Professor Emeritus Selwyn Ryan: An icon transitions – UWI VC

Professor Selwyn Ryan (Photo via UWI)
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The following statement is issued by Professor Sir Hilary Beckles, Vice-Chancellor of The University of the West Indies, on the passing of Professor Emeritus Selwyn Ryan, renowned social scientist and former University Director of the Institute of Social and Economic Studies (SALISES) at The University of the West Indies. He was also the Director of the St. Augustine Branch of the Institute from 1986 to 2003. 

Professor Selwyn Ryan’s contribution to the rise of The University of the West Indies as an excellent, ethical and activist academy sets him apart as a stalwart of scholarship and an icon of the academe. Over a period of four decades, this phenomenally dedicated doyen charted new ground in political science and stood his ground for the relevance and legitimacy of his discipline and institution. In this regard, we recognise and celebrate his intellectual and scholastic contribution to The UWI as it continues on a journey of service to the Caribbean people. 

Selwyn was not only a solid and reliable political scientist that left no stone unturned in the search for facts and truths but a splendid articulator of his empirical discoveries. He was a brilliant research empiricist. Theorising was not his preference. His primary commitment was to enable society to clearly understand the issues at hand for purposes of shaping political policy and practice. We all looked to him for research discoveries to fuel discourses relevant to the nation-building project in Trinidad and Tobago. His evidence dominated the discursive space. He shaped our understanding of the politics of divisive democracy and centred the university’s voice with dignity and respect. 

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