UVI Trustees Elect Former Gov. John deJongh Jr. to Board, OK UVI Med School Strategic Plan

Former Gov. John deJongh Jr. was elected Saturday to the UVI Board of Trustees. (Source file photo)

Former Gov. John deJongh Jr. was elected to a five-year term on the University of the Virgin Islands’ Board of Trustees beginning Tuesday.

DeJongh was governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands from 2007 to 2015. He will fill one of the vacant positions on the board that were held by Alexander Moorhead and Yvonne E.L. Thraen. The UVI Board of Trustees elected him Saturday at their quarterly meeting.

The board described deJongh as a prominent businessman and currently, the managing member of Chilmark Advisory, LLC – an advisory firm focused on the Caribbean market.

“The Governance Committee believes he will make an excellent addition to the Board of Trustees,” said board chairman Henry Smock.

The board also discussed strategic planning for the creation of a medical school.

Of the 106 Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the United States, only four have medical schools. The UVI School of Medicine would be the first established at an HBCU since 1975.

Among the key goals outlined in the plan is to develop innovations that would help medical students become lifelong learners, educators, team players and solution finders; to achieve financial sustainability and growth to develop and support the UVI School of Medicine, and to improve healthcare for the people of the Virgin Islands and the wider Caribbean.

The board unanimously approved the draft strategic plan, including the mission and vision statement, for UVI’s School of Medicine project.

“At this point, we are asking for two things, the approval of the mission, vision statement and draft strategic plan. We are also asking because the last time the board approved an extensive set of documents that were placed on the website. We are asking for official permission to remove them. Our concerns are if the members of the Liaison Committee for Medical Education see the rules and policies it will create some confusion,” UVI President David Hall said.

UVI plans to submit these required documents as part of its application for preliminary accreditation to the Liaison Committee for Medical Education in late November or early December.

After hearing a presentation from the development committee, the board also voted unanimously to set the fiscal year 2022 fundraising goal at $4 million, the alumni giving rate at 20 percent and a goal of 90 percent for the Board of Trustees giving. This is an increase from the fiscal year 2021 goal of $3 million.

“I want to applaud Vice President for Institutional Advancement Mitchell Neaves and his entire team for exceeding the fundraising goal for this year. At last count, it was at $3.4 million. Whenever we are able to achieve and exceed a challenging goal, in this period where finances are very tight for individuals, I feel it is worth highlighting and I wish to thank everyone who made that occur,” Hall said.

Current members of the Board of Trustees are Henry C. Smock, Oran C. Roebuck, David Hall, Racquel Berry Benjamin, Kyza A. Callwood, Glenn A. Metts, Erica Johnson Creamer, Nisha Clavier, Lois Hassel-Habtes, John A. Quelch, and Reginald Vigilant.