SUNY and the University of the West Indies Expand Partnerships and Joint Projects

June 24, 2013

Albany — The State University of New York today announced an expanded partnership with the University of the West Indies (UWI) to further collaborative research and instruction by teams of faculty members from both institutions. UWI is the world's first multi-national university, with 16 member countries.

Broad collaboration in both research and academic programs is seen by both systems as a pre-requisite for deep and sustainable relationships. In support of this new system-to-system partnership between SUNY and UWI, both institutions have allocated seed funds to specific projects for this purpose.

“Profound engagement with the international academic community is vital to New York's competitiveness in today’s global economy,” said SUNY Board Chairman H. Carl McCall. “With New York's diverse population and historic and ongoing ties to the Caribbean, this partnership is a natural fit for SUNY and we look forward to working with UWI.”

UWI Vice Chancellor Nigel Harris said, “This partnership between our two university systems will greatly facilitate collaboration on many levels and disciplines including the very important sphere of research. It thus provides an exciting opportunity for harnessing the diverse talents and expertise across both systems to exchange ideas and devise solutions to challenges faced by the societies we serve.”

“International partnerships enable university systems around the world to work together to study and solve global issues while providing exciting opportunities for students and faculty,” said SUNY Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher. “With the UWI partnership and the wide array of global programs coordinated by our Office of Global Affairs, SUNY continues to provide a model for fostering relationships that enhance public higher education here and across the globe.”

SUNY and UWI began working together in fall 2012, signing a formal Memorandum of Understanding in January 2013. The partnership currently involves 10 SUNY campuses.

Coordinated by SUNY’s Office of Global Affairs and UWI Central’s Office for Regional and International Affairs, the top proposals for seed funds as part of this partnership were selected based upon the feasibility of the proposed project in terms of expertise in the research or instructional faculty involved and potential project sponsors.

The joint projects selected to receive seed funds are:

  • “Enhancing Citizen Security in the Caribbean,” SUNY Geneseo, University at Buffalo, UWI-Mona, UWI-St. Augustine and UWI-Cave Hill (Lisa Meyer and William Lofquist, SUNY Geneseo, Project Leads)
  • “Improving Cardiovascular Health in Native and Migrant Caribbean Populations,” SUNY Downstate, University at Buffalo, UWI-Mona, UWI-Barbados and UWI Open Campus (Marshall Tulloch-Reid, UWI Mona, Project Lead)
  • “SUNY/UWI Health-Related Research and Educational Collaborations in Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry,” SUNY Geneseo and UWI-Mona (Ruel McKnight, SUNY Geneseo, Project Lead)
  • “Environmental Sciences and Climate Change,” UAlbany, UWI-Mona and UWI-Cave Hill (Michael Taylor, UWI-Mona, Project Lead)
  • “Understanding the Effects of Land Practices and Pollution on the Health of Coral Reefs of the Caribbean,” SUNY ESF, UWI-Mona, UWI-Caribbean Coastal Data Center, UWI-Discovery Bay Marine Laboratory (Mark Teece, SUNY ESF, Project Lead)
  • “The Development of a New Course: Marine Invasive Alien Species in Tropical and Temperate Climates,” Stony Brook University, UWI-Mona, UWI-St. Augustine (Dayne Buddo, UWI-Mona, Project Lead)

“SUNY and the University of the West Indies have a unique opportunity to develop a broad relationship that will advance our research and instruction in the areas of marine sciences, environmental sciences, health, education and other fields,” said Vice Chancellor for Global Affairs Mitch Leventhal. “The proposals selected from a strong pool of applications for seed funding exemplify our purpose in bringing together our campuses for the benefit of all. The sharing of resources and expertise in both directions will lead to new opportunities for our students, our faculty and our communities in New York and the Caribbean.”

David Rampersad, Executive Director of the Central Office for Regional and International Affairs of the University of the West Indies, said, “The partnership between the UWI and SUNY will facilitate not only knowledge creation and transfer in areas that are important to the countries and peoples that we serve but, by nurturing new relationships, will ensure that we build significant capacity among both academic staff and postgraduate students that will redound to the benefit of both institutions.”

About the State University of New York
The State University of New York is the largest comprehensive system of higher education in the United States, with 64 college and university campuses located within 30 miles of every home, school, and business in the state. As of Fall 2018, more than 424,000 students were enrolled in a degree program at a SUNY campus. In total, SUNY served 1.4 million students in credit-bearing courses and programs, continuing education, and community outreach programs in the 2017-18 academic year. SUNY oversees nearly a quarter of academic research in New York. Its students and faculty make significant contributions to research and discovery, contributing to a $1.6 billion research portfolio. There are 3 million SUNY alumni worldwide, and one in three New Yorkers with a college degree is a SUNY alum. To learn more about how SUNY creates opportunity, visit

Share this:


Holly Liapis
Email the Office of Communications