In the history of human affairs, occasions of importance are sometimes signaled by natural events of unusual and unexpected providence. Think of the blood moon of a lunar eclipse, a flood of biblical proportion, comets raining from the sky, or an anomalously bright star shining high and constant above a shepherd’s field. These can signal the death of a King, the end of an empire, or the birth of a God.
This year, I made my tenth annual visit to McGill’s Bellairs Research Institute in Barbados. I go for the annual meeting of the Board which runs the Institute – this year marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of Bellairs – and, more prosaically, I go as the Dean to monitor the annual audit. My three criteria for running an off-site program, such as the Bellairs Institute, are: (i) it must serve an academic purpose for McGill, (ii) it must run in the black, and (iii) it must run in the black. This was my last visit to Barbados, at least my last as Dean. (more…)