The Palisadoes Park-based Caribbean Maritime University (CMU), which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, is looking to cement its position as a preferred institution for higher learning.
Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Deputy President of the CMU, Professor Ibrahim Ajagunna, told JIS News that a number of measures are being implemented to improve the overall efficiency of the institution, even as it plans for the new academic year in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The university will begin classes for returning students on September 21 and for new students on October 5.
Professor Ajagunna said that the university’s Council, which has been in place since February, has been working tirelessly since March in order to achieve its objectives.
“The new Council now meets every three weeks up from once per semester. One area of focus is to reposition the image of the university as one of the preferred universities of learning in Jamaica and across the Caribbean,” he noted.
He informed that Professor Emeritus Evan Duggan, who was appointed interim president of the CMU with effect from June 1, is looking at “the organisational structure in its totality to realign and to reorganise.”
He said that Professor Duggan and the Council “have begun different exercises in terms of consultancy to look at some of the issues at the university.”
“There is one exercise that looks at our registry process to make it more efficient in order to satisfy the needs of our customers and another looks at the structure of the organisation so that we can get a realignment as quickly as possible,” Professor Ajagunna noted.
The CMU opened its doors on September 15, 1980 as the Jamaica Maritime Training Institute, operating from 9 Norman Road with 30 students.
The institution was relocated to its current headquarters at Palisadoes Park in May 1984.
In 1993, the institution became a statutory body and was renamed the Jamaica Maritime Institute and in 2001, the name was again changed to the Caribbean Maritime Institute, to reflect the expanded scope of its programmes and activities.
The most recent name change came on September 28, 2017 with the institution gaining university status through an act of Parliament earlier that year, becoming the Caribbean Maritime University.
The CMU now has approximately 3,500 full-time students with another 2,000 doing short courses throughout the year.