Professor Hazel Simmons-McDonald
is the Pro-Vice
Chancellor and Principal of the University of the West Indies Open Campus
, a post which she
has held from August 1, 2007.
Prior to that, she served as Head of the Department of Language, Linguistics and Literature, Deputy Dean of Outreach, Deputy Dean - Planning and Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Education at the Cave Hill Campus.
She is Professor of Applied Linguistics.
At present she
is based at the Open Campus offices at Cave Hill
travels widely throughout the region to enable the establishment and implementation of Open Campus services, particularly in the UWI-12 countries.
Over the last six years Professor Simmons-McDonald has led the formation of the Open Campus, bringing together former outreach entities of the university under one governance framework to offer courses and programmes online and in face-to-face modalities to learners in sixteen countries of the Caribbean and forty six Centres.
The Campus is making access to University programmes possible to learners across the region and especially in formerly under-served communities.
leads the campus in its collaboration with other units to create one single university space for the UWI
through which its programmes can be made more easily available via distance modalities.
research interests include second language acquisition, the development of literacy by Creole and Creole Influenced Vernacular speakers, vernacular literacy within the formal settings and ODL in the Caribbean context.
She served for several years as the Secretary-Treasurer of the Society for Caribbean Linguistics, as its Vice President for one year, and completed a two-year stint as its President.
Professor Simmons-McDonald is a member of the International Council of Distance Education Standing Conference of Presidents and she has participated in and made presentations at selected meetings of the Council.
publications include articles and book chapters on language acquisition, language education policy, literacy development, language and culture and more recently, on open and distance learning.
has published several English language texts for use at secondary and tertiary levels and co-edited the volumes: Exploring the Boundaries of Caribbean Creole Languages and Education Issues in Creole and Creole-Influenced Vernacular Contexts.