March 27, 2003 – Three members of the University of the Virgin Islands board of trustees renominated to new terms won approval Thursday at a Senate Rules Committee confirmation hearing.
Auguste E. Rimpel Jr., Henry C. Smock and Roy D. Jackson breezed through the nomination review process with flying colors.
The committee also gave its approval to the renominations of Sam Topp and Horace T. Brooks as members of the Hospital and Health Facilities Corp. board governing Roy L. Schneider Hospital and Myrah Keating Smith Community Health Center.
In answer to questioning from Sen. Roosevelt David, committee chair, Rimpel, senior partner in Boston Global Partners and retired managing partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, declared his dedication to UVI. "The university board gives me an opportunity to give back to my community," the St. Thomas native said. "I count it a pleasure to contribute to my beloved community and university."
Smock, an attorney in private practice and a former Territorial Court judge, said serving as a UVI trustee has been both a great responsibility and a joy. "Anything I can do to enhance the future of UVI, its students and graduates, I will gladly do," he said.
"It is a pleasure for me to serve," said Jackson, a Certified Public Accountant. "This is a great opportunity for me to improve the livelihood of others."
Rimpel told the senators it is important that the university maintain its academic qualities and that the new administration headed by President LaVerne Ragster will ensure that it does. He also said UVI must play a broader role in the economic development of the community. "The university must move forward to self-sustainability," he said.
David asked Topp, a WVWI Radio talk-show host and newscaster, how he felt about the idea of one territorial chief executive officer for both the St. Thomas and St. Croix hospitals.
"If we do that, we have no better candidate than Mr. Miller," Topp replied, referring to Rodney Miller, the Schneider Hospital CEO. "His credentials justify that."
Topp told the senators that it is hard to find a credible hospital CEO who also is affordable, and the Juan F. Luis Hospital now finds itself in that quandary. He said he was aware of discussions about creating a single, territorywide position.
"If we were on the same page, we could offer one large, productive health-care facility that could possibly free up more resources for better health care — or, on the other hand, have two struggling hospitals that are fighting for resources," Topp said.
Sen. Carlton Dowe asked Brooks, who is Gov. Charles W. Turnbull's confidential assistant, about how many meetings he could attend, considering his government post. "With a job like yours, that would be a very difficult task," Dowe said. Brooks said he had attended 65 percent of the meetings.
Dowe made it clear he would not support anyone who didn't attend meetings on a regular basis.
Committee members present were Sens. Lorraine Berry, Douglas Canton, David, Dowe, Louis Hill and Ronald Russell. Sen. David Jones was excused.
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