UWC Principal Personnel Changes

UPDATE: Dr. Geoffrey Fisher, current principal of UWC in Maastricht, is also leaving his current UWC, brining the total of Principal changes in UWCs to 3 out of 14 colleges. Geoffrey’s reportedly immediate sacking resignation was due to a power struggle between the UWC movement and the existing school community (UWC Maastricht was recently set up as a merger between an existing primary and secondary school and renamed UWC Maastricht).

In the last two months, two events have gone quietly unnoticed, both regarding the resignation of principals at two United World Colleges (UWC).

Stephen Codrington, current principal of UWC Li Po Chun was first to announce his departure on the 21st October, saying “it was announced on Thursday this week that I would be leaving LPCUWC at the end of this academic year (on 31st July 2011) to take up the headship of The Awty International School in Houston (Texas, USA).” For the full announcement, scroll to the bottom of the page.

Just yesterday, those of us lucky enough to call ourselves ‘Atlantic College students’ received an email notifying us of a “meeting for all students” which was held today at 5:15. I found out today that staff members also had a meeting scheduled for 4:45. The mysteriousness of the meeting was intriguing to many students with questions as to what the meeting would be about.

During the meeting with all students, we learned what the staff had heard about, just 30 minutes earlier. We learned that Neil Richards, current principal of Atlantic College, will be leaving his post and Atlantic College at the end of this term in January. This comes after a “difference of opinion between the Principal of the College and its Board of Governors about the leadership and management of the College”. The full announcement is included below.

These two announcements mean that both LPCWUC and UWCAC will have to say a sad goodbye to their principal and the search for successors will soon begin.

The full text of the announcement of Neil Richard’s departure

From Stephen Cox, Chair of Governors

I wanted to write and let you know that the Board of Governors of the College has received the resignation of the Principal, Neil Richards, to take effect from 31 July 2011, though the Board has agreed that he will be released from his duties at the end of the current academic term in order that he may pursue his other interests in education at the earliest opportunity. This follows a difference of opinion between the Principal of the College and its Board of Governors about the leadership and management of the College as we approach its 50th anniversary.

In accepting his resignation, the Board wants to thank Neil very much for the work he has done for the College and wishes him every success for the future. During his three years as Principal he has introduced a number of long-needed changes to the college’s operation. He has encouraged us all, whatever our connection with the College, to review the mission and ensure that what the College stands for is as relevant for the world in which we live as it was for the founders nearly 50 years ago.

At its regular meeting today, the Board has set-up a search committee to oversee the process of appointing Neil’s successor, and further details will be published in due course. In the meantime, I am pleased to say that, although he will not be a candidate for the post of Principal, Paul Motte, Director of College Operations, has agreed to take over as Acting Principal until a successor for Neil has taken up post. Both I and the Board are confident that under his guidance and with the support of the two Vice-Principals, Tristian Stobie and Nick Lush, the College will be in very capable and experienced hands, to continue the programme of reforms initiated by Neil.

Finally, I would like to assure you that the welfare and safety of students, together with their academic progress and participation in the breadth of activities that is the UWC experience will remain the prime concern of the Board and its Senior Management.

Stephen Cox
Chair of the Board of Governors

The full text of the announcement of Dr. Stephen Codrington’s departure

Departure of Dr. Stephen Codrington as Principal of Li Po Chun United World College

On behalf of the Board of the Li Po Chun United World College (LPCUWC), it is my sad duty to announce that Dr Stephen Codrington has tendered his resignation as Principal with effect from the end of this school year (31st July, 2011). He will be leaving to take up a new position in Houston (USA) as Head of the Awty International School, the second largest international school in the United States of America with a student population of 1230 from 60 countries. By the time Stephen leaves us, he will have served the College for 7 years.

As a widely known and respected international educator, Stephen has indicated that the reasons for his move centre entirely on the attractions of the challenges of his new appointment in a part of the world where he has not worked previously. Although disappointed to lose Stephen, the Board respects his decision as an educationist and appreciates the role he has played in teaching and nurturing the students at LPCUWC in the true United World Colleges tradition. We know that his contribution to the wider UWC movement during the last few years has also been appreciated very much by the international UWC members at large.

A Search Committee has been established by the Board and we look forward to support from the LPCUWC and United World Colleges communities in helping the board to find a worthy successor for Dr Codrington. As in the past, there will be opportunities for teachers and students of LPCUWC to meet the short-listed candidates and hear the candidates’ educational philosophies. The input from teachers and students will be carefully considered before the Board makes the final decision on the next headship.

The Board wishes Dr Codrington and his wife Di all the best in their life in the new school, and we see his appointment as possibly opening a window for new international cultural exchanges between the two schools.

Anthony K.H. Tong



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