhood in
this country, and personally, I have always regarded him as
the true father of the Nation.


I am not proposing that there is a need for you all to
become sacrificial lambs; it is more about the need to move
away from selfishness, self-seeking and narrow-minded-
ness. Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean as well, now
suffer from a failure of leadership and the failure of lead-
ers to lead with the interest of people in mind rather than
their own personal interests. And my reference to leader-
ship crosses into every sphere of leadership in this country.
Change is required now-this is urgent-we have to get
past debate into action or we perish. Climate change, en-
ergy shortages, viral terrorism, biological and man-made,
together with no real sustainable earning capacity save our
talent, point us to the challenges and the solution: fix our-
selves and our way of thinking and being.
We have to accept that it is not going to be fixed for us.
We have to stand and declare that we are going to be the
ones to make the difference. To do this will take courage,
deep skill and reflection, a commitment to the vision and a
lot less to ourselves, but with the intellectual logic that we
will only succeed if we pull together and work for the scale
effect of the good of all.
I have referred to you more than once as an elite group.
I do believe you are, but you must be mindful that true
elites are not "elitist" in disposition or behaviour. ...
We really have no excuses for our failures. This insti-
tution produces people who are world class. I share with
you now some news that I coincidentally received two days
ago that speaks with pride about the outstanding quality
of the UWI graduate: BP Trinidad and Tobago's engineers
received the most commendations and awards among
engineers from around the world at a recent BP group
world-wide engineering conference. The vast majority of
engineers at bpTT are UWI graduates. Does this not un-
derscore the elitism of the UWI graduate considering that
the BP group is the world's fifth largest energy company?
...Leadership is but one of your many challenges: the
challenge of changing the leadership model in Trinidad
and Tobago and the Caribbean. Our university gradu-
ates must be part of the vanguard of the elites for positive
change in our society; an elite group that must serve and
reshape the region.
Perhaps one of the unrecognised failures of our educa-
tion system today is that we are almost by default, teaching
our students to be selfish in their chosen professions and
their style of leadership and the end result is that people
are looking after themselves and not their country. I urge
you now to break that mould.


"I have been very fortunate in the opportunity to lead the largest and most successful

petroleum company in this country since the 1970s-fortunate in that I have always

had great mentors and great support from every level in the company."






16 UWI TODAY- SUNDAY 29TH NOVEMBER 2009


UWI CALENDAR ofEVENTS


DECEMBER 2009 JANUARY 2010


International School for
Young Astronomers
Monday 7 to Friday 18 December
Physics Department, UWI, St Augustine

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Hydro-Climatic Disasters
in Water Resources Management
Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 December
Design Room 3, 2nd Floor, Block 13, Faculty
of Engineering, UWI St Augustine

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Introduction to Radiation Safety
Thursday 3 December
Room 101, 1st flooi Block 1,Faculty of
Engineering



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62. m OSil 62- .20u2 a1 21.-; 219. .





Bernstein's Chichester Psalms
and Music for Christmas
Saturday 5 December, 2009
7 30pm, Daaga Hall, UWI, St Augustine

Sunday 13 December, 2009
6pm, St Paul's Anglican Church, Harris
Promenade, San Fernando

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UWI TODAY WANTS
TO HEAR FROM YOU

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( .1immcl t I and l Ii i i nalist




UWI Fete
Su ndlay 17
Ja nuary, 2010
St Augustinell
Cal)mpus, UWI


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UWI TODAY is printed and distributed for The University of the West Indies, St Augustine Campus, through the kind support of Trinidad Publishing Co Ltd, 22-24 St Vincent Street, Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies.




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