Dominican appointed Dean of Ross University but Ross’s return still uncertain

Dr. McIntyre was Dean of the Ross Satellite Campus in St. Kitts prior to her new appointment

Dominican Pediatrician, Dr. Rhonda McIntyre, has been appointed Dean of Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM). This is undoubtedly good news for this medically accomplished daughter of the soil but it comes amidst growing uncertainty and concern about the return of RUSM to Dominica after its forced departure from the Hurricane Maria-ravaged island.

A source at Ross who spoke to DNO about this development, expressed concern that Dr. McIntyre’s appointment notwithstanding, staff had received no definite indication that the university will return to Dominica.

Prior to her elevation to that top position, Dr. McIntyre was the Dean of RUSM’s St. Kitts Satellite Campus, a product of Maria, which hit two weeks after the resumption of the university’s 2017 fall semester in Dominica. A few weeks later in October, more than 1300 members of the Ross campus community had to be evacuated to St. Kitts where the school resumed its medical sciences course of instruction on a cruise ship.

By January 15, 2018, Ross, acting on a statement which it had released shortly after the storm, temporarily relocated more than 1400 RUSM students, faculty and staff to Knoxville, Tennessee while, according to the release, “damage assessments and repairs continued on Dominica.”

Ross University students at a new location after Hurricane Maria

Prime Minister Skerrit had said in December 2017 that government hoped to get Ross back in May 2018 and that a committee had been appointed to study the Ross situation and to work with the school in its recommencement of classes

He said that government had extended a loan facility at the AID Bank to Dominican citizens who own properties in Picard, to rebuild and that about 80 percent of the homes for student accommodation that Ross University required, was available at the time.

But in March 2018, the University’s Dean and Chancellor William F. Owen Jr told colleagues in a release, that  although some progress had been made in restoring the Dominica campus, there was still a lot of work to be done.

At the time, Dean Owen stated that while Ross remained committed to restoring its Dominica campus, “we are closely monitoring Dominica’s recovery and other macro concerns that affect the ability to maintain an operational campus on the island.”

In June 2018, RUSM was still operating overseas but Parliamentary Representative for the Portsmouth Constituency, Ian Douglas, remained undaunted in his belief that the School would return to Dominica, hopefully, by “the January semester of 2019.”

Pointing to what he referred to as evidence on campus of  the “the construction of classrooms and buildings,” Douglas said he didn’t think that “the investors at Ross  would have commenced reconstruction of more climate resilient buildings if they had no intention of returning.”

He said there were things that government had to put in place and they were being worked on.

“Like the infrastructure, the roads, the road to and from Douglas Charles, the road to and from Picard to the hospital, the completion of the hospital and you know that the Chinese will be back on that in full gear, the security and the internet infrastructure around Picard for classrooms and classes for the students,” he explained.

RUSM’s operation in Tennessee and its Satellite Campus in St. Kitts are both temporary arrangements and unconfirmed reports have surfaced that Barbados and St. Lucia have been wooing Ross to move its operation to these countries with Barbados being cited as the probable choice.

Our source confirms that Ross staff have been told that the plan is to move the school’s operations to one location in January 2019 but as to what that location will be, “we have no idea at this point,” the source stated.

According to the source, while some repairs have been undertaken at the RUSM campus in Portsmouth, the current state of the campus does not represent the level of preparation that’s required for the school to resume its operation there. This has heightened anxiety among its Dominican staff as to what the School’s next move might be.

“If it’s not Dominica, wherever the university goes, that will be its permanent location,” the source stated.

It is left to be seen what implications, if any, the appointment of Dr. Rhonda McIntyre, a highly qualified and experienced Dominican, as the Dean of Ross University, may have regarding the institution’s decision to return its operation to the land of its birth.

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  1. Seeking answers
    July 20, 2018

    I wonder if Dr McIntyre:a appointment has anything to do with the welfare of Dominicans? Just asking

  2. Ross student
    July 20, 2018

    I am a current student at Ross and in fact, I know they wont be going back to Dominica any time soon. The PM has done nothing to ensure a new Ross’ investment and some students are displeased with some of the landlords. These students paid ahead for the whole semester in 2017 and still haven’t been refunded the extra money besides multiple promises. ………………. First, the landlords did not check on students after the storm, then they said they would refund the extra money multiple times but now they have stopped answering students’ emails and there is no communication with Ross staff. How can an institution go back to Dominica when they can’t trust their own landlords, most of them being unprofessional and irresponsible?

