Sarim Al-Zubaidy

Staff at the University of T&T (UTT) sees the resignation of its president as a disrespect to them and students as the university shows signs of instability.

UTT President Sarim Al-Zubaidy announced his resignation on Tuesday officially.

The tendering of his resignation came one week after much speculation throughout all the campuses especially with the announcement of a senior appointment from him that he had resigned.

In a memorandum dated January 14, Al-Zubaidy said his resignation takes effect March 31, however, he will be proceeding on vacation leave and that his last day in office will be February 25.

Al-Zubaidy said that the university surmounted the many challenges which he said only served to steer “us on the right path towards providing quality tertiary education and research for the advancement of T&T.”

He wished all the best in the new transition into the new phase of UTT.

On January 2, Al-Zubaidy announced the appointment of acting Vice President, corporate operations, Dr Zameer Mohammed.

He said the Board of Governors appointed Mohammed effective January 1, 2020 “as recruitment efforts commence to fill the post.”

Mohammed is to assume overall responsibility for the delivery of corporate services throughout the University.

The units listed under corporate operations are: Finance, Human Resources and Administration, Infrastructure and Maintenance, Outreach and Industry Relations and Technology Services.

Mohammed’s new assignment, according to Al-Zubaidy is to “be performed without prejudice to his role of assistant Vice President, Outreach and Industry Relations.”

There was also word last week that Al-Zubaidy had tendered his resignation for reasons unknown.

It was also disclosed that Sandra Ganness was appointed Head of Student Support Services.

On September 2, 2019, as the final batch of retrenchment letters were being handed out at the Corinth, San Fernando Technical Institute and the John Donaldson Institute of the UTT, Al-Zubaidy sent out a memorandum to staff introducing the first set of appointments to three senior academic positions.

The positions were: Office of Research, Academic and Student Affairs, Proffesor Prakash Persad: Vice President Research, Academic and Student Affairs (Acting); Office of Undergraduate Studies, Dr Stephen Joseph, Assistant Vice President Undergraduate Studies (Acting) and Office of Research, Impact and Postgraduate Studies Professor Marlon Knights, Assistant Vice President Research, Impact and Postgraduate Studies (Acting).

Speaking with the Guardian Media, a member of staff said the resignation, the appointments and retrenchment means for them that there is “no stability in sight.”

“Each day political decisions are made with no regard for staff or students. The politically appointed board had been dismantling UTT and I am worried that we will be left with nothing before the next election, ” the UTT staffer said.

“We get no information from UTT, everything is in the media and then we are told. It is frustrating to think an established institution like this can’t be run with a degree of efficiency, ” the staffer added.