Accreditation body calls for report

Wade Mark degree controversy

By Anika Gumbs CCN Senior Multimedia Investigative Journalist

The Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago (ACTT) has written to the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business (GSB) requesting a report surrounding the controversy of the Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degree conferred upon House Speaker Wade Mark.
ACTT executive director Michael Bradshaw confirmed to the Express yesterday that the Council had written the GSB by letter dated December 2 (yesterday) seeking clarity on the matter.
“We have to collect the facts because we do not know exactly what happened. We cannot rely on what was reported because if you read the newspaper articles some of them are conflicting,” said Bradshaw.
“We have written the institution asking for information in relation to the matter and we are awaiting a reply. We have written the institution to seek clarification. Every institution has policies and we have to ensure that the policies were followed. At this time I cannot give any more information on the matter.”
The move follows exclusive Express reports raising concerns on concessions that were offered to Mark for him to complete the degree.
The issue led to the resignation of GSB programme director Brian Ghent, who objected to the concessions.
Mark had requested to write the final exam in a separate room from the other students and he was given an oral exam to complete the coursework for the Management Accounting course.
The University of the West Indies is insisting that all policies were followed and Mark had fully satisfied all the requirements for the degree.
In an advertisement in the daily newspapers yesterday, UWI Vice-Chancellor Prof E Nigel Harris stated:
“From the review conducted, we have found that this student (Mark) was in good academic standing and fully satisfied all the requirements to graduate from the programme. From time to time, and based on professional and personal circumstances, students can request considerations which will usually be granted once they are consistent with UWI regulations. Considerations are recommended by departments and approved by the UWI on a case-by-case basis. The UWI has always embraced a student-centred philosophy that recognises the interest and well-being of its students, the diversity of the student population, and our commitment to equity.
“To meet the requirements of this degree, the student had one outstanding course. It should be noted that, with respect to this course, which is examined by both coursework and a written exam, the student had successfully completed the coursework component on two previous occasions. Based on this, the requirement to repeat the coursework component for a third time could have been waived by the UWI, but the student would still have been required to take and pass the final written exam.
“Despite the fact that the student had already passed the coursework on two previous occasions, the ALJGSB took the decision to assess the student’s knowledge of the material further, by subjecting the student to an oral examination of coursework material, which he passed.”
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