    July 20, 2018

    If in fact wherever Ross is in Jan. 2019, that will be the final location for the school. Then Dominica is the only option. Staying in the USA is not an option. Where are the available structures for housing a medical school the size of Ross and the availability of housing for 1400 new residents on either Saint Lucia or Barbados.?Just
    not available at this time and there is not time enough to build a whole new campus before Jan. 2019. Seem to me like Ross is either headed back to Dominica or it is about to cease to exist.

    • Anon
      July 21, 2018

      I don’t think anyone should underestimate the stubbornness or ego of politics, It’s entirely conceivable that if Ross isn’t able to leverage a deal it feels adequate, It will simply find ways to compromise until they are able to fulfill their arrangements off Dominica. Or it could cease to exist, because the shareholders have simply had enough.

  4. Iamanidiot
    July 20, 2018

    Her being Dominican doesn’t do anything for us. Any intelligent person know that Dominica is behind with respect to the other countries. Now I dont just say things and dont back it up, so here goes. Right now (20th July 2018) Jetblue has one way tickets from America to the Caribbean as low as $58. Lets say as a Ross student or a parent, that is nothing to pay to come to the Caribbean, but having Ross in Dominica means you still have to pay some change to get to Dominica from Barbados,St Lucia or wherever the plane land. Vs if the school is in Barbados and you pay $58 flat. (BTW someone needs to tell me why a flight to Barbados more expensive than one to the US)

    These are the kind of things that affect our economy and development and when you talk like that and ask questions people are like “You hate the Government”. But is only when Dominica has sunk we will see we cannot eat the sewo, handouts, bobols and fake promises. Pity no one seeing this nonsense but me.

  5. Danziger
    July 19, 2018

    Mi kan kan mi zor pa youbwai en Dominica.

  6. info wars
    July 19, 2018

    Dno,,in these times of fake news,,ur sources should have been someone at ross,,a ross oficial,,not employee or someone that feels he or she knows,,these investors dont tell anyone no employee what they thinking off,imform the people,thats a new company bought ross from devry about the hurricane time,,,hello dominica, ,

    • Truth
      July 20, 2018

      dno is right, I am a worker at ross for over twenty years , and have concrete information, you labourites too like to spin things, You forget your wellbeing ,just to protect polititians, what a thing, Dominicans, Believe it or not, Ross is gone, Gone ,Gone Gone, to a point of no return, This is no fake news, Main issue, no international airport, and disrespect from PM, And for correction, The PM was here when ross representatives came to have a meeting with him, ……………. Dominicans, I know , I am sure . I can tell you, Ross is gone, Say good by to Ross, We do not need an international airport?, Well we do not need ross either.

  7. mike maya
    July 19, 2018

    A few months ago Ross set up a meeting with the PM, the Ross team came in for the meeting but alas the PM was out of country for the schedule meeting so the Ross team had to turn around and head back.

    • Nacinimod
      July 20, 2018

      If this is true, it is tantamount to treason. But then again how can so much power be rested in the hands of one man? I thought the article mentioned that a committee was set up to work with RUSM—thus that purported meeting should have been with them rather than just one man.

      On the other hand RUSM’s strategy is a good one, i.e. to force this lethargic government to repair and improve the infrastructure to justify their considerable investment in Dominica. :twisted: :evil:

  8. Proud Dominican
    July 19, 2018

    Congratulations to Dr. Rhonda McIntyre. You are an exceptional human being, very clever and with great talent. Ross has done itself extremely well to have you on board. So very proud to see such great people that our “beautiful” Nature Isle produces. Bravo Zulu!!!!!

  9. It's my damn business
    July 19, 2018

    You all must be residing abroad and don’t understand what @ Dora is saying. I am quite sure that Dora is not implying that Skerrit’is paying her salary but, as is the case in Dominica today hundreds of home owners and apartment owners in the Portsmouth area have not been able to make a cent since Maria and toake matters worse, after Maria Skerrit told home owners to repair their buildings because Ross would be coming back in January 2018 and to date everything is still in limbo. That’s where Skerrit is coming in. It is his poor policies that have Ross in limbo and whereas Mrs. McIntyre is made Dean (good for her) home owners, restaurants and apartments in the Portsmouth area are still closed

    • waypapa
      July 20, 2018

      One has nothing to do with the other so you come off as an even bigger fool than Dora. Skerrit did not appoint Rhonda, so he telling the home owners Ross coming and Ross didn’t come makes no sense in relation to Rhonda and her job. NEXT!

