UTECH President Outlines Initiatives to Take University Forward


President of the University of Technology (UTech), Professor Errol Morrison, has outlined a number of initiatives now underway to take the university forward, including a joint venture agreement with the Institute of Law and Economics to develop an Enterprise-wide Risk Management and Financing Programme (ERMFP) for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSME). “It is our view that Jamaica will significantly grow and develop if we improve the capacity of the MSME sector through novel forms of training and education to meet their needs to compete globally. We stand ready to play our part,” Professor Morrison stated at his official installation ceremony held yesterday (Oct. 29) at UTech’s Old Hope Road campus.
In keeping with the thrust to assume a leadership role in the area of technology and entrepreneurship, he said that the institution will be embarking on a programme to upgrade and reform the Technology Innovation Centre (TIC), home to the only fully functional business incubator in the Caribbean.
“We are upgrading and reforming the TIC to lead our programme of training, refining and graduating of functional entrepreneurs, who will serve in Jamaica as well as the wider Caribbean. We expect that as we link with other (institutions) to develop new incubators in the region, there will be a substantial flow of new business to the TIC graduates themselves,” he stated.
He informed that already, the TIC is conducting consultancy service on behalf of the European Union to develop a national e-business incubator in Dominica.
“This initiative is part of a wider thrust to take advantage of the niche market on business incubation that is emerging rapidly across the Caribbean. UTech is well placed to lead the development of this market regionally and Jamaica will benefit from the leadership,” Professor Morrison stated.
The new President, in the meantime, pledged to continue to produce work-ready graduates, who can function in the global marketplace, adding that this can only be done by having a faculty and administration of the highest quality and reputation. He promised to expand the range of programmes that are being offered at the university both at the undergraduate and graduate level, to include law and sports sciences. Efforts are already been made in this regard, he said, noting that over the past seven months, the institution has forged closer alliances with several regional and international institutions including the University of the West Indies (UWI), Northern Caribbean University, Caribbean Maritime Institute, Ryerson and York University in Canada, University of Maryland in the United States, Lesotho University in Africa, and the University of Russia.
“The mission of the university is not to be an ivory tower; it is to be a beacon of hope, a facilitator of dreams, a partner with other citizens, corporate and individual, to make our country a better place for all,” he stated.
Among those who attended the installation ceremony were: Governor-General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Professor Kenneth Hall and his wife, Mrs. Rheima Holding Hall; former Prime Minister, Edward Seaga; Minister of Finance and Public Service, Audley Shaw; and Minister of Education, Andrew Holness. Representatives from several regional and international universities were also present. Professor Morrison, who was appointed UTech’s third president in March, replaces Dr. Rae Davies, who left the university last December after some 10 years.
The President had a distinguished career in medicine and academics and prior to joining UTech, he served as Professor of Biochemistry and Endocrinology at the UWI and was later appointed Pro Vice Chancellor and Dean at the School of Graduate Studies and Research at UWI. He also served as Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Institute, UWI; Advisor to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO); Chairman of the North American region of the International Diabetes Federation.
Best known for his work in diabetes, Professor Morrison is also the founder of the UWI’s Diabetes Outreach Project, which hosts the largest annual international diabetes conference in the Caribbean.

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