The University of the Virgin Islands has become aware of comments made by Dr. George Lord, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, during an interview at Western Kentucky University in April 2011. In response to a question about why he would be interested in leaving the Virgin Islands, it is reported that he said, "There are a lot of problems in a two and a half world country..."
Dean Lord has been informed by UVI President David Hall that the comment was inappropriate, and can easily be interpreted as an insult to the people of the Virgin Islands. Dean Lord has indicated that this was not his intention in using the term, and has submitted to President Hall a letter of apology and explanation. Dean Lord's letter is available here: Click to view.
Dean Lord's comments do not reflect the views of the UVI Board
of Trustees, President Hall, and the administration, and he has
been unequivocally made aware that despite the explanation he
provided, the comment is an unacceptable way to characterize the
President Hall indicated that, "As President of the University of the Virgin Islands, I believe that representatives of the University should not use labels, categories or words that intentionally or unintentionally demean the image and value of the Virgin Islands. Dean Lord's statement distracts from the powerful contributions of the Virgin Islands to the development of the United States and the world. In a University setting we value and respect the free exchange of ideas and perspectives, however that freedom comes with a responsibility to be sensitive to how those words may be demeaning to others.
"The Virgin Islands are not second or third to any people or place in the world. We have our challenges, but we will devote all of our intellectual, social and spiritual energy to address those challenges and transform them into powerful opportunities for the future. Those of us privileged to work at the University of the Virgin Islands are committed to the development of the students we serve, and to the continued progress of the Virgin Islands."