      • Dora
        July 20, 2018

        Dora a fool? hmmm ..YOU UNGRATEFUL DOMINICANS

  10. Real truth
    July 19, 2018

    ROSS IS NOT COMING BACK! ……. Let’s move on people…………get out of debt asap………..

  11. Jane
    July 19, 2018

    Congrats Dr. Rhonda.

  12. Peeping Tom
    July 19, 2018

    DNO, if you are so genuinely concerned about the “growing uncertainty and concern” surrounding the Ross issue, why don’t you do what any responsible news outlet would do and contact an informed reliable and credible source in the Government or Ross instead of referring to an unnamed source whom few of your more intelligent readers would accept as a credible source? Geeez, man!

    ADMIN: 1.There are several reliable sources in the story including a quote from the outgoing dean, our unnamed source is a credible and reliable source.
    2.Official sources have been relatively silent on this issue when contacted.
    3. DNO (or any genuine news media for that matter) will not be a mouthpiece for any one group or organization, we will report on news that certain groups may not want reported.

    • May
      July 19, 2018

      Oh Peeping Tom. Why don’t you go work on making sure you still have your ps job in OPM and stop trying to play know it all! You not a doctor in journalism.

  13. hello
    July 19, 2018

    That’s the level of the supporters of UWP, Dora is just one of them, they listen to Q to much so their brain gone.

    • dora
      July 20, 2018

      yes @hello.. I am no damn UWPite. I am a laborite and not being bias. I have a b igger b rain than you. Helloooooo!!! give people a chance to make their point…I listen to DBS, Voice of Life, Kairi etc…so know what you saying when you talking nonsense.

  14. REAL!!!!
    July 19, 2018

    This picture painted is not pretty as a Dominican is very capable to run the institution. But to keep Ross University location in Dominica is highly questionable because the government in power is unable to established the mechanism/environment for a viable INTL economic investment.( ROSS).

    Note, which I believe Ross contributes 15% to the GDP of Dominica.

    Therefore Ross is showing that the GOVT is absolutely incapable in my view but the Dominican professions are….with a talented pool.

    Congratulations Dr.Rhonda!!!!!!!!

  15. $156 million short
    July 19, 2018

    Her appointment should not be seen as a sign that Ross is coming back to Dominica. I was at the meeting last night and quite clearly they said nothing to offer an ounce of hope. Concentration is on Barbados and St. Lucia and that Bajan advisors of Skerrit’ seems to be doing a very good job in looking out for Barbados. Dominicans allowed Skerrit to destroy Dominica and caused all foreign and Domestic firms to close their doors on us. We talking about a Ross University the late Rosie fought so hard to bring to Portsmouth. I remember our protest as if it was last month and today, Skerrit, Ian and Reggie are doing nothing to keep it. Shame on Ian! Big shame on Reggie, who was employed by Ross before he went into politics. These two Ministers in particular should be rallying the Portsmouth people around to ensure Ross stays. What a big shame for the Portsmouth people, the heart and soul of the DLP and the jarden patat of labar. What a shame! Possie is now like a ghost town under DLP

    • Stupes
      July 19, 2018

      Which meeting you attended where they concentrated on Barbados? Sto[ lying. Further the meeting was not last night, it ended at 3:45pm. `Not one country was mentioned. People like all you that spreading propaganda. The Dean said he does not know yet and an announcement will be made soon.

      • truth
        July 20, 2018

        you labourites really cannot read between the lines, So sad , I was at the meeting, The dean placed a white elephant on the desk where he was communicating from, Parables, No wonder the pm can fool you all for so long.

