Leader of the Opposition Marlon Penn has commended Education Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley for displaying maturity in his decision to reappoint Professor Arthur Richardson as the Chairman of the Higher Education Licensing Board.
Professor Richardson was previously appointed as Chair to the Board under NDP Administration in 2017.
Penn’s comments came during Thursday’s sitting House of Assembly when Dr Wheatley moved a motion to reappoint Professor Richardson as chairman.
“I commend the minister for his maturity, for ensuring that he allows Dr Richardson to continue the work that he and his team started on the board and I look forward to us fulfilling our mandate to ensuring that we have established medical schools in broadening and deepening the opportunities for Virgin Islanders within this territory,” Penn stated.
Penn added: “Dr Richardson has my full support … When you have good people don’t matter where you met them [or] how they got there. If they’re good people, you leave good people to do good work and Dr Richardson is one such person.”
A mature government
In concluding the debate on the motion, Dr Wheatley said his government is all about hiring the best persons for any role in the territory regardless of their political affiliation.
He said: “Once you can do the work this government under the leadership of Honourable Andrew Fahie has work for you, and I don’t know if I’ve seen a government as mature as this one led by Honourable Andrew Fahie in making use of talents across the board regardless of our relationships politically, etcetera.”
“It’s beyond us. It is about the people of the territory and Dr Richardson has done good work and we commend him for that and he will certainly continue,” the minister added.
He brings a wealth of experience
Dr Wheatley also pointed to the wealth of experience that Professor Richardson brings to the Board as the chairman.
“He’s a member of the HLSCC Board of Governors, he’s someone who has a great deal of experience in higher education servicing in the Education Department at the University of the West Indies for many years,” Dr Wheatley stated.
“I know him as well as a fellow member of the Lions Club, he’s been highly commended for his work on the Education Licensing Board and we wish that he continues within that role to help usher in some of these institutions that we have showing interest in the Virgin Islands,” Dr Wheatley explained.
The Board also includes Deputy Chairman Dr Carl Dawson, Accountant Andy Bickerton, entrepreneurs John Black and Mitsy Ellis-Simpson, and legal practitioner Nelson Samuel.