The Education Ministry has seconded Ms. Dorrett Campbell to the Edna Manley College of the Performing and Visual Arts as interim principal, effective today (December 1).
Ms. Campbell’s substantive job was as Deputy Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information.
Her appointment comes in the wake of the controversy surrounding the status principal, Dr. Nicholeen Degrasse-Johnson.
In a statement last evening (November 30), the Ministry noted that the college has faced a number of operational challenges over the past two years and that Ms. Campbell will provide strategic and administrative leadership to the institution.
It said Ms. Campbell will see to the full and proper functioning of the finance and administrative services, human resources operations and facilities planning and management.
In addition to leading the daily operations of the college, she will also work with the Board of Directors to provide policy support and operational guidance with the aim of making the college more responsive to the national objectives and the need to lead in the creative industries.
The Ministry said it fully supports the turn-around that is needed to restore confidence in the college, and as such is allowing it to seek strategic collaborations, expand its curriculum offerings and become the regional magnet for the production of creative works.
In 2019, reports emerged about allegations of sexual abuse involving a male lecturer.
Following an investigation and hearing, a committee recommended that the teacher’s position be terminated.
At the same time, there were claims that Principal Degrasse-Johnson did not handle the complaints of sexual abuse efficiently, resulting in calls for her to be sacked.
The Principal was sent on a leave of absence and subsequently suspended.
The situation also resulted in protest action by staff and students, who were reportedly upset with the school’s board and its handling of the matter.