By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Sept. 22, 2016: A New York State and a Caribbean university have joined hands to establish a joint Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development.
The State University of New York and The University of the West Indies (UWI) announced the establishment of the SUNY-UWI Center on Tuesday September 20th to “build on areas identified in previous UWI-SUNY analyses while also including research relevant to democratic participation, leadership, and governance, with a focus on solutions to specific problems constraining the achievement of the United Nation’s sustainable development goals.”
The Center will focus on serving groups that have faced barriers to equal opportunities, a press statement added and will be governed by an advisory board consisting of academic experts, foundation and development professionals and administrative leaders from The UWI and SUNY.
It will begin operations at 325 Hudson Street in Manhattan, one of SUNY Empire State College’s three New York City locations. At the center, joint teams of UWI and SUNY expert teams will take a multi-disciplinary approach and draw on external expertise as appropriate to advance the goals of creation of a master’s program in leadership and sustainable development; solutions-oriented research; student advocacy and mobilization of the Caribbean Diaspora; establishment of an expert network, and facilitation of a think tank.
The concept for the center has garnered strong support from the Commonwealth and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
“SUNY’s new partnership with The UWI represents an important milestone in our ongoing conversations about educating and empowering students and faculty in order to make substantial advances in the areas of leadership and sustainable human development,” commented SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “Our partnership is all the more exciting when you consider the positive impact and practical benefits the application of our research, academic programs, teaching, and learning will have for our students and faculty, as well as the millions of people in the Caribbean, the Caribbean Diaspora in New York, and beyond. We are proud to advance our mutual goals with The UWI and I thank Sir Hilary for his continued passion and leadership.”
“Both The UWI and SUNY have agreed that a center of this nature is required to provide innovative solutions to the underlying problems that ultimately constrain the achievement of sustainable human development in the wider Caribbean and in the urban areas of New York State, in which there is a substantial Caribbean diaspora that is served by SUNY. This initiative is part of the program of international engagement that enables The UWI to play an active developmental role among the wider Caribbean community,” said UWI Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir Hilary Beckles.
Since its inception in 1948, The University of the West Indies (UWI) has evolved from a fledgling college in Jamaica with 33 students to a fully-fledged, regional University with over 50,000 students. Today, The UWI is the largest, most longstanding higher education provider in the Commonwealth Caribbean, with three physical campuses in Barbados, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and an Open Campus. The UWI serves 17 English-speaking countries and territories in the Caribbean.
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school and business in the state. In 2014-15, SUNY served nearly 1.3 million students, including nearly 600,000 in credit bearing courses and programs and nearly 700,000 through continuing education and community outreach programs.