  16. Satan is a liar!
    July 19, 2018

    Let me start by congratulating Dr. McIntyre and wish her best of luck. However the situation re Ross University continues to remain as confusing as the weather. You could tell Ross University wants to continue in Dominica and wants to give the Dominican people some hope, especially those that invested in apartments. However, it is clear that Ross is very unhappy with the current government, even if they don’t say it. I feel very strongly that the moment we have a serious government in place Ross will be back but unfortunately what we have now is a bunch of joker’s that are only concerned about themselves. Ross had a meeting with staff last night and they said nothing to give hope. In fact I can confirm that they are negotiating with St. Lucia and Barbados at this time and Dominica doesn’t even seem to be in plan A, B, or C. . They are very concerned about the hospital, airport and road conditions and no matter what Skerrit says the reality is, Dominica is a turn off for Ross.

    • July 19, 2018

      You’re a lot more talented than I am, since I can only tell what people think and how they feel when they actually say so.

  17. Maryland
    July 19, 2018

    As long as Dominica don’t have an international airport, ROSS will not come back. Who wants to hitch ride from island to island just to arrive in Dominica. People want to get a straight flight from the US to Dominica, enough of that. We need that international airport to speed up things.

    • Peeping Tom
      July 19, 2018

      More koshonie! Ross came to Dominica when all we had was a shed and a landing strip.

      • Fake News
        July 19, 2018

        @ peeping that is true but what you forgot to say is, when they came and met us with a shed and strip they only had a few dozens of students, in compared to eleven hundred or so. @ Peep, I am my parents third child and when I was born all we had was a little wooden house with a sheet separating the bedroom from the living room. Later down they went on to make six more children and built a 4 bedroom house with kitchen and bathroom to accommodate us? You sure sounding like a person that have remained the same way as when you were born. In life as your business or family grows so to are you demands and accommodation. Stop peeping and start to grow man. You sounding too much like a person that still staying with your mama and depend on her for everything. Poor mama lol

      • Peeping Tom
        July 19, 2018

        And, Fake News, Ross remained with us as we improved that shed, improved the roads to and from the airport, improved the infrastructure to and from Ross University, during countless storms, during our austerity period, and in fact, has recently significantly expanded the campus.

        You sound like another uninformed DIASPORAN.

      • info wars
        July 19, 2018

        That company bought ross from devry few months aggo,and wants to cum with the most expensive demands to the gov 9 months after a category 5 storm,,i mean,,in stthomas i just saw 2 weeks ago,hospital tarpoline closed postofice,an dmv in a trailor,,airport still undone,,

    • I am mine own
      July 19, 2018

      It is terribly inconvenient, even for us Dominicans, to have to fly through multiple airports to come home to DA.

  18. Carmen Larsen-Grijalva
    July 19, 2018

    Very proud of Dr. Rhonda McIntyre. Both my kids were her patients and she was simply amazing. She has the skill set necessary to handle this new role and more. Congratulations!! May Ross University be back on our dear island of Dominica very soon –

  19. dora
    July 19, 2018

    YESSAI!! I sure they paying her in the meantime. That Prime Minister is something while other people struggling to cover their houses before the hurricane, appointing someone for lost cause. Magwaysah!!!

    • Da Girl
      July 19, 2018

      My goodness..did you read?! Where does it say that she was appointed by the Prime Minister????? Jeez boy Skeritt your back must be tough boy. What Skeritt have to do with the lady appointment. It just goes to show the level of ignorance among our people..

      • Gallileo
        July 19, 2018

        :lol: :lol: . I laughing and it is not at your comment. It’s just that I was thinking what article is Dora commenring on? I have warned these people. This hatred of the prime minister fuelled by the constant vitriol that is spewed out on a daily basis is consuming them. These sort of statements are manifestation of thos consuming effect. Da girl, you cant educate such. Stop wasting your time.

    • Expat
      July 19, 2018

      dora, did you understand what the article stated? Once again the likes of you are blinded by politics.

      • Fake News
        July 19, 2018

        @ peeping that is true but what you forgot to say is, when they came and met us with a shed and strip they only had a few dozens of students, in compared to eleven hundred or so. @ Peep, I am my parents third child and when I was born all we had was a little wooden house with a sheet separating the bedroom from the living room. Later down they went on to make six more children and built a 4 bedroom house with kitchen and bathroom to accommodate us? You sure sounding like a person that have remained the same way as when you were born. In life as your business or family grows so to are you demands and accommodation. Stop peeping and start to grow man. You sounding too much like a person that still staying with your mama and depend on her for everything. Poor mama lol

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