Dr. Francis Severin
Dr. Francis Severin

Dr. Francis O. Severin will be the new Director of the Open Campus Country Sites (OCCS) effective October 1, 2013, the University Council of the University of the West Indies (UWI) has announced.

Dr. Severin, the Council stated, "brings extensive knowledge and experience to the position", having commenced his career with UWI on January 1, 1999 as Project Officer in the Office of Administration and Special Initiatives (OASIs), Vice Chancellery.

In August 2005, Dr Severin returned to Dominica and assumed the post of Resident Tutor/Head of the then School of Continuing Studies (SCS).

"Consistent with the tenor of his abiding commitment to education and intellectual development/stimulation as a guaranteed avenue to economic development and enhancement of people's self-esteem, he built a culture of 'beyond the walls' educational appeal in Dominica through the annual distinguished/memorial lecture series that he initiated as Head of Site," the release stated. "In 2010, Dr. Severin succeeded Dr. Lennox Bernard as Public Orator for the Open Campus, assuming a new role for the Open Campus at just its second regional graduation ceremony." Dr Severin has acted as the Director, the OCCS for an accumulated period of 13 months, taking over the reins from Dr. Luz Longsworth who has been transferred as Director of Mona's Western Jamaica Campus. He will now assume the post of Director for four years in the first instance, as is the norm for Deans, the release added.

"In his new post Dr. Severin will be responsible for over 40 physical sites spread throughout 16 English-speaking countries in the Caribbean," the release stated. "The OCCS extends the reach of the UWI across the region, especially to the under-served areas, increasing access to higher education via online regional programmes and local face-to-face programmes or courses. Additionally, the OCCS affords students academic and administrative support and engages its respective communities in cultural and non-formal educational activities within the context of its outreach remit. The foregoing is true for the UWI-12 (formerly referred to as Non-Campus Countries) as well as Barbados, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago, the countries where the UWI has had its traditional brick and mortar campuses".

The University Council has also approved the appointments of Dr. Ian Austin as Deputy Director, Continuing and Professional Education (CPE), and Cheryl Sloley as Deputy Director, Commercial Operations (CO).

Two Deputy Directors have been appointed to assume responsibility for key areas of the organization, grounded in the current strategic and operational plans of the University and the Campus.

Dr. Ian Austin, Head of Open Campus Barbados will assume duties as Deputy Director, Continuing and Professional Education, OCCS, on November 1, 2013. Cheryl Sloley, Regional Coordinator for the Eastern Caribbean and Barbados, has been appointed Deputy Director, Commercial Operations, and she assumed duties on August 1, 2013.