Commissioner Wescot gets report on status of affairs from USM board

Commissioner responsible for Education Sarah Wescot-Williams, was updated about developments at the University of St. Martin (USM) on Wednesday morning by the USM board headed by President Lockie Johnson.

This dialogue between the Commissioner and USM board takes place periodically and as Commissioner Wescot-Williams pointed out, "It was important to get these updates to remain abreast of developments pertaining to the islands tertiary institution which has been playing a very important role in the community for close to 20-years."

Ninety-five persons have obtained associates and bachelors degrees in such areas as General Liberal Arts, Business, Computer Science and Education between and including 2004 and 2006.


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The commissioner was updated about the goals of the board, strategic planning, financial matters, fund-raising efforts, the completion of the second phase, open house/graduation plans, USM’s continued efforts to secure accreditation, an update on staff and faculty matters at USM, and other steps to be taken to keep USM moving forward.

The six goals that the board and six USM committees are working towards are: to ensure the provision of quality accredited degrees at USM; steward the concept and activities of higher education on St. Maarten and for country St. Maarten; develop the financial picture of USM and secure needed funding; enrich the community through the further development of public programs and create a public program pillar at USM; assess and assure the quality of the functioning of the Leadership Team; and to develop additional safe, functional facilities for all activities at USM including classrooms, offices and library space.

The six committees are Executive, Academic, Audit, Building, Fundraising and Public Service, Management, Budget and Compensation.

"This type of exchange is necessary and promotes transparency and good governance, which are essential checks and balances, also for educational institutions. Presentations made by the board members were to the point and very informative," Commissioner of Education Sarah Wescot-Williams told the Government Information Service (GIS).

Also present in the meeting was Interim Sector Director of Education & Welfare Claudette Forsythe-Labega. USM board members present were President Lockie Johnson, Secretary Danny Ramchandani, Treasurer Cees Jan Roos and Vice President Valerie Giterson-Pantophlet.