Bahamian leadership at COB a goal of new president
The College of The Bahamas(COB)has to achieve three goals in order achieve university status, said its new president Dr. Betsy Vogel Boze yesterday.
According to Dr. Boze, who previously held the position as dean of the School of Business at the University of Texas, there are typically two major components separating universities from colleges: Universities have multiple schools and they have graduate programs.
Currently COB has both. However, Dr. Boze said there’s still more to be done.
She said COB needs to benchmark who its peer institutions and aspirant institutions are; it needs to develop a system of academic program review; and it needs to develop a faculty leadership group to address academic issues.
“When those happen, I think we’ll be ready to call ourselves a university and can do that in any legitimate context,”Dr. Boze said in her first public address at the Ministry of Education.”I think that’s very exciting and something that can happen fairly quickly.
“Mostly I want raise the image and profile of the college both in The Bahamas and internationally. When parents think of where they want to send their children it should be the University of The Bahamas. When students think about where they want to go it should be the University of The Bahamas.”
In addition to achieving those goals, Dr. Boze said some of her aspirations for COB include increasing access to higher education(particularly for students from the Family Islands); growing the college’s revenue intake without increasing tuition or through reliance on the government; and developing an all-Bahamian core leadership group.
“As you see I’m not Bahamian. No college should outsource its higher education and it should not have to outsource its leadership either. So I’m going to work to develop a talent pool of Bahamians and make sure that the administration raises people from within whenever possible and wherever appropriate. And if that means sending people for training or bringing people in, I think that’s something that needs to be done,”she explained.
Dr. Boze said its also important to ensure that students leave the school with degrees.
“We need to work very hard in increasing student success, persistence, and graduating rates. How do we keep students in?How do we increase our male students?A lot of that ties in with developmental education and removing those barriers, making sure that our curriculum is aligned so students can succeed and go on to higher education,”she said.
Education Minister Desmond Bannister officially welcomed the new COB president. He said the ministry is looking forward to working closely with COB under her leadership.
Bannister also assured Dr. Boze that there would be no interference from the government in COB’s affairs.