The UWI mourns the passing of Professor Edwin S. Jones
The University of the West Indies (The UWI) community joins the Mona Campus in mourning the passing of Professor Edwin S. Jones, who was ailing for an extended period of time; he transitioned on the morning of Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
Extending his personal condolences, Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles said, “The return of Professor Edwin Jones to his ancestral land invokes reflections on his time with us. The UWI, not only the Mona Campus, was enriched by his many gifts — his social compassion, personal humility, deep sense of caring, brilliance in the classroom, public advocacy for social justice intertwined with economic growth and efficiency, and his life-long commitment to the importance of good public service.”
Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor of The UWI Mona Campus Professor Dale Webber stated, “We mourn the passing of a UWI giant, Professor Edwin Jones whose contribution to the Faculty of Social Sciences and MSBM has been tremendous. Edwin was a teacher, researcher, administrator, mentor and a friend. Many lives have been positively influenced by Professor Jones and The UWI, Jamaica, the Caribbean and the world are poorer for his passing.”
Professor Jones joined The UWI Mona family as a lecturer in the Department of Government in 1973, and rose to the position of senior lecturer four years later (1977). He was promoted again, this time to head of the Department in 1980, and then to University and Campus Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences (1987). In 1990 he was appointed Professor of Public Administration.
Professor Jones was educated at the Mico Teachers College, where he read for his teaching diploma; The UWI, Mona where he studied Economics and then onto the University of Manchester where he obtained his PhD in Public Administration.
Professor Jones was well-known for his expertise in public management and development internationally. He published several books on civil service management including: Coalitions of the Oppressed: Interest Groups in Colonial Political Systems, Development Administration: Jamaican Adaptations; Employee Morale in Jamaican Civil Service (which he co-authored) and his last book, Contending with Administrivia: Competition for Space, Benefits and Power. He published more than 30 articles in local, regional and international academic journals and upwards of 20 Reports which shaped the social services throughout the Caribbean as we know it today.
In the 1980s, he led the team which produced the report on Evaluation of the Jamaican Family Planning Programme; authored the report on the National Consultation on Housing in Saint Lucia; he authored the report on Feasibility of Teaching a Caribbean Public Enterprise Module at Institute of Latin American Studies at the University of Texas in Austin. He also co-authored the report on the Implementation Strategy for the Cayman Island Tourism Management Policy and the Report on Public Sector Reform in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas in 1997 which was later converted into a Green Paper – to name just a few.
His academic career spans the globe, from being Visiting Research Scholar at Florida State University, the London Business School, the University of Texas, Austin to serving as teaching assistant at the University of Manchester and lecturer at the University of Zambia.
His eminent contribution to public service was recognised by his colleagues and his countrymen. In 1998, Professor Jones received a National Honour: The Order of Distinction in the Commander Class for his contribution to The UWI and public service; in 2005, he received the Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Public Service and in 2007, he received the Order of Jamaica for excellence in academia and public service. In 2006 he was appointed Professor Emeritus of Public Administration at The UWI Mona.
Professor Jones was passionate about quality of leadership in the public and private domains, he saw this as essential to effective management. This was evidenced by the many areas of public life to which he gave his expertise, from family planning, energy, housing, to corporate governance and tourism policy as well as his board memberships. He was Chairman of the Planning Institute of Jamaica; member of the Public Services Commission, member of the Board of the National Resource Conservation Authority and the Jamaica Workers Savings and Loan Bank. He served as Special Advisor to the Government of Jamaica in the areas of: housing, public sector modernization, labour, social welfare, sports, tourism, police reform and community development.
His extraordinary contribution to public service and policy throughout his life is his legacy and will continue to touch all our lives with every public and private sector interaction we encounter.
The UWI extends heartfelt condolences to his family, colleagues and friends in their time of bereavement.