Dr. Erik Rolland is named as the next University of The Bahamas President 

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The Board of Trustees (BOT) of University of The Bahamas (UB) today announced the appointment of Dr. Erik Rolland, an academic with 30 years of experience, as the next president of UB. The appointment takes effect on 1st August 2022 and follows a competitive and rigorous search and assessment process. 

Dr. Rolland was one of three shortlisted finalists for the position of President. 

Making the announcement at a press conference held at UB’s Oakes Field Campus, Board Chair Mrs. Allyson Maynard-Gibson QC said Dr. Rolland was the most qualified and experienced candidate to lead the University through a bold transformation that will undergird its aggressive accreditation agenda. Other members of the BOT were also present for the announcement. 

“[Dr. Rolland] has the qualifications, experience, and skills to meet mission critical objectives, namely the knowledge, insights and experience to achieve international accreditation, the vision and competence to implement sustainable financial and operational models for fundraising, and the capability to integrate 21st century technology modalities throughout the institution,” noted Mrs. Maynard Gibson.  

The incoming President also has a record of success in developing dynamic and robust corporate engagement and partnership building strategies which are vital targets for UB. 

“Dr. Rolland has successfully forged collaborations with key economic development partners, particularly those which have fueled venture capital pursuits as a feeder for entrepreneurship and sharing knowledge of best practices. Leveraging his expertise, and networks will create further opportunities for the exposure and engagement of our students with industry leaders around the world. UB will strengthen centres for entrepreneurship and business incubators, and by quickening the innovative spirit, expand capacity, ultimately increasing social and economic stability,” she added.  

The Presidential Profile outlined the desired attributes and qualifications of the next president and was developed based on extensive listening sessions with the University community and stakeholders. Building consensus around achieving international accreditation, aligning curricula and programmes for current and future business opportunities and assessing and preparing UB for a post-COVID-19 world are imperatives for the next leader.  

Dr. Rolland expressed that he was honoured to have been selected as the second President of UB. 

“I am looking forward to this opportunity to serve the people of The Bahamas in continuing the building of a first-rate national and international university,” he noted. “As President, my mission is to continue to build an inclusive community that enables both university and nation building, and that aligns our programs and curricula in ways that support international recognition and accreditation. Together, we will continue the growth and the successful path of the University of The Bahamas, and provide unparalleled value for The Bahamas and for its people.”   

He currently serves as Dean of the College of Business Administration, interim Dean of the College of the Extended University, Chief International Officer and the Provost’s Associate for Strategic Transformation at California Polytechnic and State University. His blend of international experience in strategic leadership, academic development, stakeholder engagement, and research spans countries across four continents.  

The appointment of the next President of UB has a direct impact not only on the University community but the country at large due to its critical national development mission. UB has a strategic physical and cultural location at the gateway to the Americas and to the Caribbean, which offers opportunities for the institution to become a top choice in the larger region and an attractive alternative to the Americas. These opportunities can directly feed national development and growth. 

The Presidential Search Committee (PSC), appointed under the Board of Trustees, launched a global search in order to attract the most qualified, competent and suitable presidential candidates for the BOT to consider. Seventy-nine applications were received, seven candidates were named semi-finalists, and three were shortlisted as finalists. The search process was open to public scrutiny and engaged various stakeholders at different phases. All finalists met University constituents and participated in meetings that gave the UB community and broader public an opportunity to meet with and question the finalists and provide feedback to the BOT.  

Dr. Rolland will succeed current President Dr. Rodney D. Smith who concludes his tenure on 31st July 2022. Dr. Smith remains focused on his mandate to the University, according to Mrs. Maynard-Gibson, and has assured the Board of Trustees that he will support a seamless transition in leadership.