UWI reverses decision on library
The Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies has reversed its decision to close its main library early on Fridays – a cost-cutting measure that angered students.
Principal Sir Hilary Beckles announced yesterday that with immediate effect, the library would once more be open on Fridays up to 11 p.m.
“They (students) believe that we need to review the flow of students into the library on weekends and they believe that we might have acted hastily in looking at weekend usage; so we have said to the students that their information may be different from ours but we will revert.
“So we will re-establish the tradition and the library will open as per the norm,” Sir Hilary said.
Last Friday, dozens of students staged a protest and disputed the basis of the university’s decision that usage of the library declined on Friday nights.
Sir Hilary said: “All departments, all faculties, all units, we have cut the expenditure by 15 per cent.
We have reduced our part-time staff, and the university relies very heavily on part-time staff, we have to reduce our part-time temporary staff to live within the budget constraints and the library was one of those institutions that became subject to minimum staff reduction,” he said.
Sir Hilary said that the campus, which is now owed $90 million by the Government, had sought to curtail its operational expenditure by 15 per cent.
Sir Hilary said the university had cut its spending on part-time staff by 20 per cent, while at the same time trying to maintain the delivery of high-quality education to its near 10 000-strong student population. (MK)