It was reassuring to see the headline “Wade Mark MBA’’ cleared after review in the Sunday Express of February 23.
How troubling it would have been to have a lingering perception that a senior official in the country had obtained a premier academic qualification under suspicious circumstances! How would all the aspirants in this country striving for similar qualifications feel about the hard work they are required to put in, and that for one who is looked up to as an exemplar in the society, indeed, currently engaged in mentoring youth re parliamentary procedure, such rigour is not applicable!
It was equally reassuring, to see a report prepared by a select committee comprising UWI personnel from Jamaica and Cave Hill and also including an independent person from T&T, accepted by the “executive membership of UWI” who concluded that despite “procedural anomalies” the award was “consistent with university regulations.”
Again, how troubling it would have been if our flagship university, renowned for its uncompromisingly high standards was found wanting in maintaining such standards, in appearing to facilitate a senior official in the award of a premium degree.
Again, against such exoneration, it is also quite troubling that Brian Ghent, programme director at the Lok Jack Business School, found it necessary, not merely to complain, but to resign his position, action precipitated no doubt by the conviction that something was ethically and professionally wrong with the award of this degree to someone who had not fulfilled the requirements. What a terrible misreading of the situation by the man in the middle of the related circumstances!
And what of those writers, among them a UWI lecturer who is well known for his analysis of events in the media, who could have missed the legitimacy of the award as the story unfolded and would have seen instead a blatant attempt to unfairly influence the system!
Perhaps the regulations concerning the award of degrees could have been cited in this media report to further convince these writers of the error of their ways and also reassure those doubting Thomases. But that may not appear necessary for the university has spoken! We could perhaps forget the “procedural anomalies” although such culpability in law is enough to undermine any case. But we can take comfort from the fact that this matter is happily settled and UWI’s reputation remains untarnished and that Wade Mark is allowed to enjoy his hard-earned degree.
Dr Errol Benjamin