No reasons were given, Minister for Education and Culture, Dr. the Hon. Natalio Wheatley announced on 22 October in response to a media question regarding the resignation of Acting President of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College (HLSCC) Judith Vanterpool with immediate effect on 18 October.
On Tuesday many reacted with surprise at the news that the Acting President suddenly resigned with immediate effect. In an interview on the matter the Minister during a ZBVI radio program disclosed that he was informed of the resignation during the weekend by Chairman of the Board of the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College John Samuel.
Hon. Wheatley said: “I was informed by the Board Chairman on Saturday (October 19) that she (Vanterpool) has decided not to continue.”
According to Hon. Wheatley the Acting President’ contract ended about two months ago and he said that efforts were made to offer Vanterpool another contract. Hence one of the reasons he said he was stunned to hear of the resignation.
“Her contract was up at the end of July 2019 and we were in the process of offering her a new contract. The Board had recommended her to continue. I approved a contract for her to continue but she has decided not to continue and so Dr. Richard Georges right now would be the interim Acting President until we appoint someone,” the Minister explained.
Additionally, Hon. Wheatley said that the reason for the Acting President’ resignation is unknown, and he stated that the College is in middle of great works of progress. “She did not state any reason in her letter as to why she was resigning. I am quite surprised that she resigned but we have capable persons at the College that can continue that vital work we were doing including the accreditation. We are supposed to be up for accreditation in 2020 so we will continue along those lines,” Hon. Wheatley stated.
Following the College’ confirmation of the resignation there were speculations and allegations the Acting President’s departure was a result of employment issues. However, Minister Wheatley announced that this speculation was unfounded.
In fact, Hon. Wheatley alluded that as the Minister with responsibility for the College he and the Acting President had a good work relationship: “I am surprised because I get along quite well with her. She never said anything to me about any problems that she was having, which would have led her to resign,” he said.
The Minister also rubbished claims that the Board might have been the reason for the abrupt resignation: “I know that the College Board is quite ambitious in terms of what they would like to achieve so I am not sure about what happened in terms of her relationship with the Board. I was quite surprised to see some allegations in a local media site about bullying; I can say that that doesn’t sound accurate to me at all. I think it’s actually irresponsible to be promoting allegations such as this,” Hon. Wheatley announced.
“The Chairman of the Board, along with the Deputy Chairman and the rest of the Board are reputable persons and I don’t think they would be involved in any bullying at all…I don’t know about any problems the only thing I can say about Mr. Chairman as a Chairman is that he demands that his work gets done. He brings a great deal of accountability and I think that he is doing a great job thus far and we will get some things accomplished at HLSCC. I am sorry that President Vanterpool wont be a part of some of those great things that we will be doing,” the Minister added.