UWI Open Campus appoints new Deputy Director

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The University of the West Indies (The UWI) Open Campus has appointed Ryan Byer to the position of Deputy Director, Open Campus Country Sites (OCCS) with effect from Aug. 1. Byer will serve as Deputy Director for the period August 1, 2020 to July 31, 2021, in the first instance.

Byer joined The UWI Open Campus on November 16, 2009 in the role of Programme Officer at the Open Campus Barbados. He is a Barbadian citizen who graduated from The UWI Cave Hill Campus in 1992 with a BSc Degree in Public Administration (Upper Second Class Honours) and an MSc Degree in Development Studies (Economic Policy) from The UWI Mona Campus in 1996.  He has undergone specialized training in Productivity Management, Organizational Diagnosis and Development, Strategic Planning, Project Management, Process Management, Management Development and Leadership Development.

In the role of Programme Officer, he worked assiduously to achieve a number of goals such as the successful negotiation, design and implementation of a one-year face-to-face NGO Management Certificate Programme in 2011. This NGO Management Programme was a collaborative undertaking with the European Union (EU) Delegation to Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, the Non-State Actors Panel of Barbados and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development in Barbados. During this period, he also pioneered the Site’s efforts in developing and delivering bespoke training courses in Strategic Planning, Project Management, Supervisory Management, Teambuilding, Finance for Non-Finance Managers and Customer Service for various public and private sector organizations in Barbados.

In 2018, Byer was appointed to the post of Head of Site, Barbados. He also led the Unemployment Retraining Programme, which was funded by the Government of Barbados and provided training for displaced workers. In addition, he led the implementation of the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) funded “Strengthening Human and Social Development in Barbados” Project. The project’s objectives were to increase employability and employment opportunities through technical training among individuals in selected households, the unemployed, retrenched workers and vulnerable youth between the ages of 16 and 30 years. The project involved the delivery of Workforce training, and the Continuing and Professional Education (CPE) and 12-month face-to-face programmes respectively.

Before joining The UWI Open Campus in a full-time capacity, Byer served as a Tutor in courses such as Political Philosophy, Topics in Economic Development; and Course Coordinator in the course Business Strategy & Policy with The UWI Distance Education Centre (UWIDEC), and the Cave Hill Campus between 1997 and 2003. He also served as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Department of Management Studies, Cave Hill Campus, in the courses Government, Business and Society and Management in Government.

Byer has served in various capacities on a number of committees within the Open Campus. These included serving as Deputy Chair of the Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Transition/Change Management Team. This team was responsible for assessing and determining Site needs to facilitate the smooth transition to the ERP Banner System. He has served on numerous Human Resource Recruitment and Selection Advisory Committees.  He currently serves on the Open Campus Leadership Team – Emergency Management Team (OCLT-EMT) and is the Co-Chair of the Transformation and Sustainability Task Force. This Task Force has the objective to recommend, formulate and oversee the implementation of key strategies and initiatives aimed at improving organisational productivity, cost containment, process improvement and revenue growth of The UWI Open Campus in a post-COVID-19 environment.

Byer emphatically states that much of his success has been built on effective leadership, planning, team engagement, and effective working relationships with various departments across the Open Campus and its external stakeholders.

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