being radically transformed or closed at the University of Miami by an out of touch university bureaucracy.
The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies was established by the University of Miami and approved by the Faculty Senate in May of 1999. Over the next 18 years this institute has not only become a world-class academic center for research on Cubans and Cuban-Americans, an integral part of the Cuban cultural landscape in South Florida, and a gathering point for Cuban dissidents from the island and Cubans in exile to nurture a democratic renaissance in Cuba.
Dr. Jaime Suchlicki, the Director of the Institute, in 2002 explained its importance in Veritas online: “Casa Bacardi is my dream come true. For years I have wanted to create a place where young Cuban-Americans could come and learn about Cuba’s history and culture.”
|Dr. Suchlicki (left) and Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (center) 2002|
The University is now singing a different tune claiming that there are no plans of consolidating academic programs and the fortifying of institutional relations with Cuban universities.
My experience in dealing with University bureaucracies and administrators as an undergraduate leads me to believe the faculty member with a half century of dedicated scholarship and service to the community over the newly arrived bureaucrat.
The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies must continue its good works and hopefully Dr. Jaime Suchlicki will reconsider his resignation as the director and oversee the transition in years to come to new leadership that will continue his good works.
The Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies over the past 18 years has developed into "a little platoon" of society in South Florida that should be nurtured and preserved not radically altered to advance a narrow ideological agenda.