Professor Ibrahim Ajagunna to act as CMU president

The Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) has appointed Professor Ibrahim Ajagunna as acting president for a period of six weeks effective Tuesday, July 9.

Ajagunna has served as deputy to embattled President Dr Fritz Pinnock, who took a voluntary six-week leave of absence from the Palisadoes-based institution last Friday.

Pinnock’s self-imposed leave of absence came as calls mounted for him to either step aside or be fired, as the criminal investigation into former Education Minister Ruel Reid and several agencies under his supervision, including the CMU, intensify. Also under investigation is the National Education Trust (NET), which also came under Reid’s supervision.

The CMU said the new acting president will be in the post for six weeks, the same time given by Pinnock, by which he believes the investigations will be concluded.

“The university’s brand remains strong on campus and beyond and I am committed to providing leadership to this remarkable institution,” said Ajagunna in the statement issued on his behalf by the CMU on Tuesday.

The same statement also announced that vice-president of innovation and technology at the CMU, Professor Noel Brown, will act as deputy president.

To emphasise that the corruption scandal engulfing Reid, and which forced its president to take a leave of absence, has not damaged the CMU, Ajagunna said the university, over the past five years, increased its enrollment by five per cent each year.

This, he said speaks to the CMU’s position as the maritime university of choice for Jamaica and the Caribbean.

Ajagunna has worked at the CMU since 2006.

He is a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, a  recipient of the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for contribution to education, and CMU’s vice-president of academic and student affairs.