By Simone Augustus, Corporate Communications Officer
The University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) continues to spearhead initiatives aimed at fostering leadership excellence within its academic community and beyond. On Friday, January 19, 2024, the USC Leadership Academy (USCLA) hosted its second session, themed “Leadership Stories,” featuring insightful presentations from distinguished leaders in the field of higher education in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean region.
USCLA, designed to cultivate ethical, visionary, and transformational leaders, targets key figures such as Administrators, Deans, Chairs, Directors, and Coordinators crucial to USC’s success. The academy combines theoretical foundations with experiential learning, aligning with the university’s mission, vision, and overarching objectives.
Leadership Insights from Dr. Keith Nurse:
Dr. Keith Nurse, President of the College of Science, Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago (COSTAATT), shared profound insights into the challenges and opportunities within the realm of higher education. His presentation commenced with a focus on Government expenditure on education, followed by a detailed analysis of tertiary education spending. One key takeaway from Dr. Nurse’s presentation was his emphasis on the importance of continuous progress.
“If you are in a steady state, you are actually in reverse,” he asserted. The presentation delved into the expenditure on Research and Development (R&D) from 2011-2020, with a particular emphasis on Latin American countries. Dr. Nurse stressed the significance of pushing the boundaries of knowledge, stating, “The capacity to catch up becomes more difficult the further behind you are.”
The presentation concluded with a reminder of the richness of educational institutions and the imperative for a strategic approach to utilize this richness effectively.
Leadership Wisdom from Professor Prakash Persad:
Professor Prakash Persad, President of the University of Trinidad and Tobago, offered valuable insights into leadership, emphasizing the crucial quality of listening. His presentation centered on the challenges impacting higher education and the leadership required to address these issues.
“A good leader listens,” Professor Persad declared, highlighting the importance of understanding and responding to the concerns and needs of the academic community.
His presentation contributed to a comprehensive exploration of the multifaceted landscape of higher education leadership. He echoed Dr. Keith Nurse’s assertion regarding the urgency of addressing the gap in education, emphasizing the need for proactive measures.
Addressing current challenges in higher education, Professor Persad advocated for a practical approach to education, emphasizing technical vocational training and industry integration. He stressed the qualities of honesty, care, and selflessness in leadership, highlighting the importance of serving others.
Embracing Innovation and Change: Insights from Mr. Durey Arthur
In a reflection of the evolving landscape of leadership, Mr. Durey Arthur shared insights from his dynamic journey over the past 25 years. His presentation focused on the resistance to technological shifts among leaders in Trinidad and Tobago, advocating for the embracing of innovation. Mr. Arthur highlighted his contributions, including introducing holograms to official documents, and discussed ongoing projects addressing crime.
Expressing frustration at the lack of local engineering support for imaginative ideas, he emphasized the importance of embracing change and rejecting complacency.
Acknowledging his mother’s influence on his leadership journey, Mr. Arthur expressed gratitude and shared how challenges, such as being fired from USC, led him to give back to the institution. His inspirational conclusion centered on the question, “What if?” driving innovation and progress.
Recognizing Leadership Excellence
The session also featured the presentation of awards by Dr. Barbara Reynolds, Vice President for Administration, Advancement, and Planning. A significant moment unfolded as Mr. Durey Arthur received an award and graciously dedicated it to his wife, Mrs. Leslie-Marie Arthur, recognizing her pivotal role in their shared success.
Dr. Reynolds emphasized the significance of celebrating Caribbean male figures who excel in their endeavors.
Her remarks echoed sentiments shared by the speakers, underscoring the importance of research for regional development and progress.
The USC Leadership Academy’s second session, “Leadership Stories,” not only exemplifies the university’s commitment to leadership development but also reinforces its dedication to forming impactful partnerships that contribute to the growth and progress of the Caribbean region.
As USC continues to invest in leadership excellence through initiatives like USCLA, the university remains at the forefront of shaping leaders who inspire, innovate, and drive positive change. Leadership matters at USC, and the investment in leadership development reflects the institution’s dedication to shaping a brighter future.
View full photo album on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usctt/albums/72177720314493138/