September 25, 2016

I did not act alone on the UG issue

Dear Editor,
My attention was drawn to a letter published in another section of the media, captioned “UG and Vincent Alexander have been cruel to us”. I am not sure who composed that caption but to suggest that UG and Alexander, severally, were cruel, on a matter pertaining to students, is to suggest that Alexander took action in his personal capacity and that, through him or some other officer, the University also took action.
I pity the journalist or student-at-Law, who would have concocted such a caption about a matter that clearly has to do with the University and the affected students, and I further suggest that if Alexander had personally been cruel, then he should have been dragged before the court.
As has been correctly stated, this matter goes back to 2003. Also stated are the various state officials to whom the students appealed but did not get the desired redress. That means one of three things – the officials were impotent, or Alexander was all powerful, or their cases had no merit – at least in the eyes of the officials and/or the system with which they, the officials, would have raised the matter.
What was not stated was that the matter was addressed by four successive Vice Chancellors, who ruled on the matter after examining the facts. Not that I am distancing myself from the rulings. As Deputy Registrar, I was never the final arbiter.
Admittedly, as Registrar in the latter years, my view on the University’s approach to the matter differed from that of the then Vice Chancellor, who by right pursued his own considered course of action, which resulted in the court proceedings that were chronicled in the March 8, 2016, article.
I take umbrage at Mustapha’s insinuation that my judgment should have been clouded by my advocacy for justice for blacks. I will always advocate for justice for anydeserving case. I thank Mustapha for highlighting what he considers to be my destruction of the career of blacks.
The fact is my disposition to the administration of justice is not clouded by my black consciousness. Mustapha’s race card will not intimidate me.
As for his contention that “I was responsible for the entire issue,” he exposes his own incongruence. This matter has its origin in students not paying fees for as much of two years of their period of studies, while conspiring to write examinations during the said period and years after seeking to retroactively establish anentitlement to have written those examinations. That’s where the matter originated.
How can I be blamed for acts and their consequences when I had nothing to do with the acts, the primary causal factors.
On my part, I refused, as a matter of principle and good governance, to be involved in the determination of this matter on the occasions beyond the students’ first approach, on this matter, to the University’s administration.
This is also my position now that I am at the Ministry.
I wish them the best in their juridical quest, I hope their hands are clean. Let the chips fall where they may.

Vincent Alexander
Former Registrar
University of Guyana

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