UNIVERSITY College of the Caribbean (UCC) President Dr Winston Adams is a testament to the value of continuing education.
Adams — who is also founder and executive chairman of UCC — has successfully completed his doctorate in business administration, specialising in strategic leadership and disruptive innovation at the University of Phoenix Arizona in the United States.
He had taken a partial sabbatical to focus on his three-year programme of study, including overseas residencies, which he began in March 2009.
"We do have an extraordinary potential to improve and transform ourselves. Indeed, we alone can open the door to further change within ourselves in order to realise our greatest potentials," noted Adams, who is also founder of the UCC Foundation, UCC Online Inc, Caribbean Knowledge City Limited and Global Knowledge Process Solutions Inc.
He added that his recent studies have, no doubt, significantly strengthened his ability to better integrate theory and practice in order to become a better leader.
"I now have a greater passion about using my doctorate to build professional and business relations, assist others in charitable efforts and in solving complex day-to-day organisational challenges through greater leadership capacities and enhanced strategic decision making," Adams said.
In 1987, he was awarded the prestigious USAID Scholarship to study chemical engineering at Howard University in the US. On his return to Jamaica, he worked with the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, Petrojam, as a chemical (process) engineer and lectured as an adjunct staff member at the University of Technology.
Then in 1992, he demonstrated further enterprising and organisational skills as he boldly pioneered the establishment of the Institute of Management Sciences, which, in only a decade, emerged as one of the more successful private higher-educational institutions in Jamaica, having also achieved international recognition and validation by the American Council on Education.
Adams, seeing the importance of a highly trained and qualified workforce in the Caribbean's development efforts, took the decision to address this need on a regional scale. He therefore sought to enhance quality tertiary educational opportunities for more Caribbean nationals by establishing regional centres throughout Jamaica and in five eastern Caribbean islands.
"Through his leadership, the UCC has successfully established major alliances with several reputable overseas institutions, such as the Florida International University, Penn State University, University of Florida, University of London, and the Commonwealth of Learning in Canada, designed to strengthen and accelerate the process of human resource development and training in Jamaica," said a release from the institution.
He created history in 2002 with the successful acquisition of the 27-year-old Institute of Management and Production, creating the largest privately held higher-education consortium in Jamaica, with a combined annual student population of some 4,500.
In 2004, he was nominated and honoured as a Jamaica Observer Business Leader for his vision and creativity in establishing "Jamaica's foremost private higher-educational institution."
He is the first and only Business Leader to have been nominated in the Higher Education sector.
Adams, who was also recently commissioned as a justice of the peace, is expecting to publish his first peer-reviewed book in January 2013, entitled: Disruptive Innovation — An Undisputed Catalyst for Organisational Transformation. It is expected that this text will also be adapted as a reference reader for most undergraduate and graduate programmes offered by UCC.
Adams, who holds an executive master of business administration degree from Florida International University, is a vice-president of the Kiwanis Club of North St Andrew, vice-president of the Jamaica Association of Private Tertiary Institutions and has served as a member of the University Council of Jamaica Board of Directors and the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica's education committee.