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JAMAICA | Professor Ibrahim Ajagunna acting president of CMU until Pinnock returns

Featured Professor Ibrahim Ajagunna has been appointed to act as President of  the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) until  the return of Fritz Pinnock. Professor Ibrahim Ajagunna has been appointed to act as President of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) until the return of Fritz Pinnock.
KINGSTON, Jamaica, July 10, 2019 - The Board of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) has appointed deputy president, Professor Ibrahim Ajagunna to act as acting president effective yesterday until president Fritz Pinnock returns from his leave of absence in six week's time.

A statement from the university said following a meeting at the university a decision was taken for Ajagunna to serve in the post for six weeks after embattled President Dr Fritz Pinnock went on voluntary leave of absence amid a corruption probe at the institution.

Pinnock has gone on six weeks leave to allow various investigations by the Financial Investigations Division, the police and the Auditor General's Department into transactions linked to sacked Education Minister Ruel Reid.

According to the statement from Ajagunna who is also the vice-president of Academic and Student Affairs, “The university's brand remains strong on campus and beyond, and I am committed to providing leadership to this remarkable institution.”

“Over the last five years, the university has increased its enrolment numbers by 15 per cent each year — becoming the fastest growing university in the Caribbean,” he added.

Professor Ajagunna, who has been at the institution since 2006, said the increase in enrolment speaks to CMU's position as the university of choice in maritime education and training for Jamaicans, as well as other Caribbean nationals.

 In the meantime, Minister with oversight for Education Karl Samuda has said he expects the board of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) to conduct a comprehensive management review of the scandal plagued institution.

Mr. Samuda is in agreement with Professor Pinnock taking a leave of  absence from the CMU to ensure transparency in the investigation at the institution.
He said Professor Pinnock was not forced but took the decision himself to go on leave "because he realised that there was so much speculation that he felt his absence from the administrative helm would enhance the entire investigative process."
Professor Pinnock has faced criticism following revelations about the management of the university at Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC).
The most recent was a disclosure that a second household helper assigned to dismissed education minister Ruel Reid was the recipient of contracts from the CMU.
Professor Pinnock also previously admitted that the CMU paid out more than $600,000 towards a boat party for Mr. Reid.
  • Countries: Jamaica

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