Dr Francis Severin Appointed Acting Principal of the Open Campus
The University of the West Indies (The UWI) is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Francis Severin as Interim Principal of its Open Campus effective August 1, 2021. The appointment was approved at the Annual Business Meeting of University Council held on Friday April 30, 2021 via Zoom.
The current Principal, Dr Luz Longsworth will retire on July 31 this year after serving for six years.
Dr Severin, a national of Dominica, has had a long and distinguished career with The UWI. He is currently the Deputy Principal of the Open Campus, a position he has held from August 1, 2020.
Prior to being the Deputy Principal, he served as Director of Open Campus Country Sites (OCCS) from October, 2013, having acted for long intervals in that post prior to that date.
He served The UWI part-time as local Tutor in The UWI Distance Education (UWIDEC) Programme, School of Continuing Studies (SCS), in Dominica from 1994 to 1998, facilitating the courses: Introduction to Caribbean History for Law and Social Sciences and Introduction to Sociology of the Caribbean.
On January 1, 1999, he was appointed to his first full-time role in The UWI as Programme Officer in the Office of Administration and Special Initiatives (OASIs), headed by Pro Vice-Chancellor Professor Marlene Hamilton, who was the Mona Campus’s first female Deputy Principal and first woman ever to be appointed as PVC at The UWI. OASIs was a Centre Unit in the Vice Chancellery, headquartered then on the Mona Campus in Kingston, Jamaica.
In August 2005, Dr Severin returned to Dominica to take up the post of Resident Tutor and Head, School of Continuing Studies. While in that post he participated in the historical transition from the former entities that comprised the Board for Non-Campus Countries and Distance Education (NCC’s & DE) to the Open Campus.
Dr Severin graduated from The UWI, Cave Hill Campus in 1991 with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Social Studies with Education. He went on to complete his postgraduate studies at The UWI Mona Campus: in 1998 with the MSc in Sociology specializing in Social Policy and Administration, followed by a PhD in Education, in 2006.
Dr Severin has served on numerous Campus and University boards and committees, including: University Council; University Appointments Committee; Board for Undergraduate Studies (BUS); Board for Graduate Studies and Research (BGSR); Finance and General Purposes Committee (F&GPC); Open Campus Academic Board; Senate Committee on Ordinances and Regulations (SCOR); Campus Evaluations & Promotions Committee (EPC); Campus Appointments Committee (CAC); University and Campus ICT Steering Committees; University Executive Management Team; and the University Senate and Library Evaluations and Promotions Committee. Dr. Severin was the Chair of the Committee of Deans in academic year 2019-2020 and has been the Open Campus’ Public Orator since 2010.
“It is a distinct honour for me to have been invited to assume this noble task of leading the vital Open Campus for the next year, particularly as we prepare to usher in the emerging UWI Global Campus – and a number of transformational and cutting-edge initiatives,” Dr Severin said in response to his appointment.
“I am wholly conscious that the task before me as leader is both a challenging and exciting one. My assurance resides in the fact that I have an excellent executive team as well as a family of employees who are passionate about the work we do to ensure increased access and empowerment through the quality education of the hitherto disenfranchised and marginalized, Eastern Caribbean people and those far from physical Campuses in particular,” he added.
“In all of this, I wish to further enable and champion the ONE UWI philosophy. I am eternally grateful to our outgoing Principal for setting a strong foundation for the Campus’s future,” Dr Severin concluded.