Saturday, February 17, 2018

Wade Mark MBA cleared after review

THE University of the West Indies Review Committee set up to investigate the award of an Executive Master in Business Administration (EMBA) to Speaker of the House Wade Mark has found that “procedural anomalies” took place at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business  but that the award of the degree was in keeping with the university’s regulations.

The committee has made recommendations to prevent future “anomalies” taking place.

On November 24 the Sunday Express reported the resignation of the programme director at the GSB Brian Ghent over the award of the EMBA to Mark, after sources provided e-mails between top officials at the Mt Hope-based Lok Jack GSB, indicating that the GSB made several concessions to accommodate Mark for his EMBA.

 Following calls to The University of the West Indies, St Augustine on the status of the issue last week, the Sunday Express received an e-mailed statement from Cecile R Clayton, deputy university registrar at the UWI Regional Headquarters, Office of Administration, Mona, Jamaica on the matter. 

Clayton advised that he was responding in the absence of the university registrar William Iton and said the committee found that there were deviations in the institution’s procedures although it concluded that the award of Mark’s degree was in keeping with the UWI’s regulations.

“In December 2014, vice chancellor, Prof E Nigel Harris, in response to the controversy surrounding the award of an Executive MBA degree to Mr Wade Mark, appointed a committee to review the processes and procedures of the Arthur Lok Jack School of Business with respect to the awarding of University of the West Indies degrees. 

The committee comprised three senior members of the institution and a fourth independent person from Trinidad and Tobago. A thorough investigation of the matter was conducted and a comprehensive and detailed report prepared which was shared and discussed by the university’s executive leadership, the Board for Graduate Studies and Research and the University Finance and General Purposes Committee. 

The review committee concluded that while there were procedural anomalies, the award of the degree was consistent with the university’s regulations. Recommendations were made to prevent a similar circumstance in the future,” Clayton stated.

Last week, a source said that the enquiry conducted by the review committee, which comprised UWI personnel from the Mona and Cave Hill Campuses, interviewed several people in December last year on the issue.

When contacted for comment on the findings of the UWI review committee, GSB board member Arthur Lok Jack told the Sunday Express that the board knew about the findings.

“We requested that also, and I think we came to the understanding that the board wanted to find out everything and we felt that an independent committee to look after it would be the best way to go about it. 

“So we are fully cognisant of that and so I think it was a good thing. We just wanted to make sure that an investigation was done by independent people and the very highest people at the university,” he said.