GREAT BAY – The staff at the University on Pond Island welcomed the President of the University of the Virgin Islands, Dr. David Hall, on campus last Friday. Dr. Hall attended a staff meeting, where employees got the chance to address pressing issues and concerns that they felt are affecting their students under the growing partnership.
Dr. Hall was without hesitation hands on to help resolved the issues at hand and took on full accountability of the challenges and hiccups that the University has been facing over the past year. The President of UVI then explained that there’s been a search for representatives at UVI to liaison with the students and teams at USM however, it has been clear that more is needed.
For such, plans for an on-campus liaison are in the works. This liaison would be based on the USM campus to assist students and answer pertinent questions. The best approach was determined to be someone established in St. Maarten who will have a nuanced grasp of the needs of the students. This person will also be travelling between USM and UVI to meet with key persons, maintain fruitful relationships and keep informed on the latest changes and developments to programs and regulations.
This visit by President Hall is symbolic of the fact that the concerns of St. Maarten students are being taken seriously, the university said in a press statement, adding that no one should be left behind in the island’s educational and social progression. The UVI@USM is the opportunity for all those persons who cannot leave the island to also obtain North American accredited Bachelor and Master degrees. Dr. Hall was cordially welcomed by stakeholders like Antonio Aventurin, the director of Study Financing, and Aida Holaman of the Department of Community Development. He also met with Education Minister Silveria Jacobs.
The staffs of USM and UVI are confident this will go several ways towards solidifying their relationship. “The upcoming graduation of students next year through the UVI@USM partnership is significant,” Hall said. “The goal has always been to expand and grow in new areas that we need to explore.”
New also is the start of a PhD program, with one of USM’s own who is pursuing a PhD.