New and returning faculty at University of The Bahamas (UB) are being encouraged to operationalize continuous improvements as a priority for the 2018-2019 academic year. The University has welcomed twenty-seven new faculty and academic administrators from around the world including nine Bahamians and other counterparts from Kenya, France, Turkey, Canada, the UK, Australia, Sudan, Italy, Algeria, Trinidad, Guyana and the U.S. Addressing the recent 2018 Annual Faculty Seminar which focused on: “Continuous Improvement: The UB Challenge”, University President Dr. Rodney D. Smith referred to several initiatives including the new Banner online registration system, and the recommissioning and opening of new and refurbished facilities at the Oakes Field Campus and UB-North as transformational. “Later this year, we will officially open the Small Island Sustainability Research Complex. All of this, as we expand offerings and research opportunities at our southern Bahamas campus in San Salvador and our northern campus in Grand Bahama. We will continue to expand and establish centers of excellence with a special focus on environmental sustainability,” explained President Smith.
Provost Dr. Linda Davis expounded on the progress made with UB’s governance structure, noting the transition to the Academic Senate; faculty developments; and academic programme revisions. New graduate programmes are in the pipeline. “Our theme will carry us throughout the academic year and one of our key goals is a focus on governance; governance in the sense that we would have a smooth transition to the Academic Senate. We have had elections and are now poised to engage our work under a full Senate. In September, the University Secretary will call to order that body and the first things on that agenda include the election of the Chair and Secretary and drafting of bylaws and establishment of sub-committees,” she said. President of the Union of Tertiary Educators of The Bahamas (UTEB) Senator Hon. Jennifer Isaacs-Dotson reaffirmed the union’s commitment to partnership.
“UTEB’s presence here today signifies and solidifies our support for the University of The Bahamas as a partner. We are a partner and that is always something that I say to people, we are a partner in the institution. Being a partner does not always mean we will agree on everything, we will disagree on somethings but how we work through those disagreements is the most important part. We remain committed to national development, truth, knowledge, and integrity and we do so in unity. Let us all continue to build on COB’s and UB’s foundation as we continue as we aspire for academic and educational excellence,” she said. The day-long seminar included a presentation on “Data-Informed Action Plans for Improving Student Success: Operationalizing Missions” by Dr. Danny Davis, AVP Institutional Strengthening & Accreditation. Workshops were also held on key on the topics like “Positive Character Building: Seeing Beyond the Disability”, “Where Should I Publish My Paper?”, “Students in Distress: The Key Role of Faculty in Identifying and Responding”, “Field Research in The Bahamas?”, “Advancing the Family Island Teaching and Research Value Proposition” and “The Government and Public Policy Institute @ UB: Advancing the Public Policy Dialogue”. Approximately 1,000 new students were accepted for Fall 2018 and the first day of classes began on Monday, 20th August 2018.