NORTHERN Caribbean University (NCU) yesterday named Dr Trevor Gardner, a former vice-president of academic administration at the institution, its new president.
Gardner, the current president of the University of the Southern Caribbean (USC) in Trinidad, replaces Dr Herbert Thompson under whose leadership he served from 1999 to 2003.
Both NCU and USC are owned by the Seventh-day Adventist church.
The appointment, which was made by the Board of Governors on Sunday at the Mandeville headquarters of the Jamaica Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, and which was announced to staff yesterday, takes immediate effect. However, Gardner will not fully assume the role until January next year when interim president Daniel Fider hands over the reins.
Gardner holds a PhD in educational administration and has more than 40 years experience in academia, having served as lecturer, principal and administrator in several secondary and tertiary institutions in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean.
He was appointed president of the USC in 2004 and spearheaded its transition from Caribbean Union College to university status in 2006. During the period of his leadership, the USC has seen a more than threefold growth in its enrolment from 1,200 students to approximately 4,000, a statement from the Jamaica Union said yesterday.
"It is an honour to be considered in the line of the heritage of the great leaders who have led this University inclusive of the last president," said Gardner of his appointment.
"Among the things I bring to the institutional life is a vision of how technology will continue to advance the institution, and through that advancement, allows the nation and the nations of the Caribbean to be participants in the global agenda for spiritual, economic and intellectual development to ensure that we reduce the attrition of intellectuals from the Caribbean," he added.
Past chairman of the USC board Dr Eugene Daniel, hailed him as a visionary and said he would be missed.
"He is also a diligent and committed professional who has not only grown the University by way of enrolment, but also with new academic offerings and accreditation, and infrastructural development. He will be sadly missed by the USC family," said Daniel.
Chairman of the Board of Governors and President of the Adventist Church in Jamaica NCU board chairman Pastor Everett Brown welcomed Gardner, saying: "We are getting a leader who is not only committed to excellence, but one who understands the role that NCU must play in the development of the Church and the wider Caribbean. I believe his leadership will take NCU to the next higher level in achieving its mission."
Gardner is married to Dr Patricia Gardner, a medical doctor, the current director of University Health Services at USC. They have four adult children — Trevor II, Keith and Kevann, and daughter Jayna. He is the author of three books and several manuals and manuscripts. He enjoys playing football and lawn tennis in his downtime.