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APPOINTMENTS

DR. CLAUDE PACKER,
APPOINTED FIRST PRESIDENT OF
THE MICO UNIVERSITY COLLEGE


The Board of Directors of the Mico University College recently appointed Dr. Claude Packer, the first President of The Mico University College.

Prior to this appointment, Dr. Packer was the Principal of The Mico University College. He served as Head of the Department of Economics at the University of the West Indies and adjunct faculty member of the Indira Gandhi National Open University, New Delhi, India, and Nova Southeastern in the United States of America. He is a graduate of The Mico University College, the University of the West Indies, B.A. (Hons) Mathematics, Central Connecticut State University, M.Sc. Mathematics Education and holds a Master's and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Mathematics from Cornell University. He also holds a postgraduate diploma in Systems Thinking from Harvard University.

Claude Packer's name is synonymous with Mathematics education in Jamaica. His contribution to the field spans several years and several generations. Many persons, young and not so young, owe their success in the area of mathematics to Dr. Packer's teaching and research. His love of mathematics and his commitment to the development of an understanding of mathematics in the wider society could almost be regarded as an obsession. His involvement in all sectors of the educational system demonstrates his desire to ‘de-mystify' Mathematics, from the Early Childhood level to the Post Graduate level.

He has also made a significant contribution in Jamaica to Educational Research, Project Management and College Administration for more than three decades. He has published several academic papers / books in Mathematics, and has made numerous presentations in his field, both locally and internationally. They include:

  • Pre-Calculus Mathematics, Departments of Economics and Teacher Education, University of the West Indies, 1994
  • Teachers' College Curriculum During the Next Decade: "The Case of Mathematics at the Secondary Level" – Mico International Journal 2003, Simon Fraser University, Canada.
  • Creating and Managing Change to Improve Quality in Teacher Education at The Mico College in Kingston, Jamaica, Harvard Graduate School of Education Conference of Educational Leaders, Harvard University, June 30, 2004.
  • Gave the Prestigious Glen Owen Memorial Lecture at The Mico University College, April 1, 2004. "From The Mico Institution to The Mico University College", (1835-2004).
  • Teaching Mathematics: Challenges for the New Millennium, Jamaica Teachers' Association / Caribbean Union of Teachers' Conference, Jamaica Grande Resort, Ocho Rios, Jamaica, March 2001.
  • The Effects of Hand Calculators on Students' Achievement in Mathematics at the College Level, World Conference on Mathematics Education, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, July 1997.

He is the recipient of the Ministry of Education EduVision's Top Award for Excellence, (2007) for being recognized as one of the Outstanding Mathematicians of the African Diaspora as well as his seminal role in bringing Distance and Open Learning to the fore in Jamaica as a viable option for lifelong learning.

Dr. Claude Packer is also the recipient of the Prime Minister's Medal of Appreciation for Service to Education, (2007).

He was awarded the Governor General's Achievement Award (2003) for ‘Outstanding contribution to the field of Education in Jamaica'.

He is also the recipient of the prestigious Institute of Jamaica Silver Musgrave Medal for ‘Outstanding Merit in the field of Science-Mathematics Education', (1997). He was awarded, The Mico College Prestigious Gold Medal for ‘Outstanding Service to Education', (2007), and fittingly, was honoured in 2000 by The Mico University College as one of its distinguished graduates of the 20th Century.

He is currently Chairman of Board of Governors of the Mico Practising and Junior High School and a member of the Board of Wolmer's Trust. He is also the Chairman of the Academic Committee of the Jamaica Committee of Tertiary Educators (JCTE), and a member of the Board of the University Council of Jamaica.

Dr. Claude Packer was an Assistant Chief Examiner for the Caribbean Examinations' Council (CXC) for the CAPE Mathematics and is currently a member of the CXC National Committee.

His contribution to Mico is significant:

SPECIAL INITIATIVES UNDER HIS STEWARDSHIP THAT LED TO SYSTEMATIC CHANGE AT THE MICO

  • Conceived of the Vision for The Mico to become The Mico University College.
  • Initiated collaboration with York University School of Education for Mico staff to pursue research for Master's and doctoral theses (2000-2003).
  • Initiated collaboration with York University for some of its faculty members to be in residence at Mico teaching Computer Education for a semester (2003-'04), funding was provided by CIDA.
  • Created a model to attract more men to The Mico to be trained as teachers.
  • Initiated and participated in programmes to enhance Human Resource Development at The Mico College since 1999:
    • Collaborated with Nova Southeastern University, Central Connecticut State University and the Indira Gandhi National Open University in the offering of Master's and Doctoral programmes to Staff and Jamaican Educators. Consequently, ninety percent (90%) of the staff has master's or doctoral degrees; thirty percent (30%) in Instructional Technology and Distance Education.
  • Initiated a Project with the National Housing Trust that led to the erection of additional Hostels for Ladies at The Mico at a cost of Fifty-four Million Dollars ($54M).

His other academic and public service activities are too numerous to mention. He is married, and is the father of a son and two daughters. He is an elder at the Shortwood United Church and is a Justice of the Peace for the Parish of Kingston.