The systems, processes and procedures of University of The Bahamas (UB) are far more digitalized today than they were before Hurricane Dorian or even the COVID-19 pandemic. For a university system that operates in an archipelago, the transformation has meant increased access to higher learning, deeper support for student success outcomes and greater operational efficiencies overall.
After being reviewed by a panel of industry experts, UB’s experience with overcoming a steep technological curve to improve student services will be profiled on a global platform at the Ellucian Live 2022 conference in April. UB’s Registrar’s Office will present on, “How a Hurricane and Pandemic Forced UB to Enhance the Use of Technology”.
“I congratulate the team from UB which has taken the initiative to tell the UB story,” said President of UB Dr. Rodney D. Smith. “There are many stories from valued experiences that contribute to broadening the exposure of UB staff and faculty at an international level. This is one of them.”
As a result of technologically-supported process improvements and enhanced accessibility, UB was able to operate remotely in a pandemic while servicing students throughout the country and the world. Also, students are now able to take courses offered by both the Oakes Field Campus in New Providence and UB-North in Grand Bahama wherever they are in the world.
UB’s experience is an example that can inform and benefit other higher education institutions, according to Vice President of Administrative Services Dr. Marcella Elliott-Ferguson.
“I am truly proud of the improvements that the Registrar’s Office has made over the years, particularly with the changes that we needed to make as a result of the pandemic and Hurricane Dorian. We are happy to share our story with our international colleagues and to continue to put UB on the world stage,” she noted.
The lead presenter at the conference will be Registrar Claire Charlow-Patton, assisted by Vice President of Administrative Services Dr. Marcella Elliott-Ferguson, Assistant Registrar at UB-North in Grand Bahama Lennise Lopez, and Registrar Assistant Desirea Taylor.
“We are eager to share with others the progress the Registrar’s Office has made, from students standing on line to accessing student services online through the use of technology,” noted Mrs. Charlow-Patton.
Ellucian has affirmed UB’s transformative pivot in digital technology by awarding the institution the 2020 Ellucian Impact Award. The award recognizes excellence in the student experience, innovation and digital transformation.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian in 2019 and the massive damage to the UB-North campus in East Grand Bahama, operations resumed a month later as the university was able to maintain access to critical information and continue to serve the needs of students. Such efficiency was made possible due to UB’s efforts at digitization even before the storm.
The institution transitioned student processes into a cloud-based model, establishing an online process from application to registration and beyond. That move to the cloud allowed UB to adjust quickly to the global COVID-19 pandemic by not only enabling 90% of courses to be taught virtually, but allowing for university operations to move online and staff to work remotely.