Vasciannie set to chair KC Board

By HG HELPS Editor-at-Large helpsh@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, September 02, 2010    

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ATTORNEY-at-law, Professor Stephen Vasciannie is slated to become the next chairman of the Board of Governors of Kingston College (KC).

Vasciannie, 50, who is principal of the Norman Manley Law School, will replace veteran lawyer Crafton Miller, who resigned recently, after serving as board chairman for over a decade.

Miller, who turned 80 last May, attended his last board meeting at the school on Monday.

Head of the Anglican Church in Jamaica, Archbishop Alfred Reid had written to Vasciannie requesting that he serve as chairman of the 13-member board and the former KC head boy accepted.

Minister of Education Andrew Holness is expected to ratify the decision within days, as the school's administration wants Vasciannie in place by early September, an Observer source said.

Among the most urgent issues for Vasciannie and the board will be to start the search for a new principal of the 85-year-old institution, following the departure of Herbert 'Herbie' Nelson on Tuesday.

Nelson, a former Jamaica College star footballer of the mid-1970s, had been in charge of the school since October 2009.

However, the Ministry of Education opted against extending his time as day-to-day head of the all-boys institution, which has 1,800 students spread across two campuses — North Street and Upper Elletson Road in Kingston.

Vice Principal Everton Burrell will act as principal.

Vasciannie, a Rhodes Scholar, served as deputy solicitor general up to late 2007 and was later at the centre of controversy arising from Prime Minister Bruce Golding's refusal to accept the choice of the Services Commission to appoint him as solicitor general.

Golding gave no reason publicly for not wanting Vasciannie as his top legal servant, but it is felt that their once friendly and warm relationship broke down following Golding's departure from the National Democratic Movement, a third party that the veteran politician formed in 1996.

Vasciannie was also a founding member of that movement.

Golding fired the members of that commission, appointed another group, which proceeded to install Douglas Leys as solicitor general.

It is likely that most KC old boys and members of related groups will welcome Vasciannie's appointment.

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