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Monday, April 12, 2021
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Investing in the UB faculty and staff


All other government and quasi-government employees in the category of the UB faculty and staff have received their 5% and 8% increases. The UB faculty and staff are entitled to these raises, and they were promised the raises. If GOB can not meet the payments, then UB has to find a way to express its confidence in the faculty and staff.


No accountant would recommend that an institution in this situation, liquidate any of its assets to finance salary increases. So, the university is about to go against conventional financial wisdom. The university?s gamble, if approved by the board, is that the beneficiaries of the gamble the university may make, will return the favor and increase their commitment, effort and loyalty.


We knew that it would be difficult to build a national university which was free of political partisanship and denominational religion. And so it has been. With all the buffeting the university is receiving from the storm winds of GOB, there is no let up in the UB destabilization campaign being waged by the Opposition since amalgamation in August of 2000.


In this weekend?s issue of the official Opposition newspaper, THE GUARDIAN, for instance, the newspaper has published a unilateral statement from a UB lecturer who was recently terminated. The newspaper made absolutely no attempt to present the arguments of those university administration officials who were being blamed and attacked by the said UB lecturer. This is nothing but unmitigated mischief on the part of THE GUARDIAN.


But this is the way it?s been for UB ? a rocky road. As the national university prepares to begin its fifth school year, UB is in its most critical phase since the amalgamation process of 2000. The financial crunch has hit UB at the worst possible time, when the university was about to comply with a controversial GOB order to move two faculties and part of a third to Belmopan, the capital city. The only benefits of such a move will be long term. The problems connected therewith, however, were immediate and right in UB?s face, so to speak.


Still, the work goes on. In four years of existence, the university has turned out more than 2,000 graduates to add to Belize?s pool of trained experts and mature thinkers. Last year, the incredible, emergency work of the faculty and staff enabled the university to survive a traumatic restructuring which had been forced upon UB by GOB.


The future growth of the university will depend, to an important extent, on how UB can connect with the masses of the people of Belize while being in tune with the business, industrial, technical, nursing, education, and agricultural demands of Belize?s public and private sectors. The processes are dynamic. Unfortunately, they have also been controversial. The main reason for these controversies is that there are powerful special interests in Belize who, like Don Ciccio in GODFATHER PART II, believe in murdering children before they become conscious adults. UB is still an infant. It is tender and delicate, but its potential is great where the education of future generations of Belizeans is concerned.

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