A second senior member of the University College of the Cayman Islands leadership has resigned.
Linford Pierson, the deputy chair of the institution’s board of governors, handed in his resignation Monday.
The decision comes less than two weeks after board chair Sheree Ebanks announced she was stepping down.
The resignations follow a viability report produced by a joint study team of board members and faculty, led by Mr. Pierson.
The report recommended radical cost-cutting measures, including cutting courses, reducing the number of lecturers and closing the campus during the summer term, aimed at reversing the financial deterioration of UCCI.
Both Ms. Ebanks and Mr. Pierson said the fallout from the report, which received a mixed response, had nothing to do with their decisions.
Mr. Pierson, in a letter to Education Minister Tara Rivers, wrote, “It is with much regret that due to my personal commitments I have decided to tender my resignation as a member of the board of governors effective 31 March.”
Mr. Pierson, who was appointed to the board in September 2013 for a three-year term, co-chaired the joint study team that produced the viability report. The recommendations in the report, if implemented, would save the college around $500,000 a year, according to officials.
Its findings are in the process of being reviewed, and it is not clear whether Mr. Pierson’s departure will have any impact on that process.
He made no reference to the report in his resignation letter, shared with the Cayman Compass.
Ms. Ebanks faced some criticism for commenting at a press conference when the report was released last month that UCCI’s business administration associate’s degrees were “essentially meaningless” to employers. She later issued a statement clarifying her comments and suggested they had been quoted out of context.
She said in a statement to the Compass that the fallout from the report and her remarks had no bearing on her decision to step down, which she said was connected to a conflict of interest with her role as head of the Cayman Islands Society of Professional Accountants, which works with both UCCI and International College of the Cayman Islands.
She said she had made the decision in November but had been persuaded to stay on until the completion of the UCCI viability report.
Minister Rivers thanked Mr. Pierson and Ms. Ebanks for their work on the board.
“Some important work has begun under their leadership, and I wish them well in their future endeavors,” she said. The ministry said in a statement that it had not sought any resignations from board members, and the timing of the announcements, in the aftermath of the report, was coincidental.
Cabinet is expected to announce new appointments to the board within the next two weeks.