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Dr. Luz Longsworth to be inducted as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of The UWI Open Campus at ceremony in Belize

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Date: 
Thursday, March 16, 2017

The UWI Regional Headquarters, Jamaica. March 14, 2017:  On Thursday, March 16, 2017, Dr. Luz Longsworth will be inducted as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus of The University of the West Indies (The UWI).  The ceremony will be held in Belize, where Dr. Longsworth has lived and worked for many years. It takes place at the River Hall, Best Western Belize Biltmore Plaza, Belize City, from 6:00 p.m. Belize time/8:00 p.m. Eastern Caribbean time and will be streamed live via UWItv (www.uwitv.org) as well as www.open.uwi.edu/livestream.

Chancellor of The UWI, Sir George Alleyne will preside over the induction ceremony for Dr. Longsworth and Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles as well as other members of The UWI’s senior management, private and public sector officials from Belize and students are expected to give remarks. The event will be chaired by University Registrar, Mr. C. William Iton.

Dr. Longsworth is the third Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal as well as third female leader of the Open Campus, since its inception in 2008. She succeeds Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald who led the Campus from 2008 until her retirement in 2014, and Professor V. Eudine Barriteau, who served as Campus Principal from 2014 to 2015 before moving to the Cave Hill Campus. Dr. Longsworth acted as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Campus from May 2015, and was confirmed in the position by the University Council in May 2016.   

A quintessential Caribbean national, who began her University career at a very young age, Dr. Longsworth began serving at The UWI as an Assistant Lecturer in Spanish Language and Literature at the Mona Campus’ Department of Spanish. She was then appointed to Assistant Registrar and soon after became the Executive Assistant to now retired Nuclear Scientist and Pro Vice-Chancellor and then Principal of the Mona Campus, Professor Gerald Lalor.

After leaving Jamaica to settle in Belize and raise a family, Dr. Longsworth’s professional work continued in private business and in academia through teaching and mentoring throughout the Caribbean. In the late 1990s, she was tapped to lead The UWI’s first centre in Belize as Resident Tutor, succeeding the retiring Director of the School of Continuing Studies, Professor Lawrence D. Carrington. With the advent of the Open Campus in 2008, Dr. Longsworth was appointed Director of the Open Campus Country Sites, leading the merger of The UWI School of Continuing Studies and The UWI Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC) operations. She then returned to the Mona Campus to lead its Western Jamaica Campus in Montego Bay from 2012 until 2015. Her leadership skills in transforming higher education were duly recognised by Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, who appointed her to act as Pro Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Open Campus in March 2015.  

In addition to her role as an administrator, Dr. Longsworth has recently co-edited a publication entitled “The Economic Transformation of Jamaica”, and she still mentors undergraduate and graduate students and continues her research work, publications and presentations at conferences.

Her research interests include leadership development, change management and organisational development and transformation. In November 2016, The Commonwealth of Learning bestowed the title of Honorary Fellow on Dr. Longsworth in recognition of her outstanding contribution to higher education, distance and online learning.