UWI Chancellor appoints Commission to examine the University’s Governance

On Friday, January 11, 2019, Chancellor of The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Robert Bermudez announced nine distinguished persons from across the region to serve on a Commission on Governance for the regional University. The Commission, which is chaired by former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron includes a multidisciplinary team with expertise in law, people, finance and corporate governance.

As the highest office-holder in The UWI, the Chancellor is traditionally responsible for establishing
this high-level committee with overall duties to streamline and review the administration of The UWI. The first Commission was convened in November 1993, and has been conventionally instituted in 10-year cycles.

At the University Council’s last Annual Business Meeting held on April 27, 2018, it was agreed that a
Commission be established to review The UWI’s current governance arrangements. The terms of
reference for the Commission are: “to examine the performance of The UWI, including its management practices, features of transparency and accountability within the University system, and to make recommendations to the Chancellor.”

In presenting instruments of appointment to the commissioners, Chancellor Bermudez grounded the significance of their task in this era of global higher education competitiveness and the commitment of The UWI to continuous improvement in its delivery of service to the Caribbean. He said, “The University has had an illustrious past. This Commission’s work is to ensure that its success and relevance continues into the future.”

Chairman of the Commission, Sir Dennis, has articulated an aggressive work-plan for the Commission, which is expected to deliver its final report by the end of September 2019. The complete list of persons selected by Chancellor Bermudez to serve on The UWI’s Commission on
Governance are as follows:


  • Former President of the Caribbean Court of Justice, Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron (Chairman)
  • Attorney-at-Law, Ms. Judith Bowen
  • Chairman, Sagicor Group Jamaica, Mr. Richard Byles
  • Human Resources Practitioner, Ms. Angela Hamel-Smith
  • Former Vice-Chancellor of The UWI, Professor Emeritus E. Nigel Harris
  • Director General, Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States, His Excellency Dr. Didacus Jules
  • Attorney-at-law, Sir Elliott Mottley
  • Representative of The UWI Intercampus Guild Council and President, Guild of Students, The UWI St. Augustine, Mr. Darrion Narine
  • Director, Coffee Traders Ltd. and President, The UWI Alumni Association, Jamaica Chapter, Mrs. Jacqueline Sharp

Photo caption:
Members of The UWI Chancellor’s Commission on Governance and its Secretariat pose for a photo after their first meeting. Top to bottom rows, l-r: Mrs Deborah Souza-Okpofabri, Mr. C. William Iton, Sir Elliott Mottley, Professor Emeritus E. Nigel Harris, Mrs Lois Graham, Ms. Judith Bowen, Ms. Angela Hamel-Smith, Mrs. Jacqueline Sharp, His Excellency Dr. Didacus Jules, Sir Charles Michael Dennis Byron (Chairman), Chancellor of The UWI, Mr. Robert Bermudez, and Mr. Darrion Narine, (Missing is Mr. Richard Byles).

Mr. C. William Iton, Mrs Deborah Souza-Okpofabri and Mrs Lois Graham comprise the Commission’s Secretariat.