June 20, 2002 – Although University of the Virgin Islands President Orville Kean announced last year that he would retire in September of 2002, with his acquiescence his successor will take over the job on Aug. 1.
The UVI board of trustees decided at its meeting on Monday to have LaVerne Ragster's tenure as the university's fourth president begin at the earlier date so as to coincide with the start of the new academic year.
Kean, whose career at the university spans 31 years, agreed to the board's proposal as the trustees met in executive session following the last regular board meeting that Kean would attend as president, a UVI release stated.
In the executive session, board chair Auguste E. Rimpel Jr. said later, the board adopted a resolution thanking Kean for his contributions and leadership of the university for the last 12 years. "His accomplishments as president, his civic and community leadership are all a credit to him, his family, the university and the people of the Virgin Islands," Rimpel said.
Rimpel also pledged that the board will support Ragster and "provide whatever assistance she may require as she assumes her leadership role."
Ragster, currently UVI's senior vice president and provost, expressed appreciation for the support she has received from the trustees, who selected her to succeed Kean. She said she looks forward to working with the board to see that UVI achieves its potential "as a facilitator for the social and economic development of the territory."
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