Principal Barriteau Awarded Barbados’ Highest Independence Honour

Professor V. Eudine Barriteau, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Cave Hill Campus of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has been awarded Barbados’ highest national honour – the Order of the Freedom of Barbados. She was among three who headed this year’s list of National Honourees to mark the 53rd anniversary of independence of Barbados.

Professor Barriteau has been conferred with the Order of the Freedom of Barbados for her outstanding contribution to tertiary education and pioneering leadership in the development of gender studies and the promotion of gender equality. With this accolade, she may be addressed and referenced as Professor The Most Honourable V Eudine Barriteau.

The veteran educator is a Caribbean feminist, scholar and activist with considerable experience in executive administration and coordination of regional projects. She also has extensive research interests that encompass transformational educational leadership, feminist theorizing and investigations of the Caribbean political economy, and gender and public policy.

As news spread across the region that she, along with veteran musicians Emile Straker of the famed Merrymen and outstanding calypsonian Anthony ‘Gabby’ Carter, were among this year’s top independence honourees, an elated Professor Barriteau, Grenadian born and the mother of Cabral Fanon Barriteau-Foster, thanked the entire nation of Barbados for the recognition.

“I am simply overjoyed, humbled and deeply honoured to have been awarded the inaugural Order of Freedom of Barbados. It is an overwhelming feeling of appreciation to have my work and my commitment recognized in my lifetime.

“I am even more thrilled to make history as one of the first recipients of the Order of Freedom of Barbados. I have enjoyed the contributions I have made and have a deep sense of loyalty to Barbados which has embraced me and enabled my flourishing as a scholar and leader. Thank you, Barbados,” the principal shared in comments to the media.

She migrated from Grenada as a child in 1966, attended St. Matthias Girls’ School, Ellerslie Secondary and gained a BSc Honours degree from The University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus in 1980. Professor Barriteau holds an MPA in Public Sector Financial Management from New York University (1984), and a PhD in Political Science from Howard University, 1994. She has published thirty-seven book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles, including her first book, The Political Economy of Gender in the Twentieth Century Caribbean (Palgrave, 2001).

Professor Barriteau has been awarded several academic scholarships and awards from universities and organizations. She was a Latin American Scholarship Program of American Universities LASPAU/Fellowship scholar at
New York University 1982-1984, and the first Caribbean woman awarded the Margaret McNamara Memorial Fund Scholarship in 1991. She was an American Association of University Women scholar, 1992, and was awarded a Howard University Doctoral Fellowship, 1992. In 1997, she was the Inaugural Fellow of the Dame Nita Barrow Distinguished Women in Development Visitor Programme at the University of Toronto. She was an inaugural International Research Fellow at the Centre for Excellence in Gender Research, GEXCEL, Orebro, Sweden, April 2008, and was invited to return in November 2010 and March 2013. In 2018, on its 70th Anniversary, The University of the West Indies recognized Professor Barriteau for Outstanding Academic Achievement and Leadership, as one of 70 outstanding Cave Hill alumni.

A recipient of numerous national, regional and international awards and recognitions, Professor Barriteau was President of the International Association for Feminist Economics (IAFFE) 2009/2010. In July 2011, she was bestowed the 10th CARICOM Triennial Award for Women at the Thirty-Second Regular Meeting of CARICOM Heads of Government, St. Kitts. In 2013, during Barbados’ 47th Anniversary Independence celebrations, she was awarded the Gold Crown of Merit, the country’s third highest honour in recognition of her invaluable contribution to gender and development. In 2015, she chaired the CARICOM Prime Ministerial 5-member panel appointed to review the Governance of West Indian Cricket. In February 2016, she was bestowed The Order of Grenada Gold Award for Excellence for 2015, at Grenada’s 42nd Independence Anniversary celebrations.

Professor Barriteau has spearheaded a number of initiatives at The UWI. These include recommending, in 2016, the creation of a Faculty of Sport, which The University of the West Indies established in July 2017, the first new Faculty to be introduced in 47 years. In 2017, she launched The Smart Campus Initiative, designed to reconceptualise the delivery of higher education goods and services in Barbados and the Caribbean by the harnessing ICT technology to support national and regional development. This October, The UWI approved the proposal developed by Professor Barriteau for the establishment of a Faculty of Culture, Creative and Performing Arts which comes into effect from August 1, 2020.

The UWI Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, noted that: “Barbados has enhanced its sophistication in recognizing and celebrating intellectual and cultural contributions to nation building. Professor Barritteau is a champion and icon of this process. She stands courageously at the crossroads of multiple discourses and political activism that have enlightened and empowered the marginalized and excluded. She has long stood in support of freedom. And now “Freedom” has stood up in celebration of her. “

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