Thu | Apr 2, 2020

Wheatley name stays - CMU will keep former minister's name on Digital Innovation Centre

Published:Thursday | September 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
The Dr Andrew Wheatley Centre for Digital Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing at the Caribbean Maritime University.

President of the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) Professor Fritz Pinnock said that at no time did the university consider changing the name of its Digital Innovation and Advanced Manufacturing Centre, which bears the name of Dr Andrew Wheatley, the former science, technology, energy and mining minister.

Controversy involving agencies under Wheatley's portfolio, including the Petrojam scandal, resulted in him being stripped of the energy portfolio in early July. He was later forced to resign.




When asked if he considered disassociating Wheatley from the institution since the fallout, Pinnock categorically stated no.

"Most definitely not. We will not change or remove Dr Wheatley's name from the centre. When you serve, you serve. Your legacy is what you leave behind, and I can say that Dr Andrew Wheatley did a lot of positives here," Pinnock said.

He said that such a decision, even if it was asked, would never get his support because he witnessed first-hand Wheatley's dedication to CMU.

"When I met this man, he had the heart of a champion. He has worked with me, and the heart I see in him is someone who has the mentality for delivering our youths, him being from an inner-city background, as are many of our students," said the CMU president.

"This cannot and will not be about the politics. We honoured him, and we also honoured Phillip Paulwell and Dr Omar Davies and Prime Minister Andrew Holness, among others, for their contribution towards us achieving this milestone."

Pinnock told The Gleaner that whatever it is that Wheatley was said to have done or allowed to happen under his watch as the energy minister had no bearing on his contribution to the development of the just-opened Festo Authorised and Certified Training (F.A.C.T.) Centre.

"I don't know what he did elsewhere, but I can tell you what I know of this man here. It's called good. When you do well, it's left behind you. The good is not wasted. It's carried forward, and Dr Wheatley's image here is very positive. His legacy is secured in relation to the CMU and what he did for us through the Universal Service Fund, our partner across administrations," stated Pinnock.