Robert Bermudez took office as the sixth chancellor of the University of the West Indies on Monday, succeeding Sir George Alleyne.
Mr. Bermudez, a native of Trinidad and Tobago, was appointed as the next leader of the UWI system at the University Council’s annual business meeting on April 27.
Mr. Bermudez was an entrepreneur over the last four decades, leading the growth of his family-owned firm to a regional business throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. He has also served as chairman or board director of several corporate bodies in Trinidad and Tobago and in the Caribbean at large.
“Our new chancellor has demonstrated through his many roles as a man conscious of his Caribbean identity and responsibility, and willingness to provide leadership to our people at home and beyond, in the entrepreneurial arena and elsewhere, that he is amply energized for the role of chancellor of our beloved UWI,” Vice Chancellor Sir Hilary Beckles said in a press release. “He comes to office on the eve of our 70th anniversary …. It will be an honor for us to have him presiding over these [anniversary] activities.”
The University of the West Indies, originally centered in Jamaica, was started in 1948 with 33 students and has evolved into a full-fledged regional institution with dedicated campuses in Jamaica, Barbados and Trinidad and Tobago, with more than 40,000 students. The fourth campus, an open campus, has centers in 16 Caribbean countries.
Sir George Alleyne had served for 23 years at UWI; 14 of those years as chancellor.