Guyana Chronicle
June 17, 2003

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THE director of the Berbice campus of the University of Guyana, Professor Vic Thakur, has sued the University of Guyana citing discrimination. The writ filed by attorney-at-law, Mrs. Rawana-Scott, cites Dr. James Rose, Vice-Chancellor; Dr. David Chanderbali, Registrar; Dr. Marlyn Cox, Deputy Vice-Chancellor; and Personnel Officer, Patricia Harnanan.

This is the first time in its 37-year history that a senior staff has taken the university to court on the grounds of discrimination. The Berbice director in his affidavit states four acts of discrimination. Dr. Thakur said he was physically threatened by a senior staff from Turkeyen in his office; is being denied his transportation facilities while his subordinate staff is allowed same; his administration of the affairs of the Berbice campus is overridden to the point where he has no authority; and the dismissal of his wife was arbitrary. The Berbice director is also seeking an injunction restraining the office of the Vice-Chancellor from proceeding with the appointment of a new director until the case of discrimination is determined.

The university at Turkeyen advertised the position of the Berbice director and advised Professor Thakur that he could apply for the job if he wanted to, but the procedure was to open the position to other applicants. UG lecturer, Freddie Kissoon, told the Chronicle this is unusual and Dr. Thakur should take his case to the Ethnic Relations Commission. Kissoon said this is blatant discrimination since no other positions have been advertised. Kissoon said that in November the Registrarís contract was up, and it wasnít advertised. He also told the Chronicle that the Vice-Chancellorís contract is up, too, yet the position has not been publicized. He said there are many others like that.

It looks like Professor Thakurís contract would not be renewed since he came third on the short list of applicants. The list is headed by a Trinidadian female academic. She has since turned down the job because of the salary offered. Second on the list is UG historian, Tota Mangar, who has a Masters from UG and was made senior lecturer last year. Dr. Thakur is a professor from one of the leading American universities, has a long list of publications and possesses a PhD.

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