“ UWI's youngest professor ever ”


At 35 years old he has earned the designation professor of law. That makes Eddy Ventose the youngest person in the history of the University of the West Indies (UWI) to be promoted to a personal professorship. Sir Hilary Beckles, who was promoted to professor of history at age 37 in 1993, held the previous record. It was not by luck or chance that Ventose gained this promotion. Years of studying and research culminated in his application for the title of professor and official denotation on May 23. Speaking about his recent promotion, Professor Ventose said he submitted the application because he believed that through his research, publications, teaching and other contributions to the UWI, he had a sufficiently good case. The university appointments committee agreed and he received the promotion. One would think that this young professor would be elated by such an achievement, but a sober Ventose said that although he was happy and excited about his promotion, what he was especially pleased about was the university’s recognition of his contribution, particularly since many people believed that UWI was very conservative – and members of the Faculty of Law moreso. Ventose, who was born in Martinique and grew up in St Lucia, originally decided as a 13-year-old that he wanted to be a lawyer. However, it was during his first year reading for his law degree at the Cave Hill Campus that he thought of teaching law as a career. Upon graduating from Cave Hill in 1999 armed with first-class honours in the Bachelor of Laws degree, he proceeded to the University of Cambridge where he earned the Master of Laws degree in 2000. He then took a place at Oxford University for his PhD.   With a PhD added to his list of qualifications, a young Ventose got a job as a trainee solicitor at Slaughter & May, the most prestigious law firm in London, England, where he worked for two years before joining the UWI team as a law lecturer.   Within five years he was promoted to senior lecturer in law and a mere nine months later Ventose was further promoted to the rank of professor of law. Ventose, who serves as deputy dean (graduate studies and research) of the Faculty of Law at Cave Hill and head of the Intellectual Property Unit, said that intellectual property law interested him from the time he was studying at the undergraduate level. Speaking specifically to the new perspectives he wishes to bring to the faculty, the deputy dean said that he would like to see several new courses being implemented at the Master’s level and added that he was currently working on a proposal for a Master’s programme in intellectual property law. In terms of his career, Ventose, who has been living in Barbados for the past six years, said he was fully committed to staying at the UWI and making his contribution to the region. “It is very important to me to give back to UWI. When I returned I did what I thought I had to do – research, teach, and publish; these are things that are expected of you,” said the young Professor Ventose, who published one book last year and will publish another two later this year.