January 22, 2016

Adventist University President Resigns in Trinidad

The University of the Southern Caribbean, a Seventh-day Adventist Church-owned institution based in Trinidad and Tobago, has begun a search for a new president.

Clinton Valley, who became the university’s 26th president in 2012, has resigned to “pursue other professional interests,” the university said in a statement.

Sylvan A. Lashley, who served as president of the university from 1990 to 1996 when it was known as Caribbean Union College, will take over as interim president.

Interim president Sylvan A. Lashley (USC)

The University of the Southern Caribbean praised Valley for developing the campus’ infrastructure and spiritual life.

“During his tenure, Dr. Valley made a sterling contribution to the development of the institution, including infrastructural projects such as the completion of the new dorm, recruitment and alignment of personnel for greater effectiveness, new program development and an enhanced spiritual ethos,” it said. “Additionally, a second residence hall, an early childhood center, and a new auditorium are currently under construction.”

The university, founded in 1927, joins several other Adventist institutions of higher education in seeing major changes at the top. 

Andrews University, the church’s leading university in Berrien Springs, Michigan, is conducting a search for a new president after Niels-Erik Andreasen announced plans last August to retire after a record 22 years as president. Southern Adventist University is also looking for a new president after Gordon Bietz announced in April that he would retire in May 2016 after nearly two decades at the helm of the school in Collegedale, Tennessee.

Kenneth L. Shaw is in his second academic year as president of Keene, Texas-based Southwestern Adventist University, as is Vinita Sauder, president of Lincoln, Nebraska-based Union College.

The University of the Southern Caribbean’s acting president, Lashley, most recently served as the university’s business school dean. Lashley, who attended Caribbean Union College high school, holds graduate degrees in history and higher education leadership, and has two law degrees.

He “brings a breadth of experience to the university,” the university statement said.

The University of the Southern Caribbean has 3,200 students spread over its main campus in Maracas, St. Joseph, and its extension campuses in San Fernando, Tobago, Barbados, St. Lucia, Guyana, and Antigua. The university offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 35 disciplines and has students from more than 40 countries and is accredited by the Accreditation Council of Trinidad and Tobago and the Adventist Accreditation Association.