'Intellectual Ghetto' Redeemed - Motty’s Label Hurt And Motivated UWI

Addressing a Gleaner Editors’ Forum last week, University of the West Indies principal, Professor Archibald McDonald, said while the label, “intellectual ghetto” hurt badly, it also served as a motivator to the faculty at the Mona campus.

“It hurt our feelings, but it didn’t really damage us. What it really did was stimulated us to reflect and look at the work of the university, and we responded,” said McDonald of the term coined by one of Jamaica’s leading journalists, Wilmot ‘Motty’ Perkins, who died five years ago.

“We responded in more ways than one, and if you look at it today, the university is now closer to the Jamaican society than it ever was,” added McDonald.

He accepted that there was need for revival in some areas, telling Gleaner editors and reporters that there were criticisms about the relevance or irrelevance of some courses offered.

According to McDonald, a concerted effort has since been placed on renewal.

“We responded to the criticisms, including that of Mr Perkins. We have been criticised for other things, including that our programmes are irrelevant. And the response is to introduce programmes that are beneficial to the Jamaican society.

“Programmes such as dentistry were introduced, because although there is a dental school in Trinidad, it can’t supply the number of dentists that a country like Jamaica needs.” Read more