This is a multi-series feature of the University College of the Cayman Islands and more will be forthcoming.
(CMR) Stacy McAfee, University College of the Cayman Islands President and CEO left the Cayman Islands on Monday morning on Cayman Airways KX112 with her husband as they headed to California, USA. The president tendered her resignation less than two weeks ago and immediately cleared out her office and booked her flight.
The surprise move comes three weeks before the end of her contract of employment; which expires on December 31, 2021. CMR understands that she took her accrued vacation time and essentially left with no notice.
Several areas of concern have been highlighted during McAfee's three-year tenure including what sources say is a significant increase in UCCI's salary costs. This, among other concerns, has promoted the new Board of Governors to request funding for an HR audit. This funding became a point of recent contention after it was revealed that Cabinet moved funds from one account to another for the Board of Governors to use for this purpose and salary payments.
The salaries of the president, VP of provost, VP business and finance, director of student life and director of admissions are costing UCCI half a million dollars out of its annual budget.
Four dean positions were created in November 2020 alone. There has been tremendous controversy surrounding both the increase in the HR budget as well as the hiring and selection process of many of the positions. Some have contended that there is a clear unspoken policy of marginalization and possible discrimination against the Cayman employees since McAfee has taken office.
The positions of department chairpersons/directors have been done away with and removed from the UCCI organizational chart. There were roughly 13 such posts. Speculation is that the funding for those positions was redirected to other administrative positions at UCCI. The president signs off on all hiring at the university.
Office of President
CMR has since received some interesting information regarding staff salary changed during the past two years. Under the Office of President McAfee she made $177,000 with the special assistant to the president making $70,000 and an administrative assistant earning $40,000.
Under the tenure of former President Roy Bodden, he earned $120,000 and had an executive assistant who earned between $40-50,000 per annum.
Admissions and Registration
The director of admissions and registration earns $100,000 per annum. Tamsin Deasey was hired in January 2021 on a work permit and replaced the former Cayman registrar who resigned in October 2020. The Caymanian was earning $60,000 and held a master's degree from Penn State University. The position was advertised at a higher salary after the resignation of the Caymanian.
The Caymanian manager of admissions currently earns $54,000 after resigning from the position of Executive Assistant to President where she was making $48,000. Dr. McAfee hired a work permit holder in September 2021 into that position and increased the salary to $70,00 and changed the title to Special Assistant.
The former Caymanian deputy registrar was earning an annual salary of $48,000. She resigned in April 2021 with a master's from New York University and is currently working on her Ph.D. After her resignation, the position was advertised at $61,000. An unknown person was hired into the position in August 2021 and has never reported to work. It is believed that person is a PR holder that requires authorization from WORC to change employers. CMR also understands that the person may be a deputy principal at one of the smaller government public schools.
Another PR holder was on a temporary contract and decided not to renew. Her last day was November 26.
Office of the Vice President and Provost
Caymanian status holder Dr. Livingston Smith was moved out of his role as VP Provost where he served since June 2018. The position was given to a PR holder, Dr. Mosely-Matchet. She's currently acting as Dr. McAfee's replacement as President and CEO. He was removed from the position two months shy of his 2 year anniversary in the post after a compliant and internal investigation was launched against him for bullying.
He hired a lawyer and successfully challenged the findings of the president by filing an appeal with the board who did their own investigations and found there were no grounds for his removal from the post.
The salary for that position was $100,000. when he was removed in May 2020 and was increased to $120,00 when Dr. Mosely-Matchet took over the post at that time. She was initially appointed an Interim VP but was not made permanent until later in the year pending approval from WORC for her change of work status.
Dr. Mosely-Matchet join the university in December 2009 as a lecturer and has also held the position of Interim Dean of Academic Affairs for 18 months which ended around December 2017.
The position of administrative and technical assistant to the VP Provost was recently advertised at $43,000, the former VP Provost was previously only given about half that budget of $24,000 to hire their own administrative assistant.
Director of Accreditation
The director of accreditation and institutional reporting is an older role that was previously held by an assistant professor Dr. Phyllis Brown. She had to complete the role while still carrying out her duties as a fulltime lecturer. She held the position for 1 year. It was then re-advertised as a standalone role earlier this year. A non-Caymanian was recruited into that position and hired over the summer. However, sources have shared with CMR that she claims she has been unable to obtain a flight into the Cayman Islands since there.
VP Business and Finance
This team has expanded from three positions to five positions under the leadership of Dr. McAfee. Under Roy Bodden the positions there were financial controller, (2) accounts officers. The newly added positions are VP business and finance at $120,000 filled by a non-Caymanian. Finance Manager $70,000 with a Caymanian in that role and HR and finance coordinator $48,000 also with a Caymanian in that post. The 2 accounts officer positions remain in tact.
The positions under this post have also increased from two positions previously to five. Newly added positions include director student life at $100,000 per annum. Oddly this position is filled by a Caymanian that does not meet the minimum qualifications required per the job description. The assistant director of student life remains vacant and the work based learning and career specialist is at $61,000. The other positions include work based learning assistant at $38,000 and (2) academic advisors.
Under the previous president the director of marketing position was held by a Caymanian with no support staff. Under Dr. McAfee several positions were created included the director of marketing $79,000 (married to Caymanian), marketing and communications manager (Freddy Diaz – now on trial for possessions and access child pornography), events coordinator (married to Caymanian), marketing assistant. Former Compass writer Mark Muckenfuss is rumored to be the marketing manager in terms of what he does but the website has him listed as the communications specialist. Regardless of what his position is it was never advertised. No one appears to know exactly when he started with the university but he came on board as a part-time lecturer shortly after Dr. McAfee started some three years ago.
As it relates to the IT Department the acting chief of staff and director of CRM makes $89,000. It is rumored he is now the new Chief Information Officer (CIO) and operating at higher salary.
There is also a CRM Specialist $48,000 (none Caymanian). The help desk supervisor (Caymanian) was acting as IT Manager for 2 years, interviewed for the job but was never offered it as a result of having to fight UCCI for money owed while working in an acting capacity he has since resigned. After they resigned the IT Manager job was advertised at a higher salary $61,000.
Application specialist is filled by the only woman in the IT department. UCCI jobs were reviewed by the Portfolio of the Civil Service in 2019-2020 and the position needed to be re-reviewed since it should have been sent in as a senior applications specialist. They sent it with the minimum requirement of an associates degree but the post holder has a bachelors degree and was informed they would not be sending it back for re-review. Some have questioned if this is a situation of gender bias and possible discrimination.