Editorial

We must save the CMU success story

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Print this page Email A Friend!


Something is rotten in the State of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), to tweak Shakespeare's play Hamlet. The time is long gone for corrective action.

The longer the appearance of financial mismanagement lingers, the more harm it does to the CMU. Until it was converted into a university the CMU had an impeccable reputation which has now been damaged by the innuendoes, thereby raising questions about its academic credibility and processes.

For example, are the lecturers and management staff properly qualified for their posts, and were they selected in a transparent process that can withstand public scrutiny? Are those bearing the title of “professor” qualified by academic training, experience, and publications?

Interestingly, there is a view that the CMU was prematurely made into a full-fledged university and should have been a part of The University of the West Indies (UWI) or University of Technology, Jamaica.

The investigations brought on by allegations of corruption have exposed the fact that the CMU has expanded its central mission of maritime training, and is now engaged in training unattached youth.

One is entitled to wonder what else is the CMU involved in which is not strictly a part of its mandated mission? The current head of the institution needs to be sent on leave until the fledging investigation and financial audit are completed. This is necessary for several reasons.

First, the delay in handing over documents — including payment to attorneys to challenge the legal procedures by which investigative agencies have required said documents — which that the CMU knew it would have to hand over anyway. This apparent reluctance to cooperate is open to a variety of interpretations, all of them unfavourable.

Second, in appearances by spokespersons for the CMU before the Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC), the answers given for the hiring of consultants local and foreign-based lack credibility as to the procedure by which they were hired, ie whether they have the required qualifications to meet the job description and the basis on which their remuneration was calculated.

These expenditures partly or entirely depended on public money and must be explained.

Third, the contemptuous attitude displayed repeatedly to the PAAC is disgraceful, the answers disingenuous, and the most ridiculous was the characterisation of a social event involving the then minister of education as “an industry function”.

Fourth, defence as the best form of counter-attack by playing the victim and claiming harassment smacked of impertinence and arrogance.

While the CMU head is on leave — he can return after he is cleared of any wrongdoing — the CMU should be put under the supervision of the UWI until all the issues are resolved and the institution can be restored to its own means.

In the interim, the UWI can provide proper and experienced management from its current or recently retired staff.

The CMU is a valuable institution and must be salvaged. To accomplish this the investigation must be quickly and comprehensively done, and the recommendations implemented as soon as possible.

No one must be allowed to delay or frustrate this process.


Now you can read the Jamaica Observer ePaper anytime, anywhere. The Jamaica Observer ePaper is available to you at home or at work, and is the same edition as the printed copy available at http://bit.ly/epaperlive


ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT