Dr Karl Dawson has been appointed the second President of the Anguilla Community College (ACC), the institution’s Board of Governors said in a media release sent to BVI News Online.
Dr Dawson, who is a native of the British Virgin Islands, has served the higher education sector for 25 years. Twenty-four of those years were spent at the H Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) – including seven consecutive years as president.
His stint as president at HLSCC ended after the college Board voted him out in 2016. The Board has not given a reason publicly for its decision, which came shortly after Dr Dawson contested the 2015 general election against the sitting National Democratic Party government.
ACC, in the meantime, stated that Dr Dawson was selected as its new president after a ‘lengthy search process’.
It added that, as per the College Act, the Board’s recommendation has met the approval of the Minister of Education Cora Richardson-Hodge.
Dr Dawson is expected to assume office on August 28, 2017. The official signing of his contract with ACC took place at the college on August 9.
The relatively short contract-signing ceremony, which was chaired by Acting President of the college Dr LeRoy Hill, was attended by Dr Dawson and his wife. Others in attendance included members of the Board of Governors of the ACC, and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Dr Bonnie Richardson Lake.
Chairman of the Board at ACC, Rodney Rey, welcomed Dr Dawson and identified some of the challenges facing the college for which Dr Dawson’s leadership and experience would be useful.
“These [challenges] include improved fiscal viability, the transition of the Sixth Form from the Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive High School to ACC, raising the profile of the college, and instilling an appreciation of lifelong learning in the Anguillian community,” the college further said.
Dr Dawson, in the meantime, stated that he counted it an honour and privilege to have been selected as the second president of ACC.
He expressed a commitment to sharing his expertise, considering what he said are the similarities between HLSCC and ACC, as well as the comparable aspects between Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands.
Dr Dawson further indicated that he is looking forward to working with the ACC Board, faculty and staff, students, government, and the entire community to continue to build the college.
Dr Dawson said he believes higher education is at a challenging point – not only in Anguilla, but worldwide.
Notwithstanding, he noted that institutions such as the ACC must exert every effort to adequately serve the needs of the Anguillan community.
Dr Dawson has earned degrees from the University of the West Indies in hotel management, Wright State University (USA) in education, and a doctoral degree from University of Florida in higher education administration. His doctoral dissertation was entitled Organizational Learning in a Community College.
According to ACC, Dr Dawson was engaged in many aspects of growth at HLSCC. They included curriculum expansion, growth in student enrollment, expansion of services to students, establishment of organizational systems, and development of community relations.
“At HLSCC he served as vice president, dean, head of academic department and faculty member, in addition to his final role. While serving as President, the college was accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education in the USA – a process – he indicated – that was challenging for the entire organization, but also very rewarding,” added the ACC.
It further stated that Dr Dawson is active in the higher education sector in the region and beyond. “He is the current president of the Association of Caribbean Tertiary Institutions headquartered in Barbados. In that role, he serves on various committees related to higher education for CARICOM and other regional efforts. Dr Dawson also serves as an evaluator in the institutional accreditation process for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the USA.”
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