The Cayman Islands Fund Administrators Association has thrown its support behind the International College of the Cayman Islands’ fundraising initiative for an academic chair to hire a full-time professor, which will strengthen and expand its popular business programme.
CIFAA is committing to an $18,500 sponsorship during a three-year period to help fund the academic chair for a full-time professor in accounting and finance. An academic chair is a university designation given to a professor for specialised knowledge and research and is traditionally funded by either private corporations or foundations.
CIFAA’s three-year sponsorship comes at a time when there is considerable economic uncertainty with many businesses cautious about making significant financial commitments. A driving factor behind CIFAA’s sponsorship was sending a message that investing in college education, even in an uncertain economy, is a smart investment in the skilled labour force and will help the Cayman Islands stay competitive in the long run, said CIFAA Chairman Darren Stainrod.
“This is a two-way relationship,” Mr. Stainrod said. “On the one hand, we see the power of education to unlock potential and change lives. On the other, we are committed to building a skilled labour force locally that will reduce the costs to our members of having to import talent from overseas.”
As the overall business environment, and the financial sector in particular, continues its trend to being more productive with multiple skills, more students are enrolling in the business school to meet the demands in the employer’s market. This academic chair is the first of its kind in the Cayman Islands and is the next step in broadening the business programme offerings, said International College President John Cummings.
“CIFAA recognized that the academic chair would provide students with more exposure to high quality instruction, research and the benefit of the professor’s industry experience,” Mr. Cummings said. “It is exciting to have CIFAA be a part of this new initiative that will play a big part in bringing our business programme to a new level.”
For more than 41 years, a key part of what International College stands for is being accessible to all students who are academically-ready to earn an associate, bachelor’s or master’s degree, but who have limited financial means and may face work or family obligations that prevent them from attending an accredited university overseas.
As a nonprofit, private institution, International College has made it a priority to offer affordable tuition to both Caymanians and residents and still maintain its international accreditation, which undergoes a rigorous review every few years.
International College Dean Scott Cummings said, “CIFAA has always stood ready to assist us with the growth and development of our business programme and this academic chair is the next step in the evolution of our programme. We really appreciate CIFAA’s generous support for this new academic chair.”
CIFAA was established in 1995 and is represented by a membership of fund administrators based in the Cayman Islands.