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Regional Headquarters, Kingston, Jamaica, April 20, 2019—The following statement is issued by Sir George Alleyne, Chancellor Emeritus of The University of the West Indies on the passing of Sir Alister McIntyre, who served as UWI Vice-Chancellor during the period 1988-1998.

Grieve we must and grieve we shall. We grieve for ourselves because we have lost the light which Alister McIntyre shone upon the things many of us hold dear.

There are those who will speak eloquently about his skill as an economist and his efforts to have economic analysis inform Caribbean policy. But for our academy his death triggers memories of the good he wrought among and for us.

His legacy to our University of the West Indies is enduring and the many changes he introduced to improve its governance and management are withstanding the test of time.

His image is graven upon the institution in physical and intellectual form. But there is no gift more critical for us and for generations to come than his skill in Grand Anse in 1989 in ensuring that the University would remain a regional institution in perpetuity.

His was an incurable optimist, for while he would sometimes bemoan the fact that many of the good ideas for a vibrant, puissant West Indies would be washed up on the beach of parochialism, he never lost the faith. And that was in part because his heart told him that the growth of tertiary education led by The UWI was a simple heuristic of progress towards the West Indies of his dream.

I trust the acute pain of the presence of his absence will fade for his family and all those who knew him and especially those of us who called him friend. I trust that that pain will be replaced by the glow of gratitude for what he meant and what he did when he laboured among us.


About Sir George Alleyne

Sir George Alleyne served as Chancellor of The UWI from 2003 to 2010 and then 2010 to 2017. His years of distinguished service in the office have left an indelible mark in the history of The UWI. In addition to his service as Chancellor, he spent a total of 23 years working at the regional University. He was given the honorary title of Professor Emeritus after leaving The UWI in 1981 to assume the position of Chief of the Unit of Research, Promotion and Coordination in the Division of Human Resources and Research at PAHO/WHO and ascended to the position of Director of PAHO in 1995. Also a son of UWI soil, he is a proud alumnus, having graduated in 1957 as the gold medallist with the degree of Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MBBS), from the then University College of the West Indies.

About The UWI

For the past 70 years The University of the West Indies (The UWI) has provided service and leadership to the Caribbean region and wider world. The UWI has evolved from a university college of London in Jamaica with 33 medical students in 1948 to an internationally respected, regional university with near 50,000 students and four campuses: Mona in Jamaica, St. Augustine in Trinidad and Tobago, Cave Hill in Barbados, and an Open Campus. As part of its robust globalization agenda, The UWI has established partnering centres with universities in North America, Asia, and Africa such as the State University of New York (SUNY)-UWI Center for Leadership and Sustainable Development, the UWI-China Institute of Information Technology, the University of Lagos (UNILAG)-UWI Institute of African and Diaspora Studies and the Institute for Global African Affairs with the University of Johannesburg (UJ). The UWI offers over 800 certificate, diploma, undergraduate and postgraduate degree options in Food & Agriculture, Engineering, Humanities & Education, Law, Medical Sciences, Science & Technology, Social Sciences and Sport. 

As the region’s premier research academy, The UWI’s foremost objective is driving the growth and development of the regional economy. Times Higher Education has ranked The UWI among the top 1,258 universities in world for 2019, and the 40 best universities in its Latin America Rankings for 2018, and was the only Caribbean-based university to make the prestigious lists.  For more, visit

(Please note that the proper name of the university is The University of the West Indies, inclusive of the “The”, hence The UWI.)