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The Editor Speaks: Interesting but unlikely

We have two colleges here in the Cayman Islands – the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI) and the International College of the Cayman Islands (ICCI).

It is obvious to everyone the two colleges must work together.

“Collaboration between ICCI, UCCI and government will be key to any future successful model for higher education, including what an ideal governance structure and board composition would look like in order to achieve goals like U.S. regional accreditation,” said ICCI board chairman Mike Mannisto.

Tom Simpson, a member of the UCCI Board of Governors, said ICCI had found the idea of merging the two campuses under a federation agreement, “interesting”.

However, not too interesting because the proposal has been turned down.

How such a federation agreement would work is unclear to me but is probably how federal states work. A federation is a form of government in which sovereign power is formally divided between a central authority and a number of constituent regions so that each region retains some degree of control over its internal affairs.

Who would be the central authority? Probably, the Cayman Islands government and that is the rub.

ICCI want a union model with a board made up 100% from the private sector.

The UCCI cannot proceed with the union proposal because the Cayman Island Government would have to approve it. If that approval is not forthcoming the UCCI would have to eliminate the University Law. That could not happen.

UCCI have been the only party talking to government and why that is the case is a mystery. When any agreement affects two parties and one of them is government controlled, then the private party surely must be privy to any discussions?

So there we have it.

Unless government remove themselves completely from running a university/college no merger will happen.

Why does government want to control a university/college, especially one that is losing so much money?

I cannot fathom that one out, either.

Both colleges want and must have U.S. regional accreditation.

In the meantime UCCI are proceeding with forming a foundation in honor of the late Dr. Bill Hrudey. They “only” need $4M.

What would ICCI think about being involved in that?

That, too might be interesting, but unlikely!


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