Prior to meeting with the principal, the CEO toured the campus and said he was impressed with the facilities. Professor Barriteau noted that her predecessor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, now The UWI’s Vice Chancellor, had worked diligently to modernise it but the Faculty of Science and Technology, originally built in the 1960s, was out of pace with today’s requirements and was the next area for attention.
Barriteau noted that growth in science and technology was integral to the region’s development; therefore it was necessary for faculty and the student population to have access to better facilities. In addition, she said having a modern faculty was important to the long term transformation of learning, delivery and investment at the campus. She added that the Caribbean Development Bank was carrying out preliminary work that will facilitate design and other fundamentals of the project.
The CIBC FirstCaribbean CEO said the bank was interested in learning more about the project and was willing to help, especially recognising its link to the region’s development.
CIBC FirstCaribbean is a long time supporter of the university. The parties formalised their relationship in 2003 with the signing of their first three-year memorandum of understanding (MOU). During the courtesy call, Mr. Brown presented Professor Barriteau with the final tranche of sponsorship money under the 2014-2017 MOU.
Noting that the bank was pleased to partner with the university as it developed the human resources of the region, Brown announced that its community relation’s arm, the FirstCaribbean ComTrust Foundation, had given the go-ahead to commence negotiations with The UWI for a new MOU.
The MOU usually targets scholarships for students, research funding as well as the campus’ outreach to the general public through the annual Frank Worrell Memorial Cricket Lecture and the annual International Women’s Day lecture.
Professor Barriteau, who is in her second year as principal, thanked the bank for continuing its relationship with the university, adding that she would ensure the campus carry some visible sign of the bank’s tangible contribution.