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COB Faculty Encouraged to Plan for the Future

New and returning College of The Bahamas faculty members received a warm welcome and a commitment of continued transparency from College President Dr. Rodney Smith at the opening session of the 2015 Faculty Seminar held on Monday at the Performing Arts Centre.

“The commitment I make to you is that we will remain transparent in our efforts. We will continue to seek your input, as we continue to be grateful for your support and encouragement,” said Dr. Smith.

Under the theme, “Planning for the Future”, President Smith provided updates on capital works for the academic year which include the construction of the long-anticipated G. T. R. Campbell Small Island Sustainability Complex, ground breaking for the 88-bed residential hall at the Grand Bahama campus and the completion of the F. R. Wilson Graduate Business Centre.

Additionally, there will be a $2.6 million technology upgrade to both campuses as well as the construction of the new entrance for the university.

Opening plenary speaker was Bahamian native Dr. Sidney McPhee, president of Middle Tennessee State University, who candidly shared his unwavering love for his 90 year old mother, reminisced of his childhood growing up on the island of Mayaguana, relocating to Nassau at the age of five and attending R.M. Bailey High School.

“I’ve been blessed to have traveled and lectured all over the world but my roots are here. I am proud of it. I am proud to be called a Bahamian,” said Dr. McPhee.

Dr. McPhee earned his bachelor’s degree from Prairie View A&M University in Texas; a master’s degree from the University of Miami and a doctorate in Applied Behavioural Studies in Education from Oklahoma State University.

He is the tenth president of Middle Tennessee State University – a comprehensive/doctoral institution with more than 23,000 students.

With extensive experience in the accreditation process, Dr. McPhee’s plenary topic was, “Planning for the Future: Core Requirements for Accreditation.”

“The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is an umbrella organization that accredits and reviews colleges, schools, elementary, middle and high schools and universities,” explained Dr. McPhee.

According to Dr. McPhee, the overall umbrella is SACS and the Commission on Colleges deals directly with colleges and universities.

Its mission is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions with six core values: Integrity, Peer Review/Self-regulation, Accountability, Continuous Quality Improvement and Student Learning.
His presentation focused on the core requirements for an institution such as The College of The Bahamas to meet in order to receive accreditation and its added benefits.

“It is the quality stamp of approval you want to be a top notch university whether it’s SACS or some other accrediting agencies,” explained Dr. McPhee. “When someone else tells you, that ‘you met our standard and you are darn good’ that is something you can’t put a price tag on, not only for recruitment of students and also for seeking investment…you can go to donors and say ‘we meet all the standards of a national association we’re SACS accredited, these young people deserve the best and you need to support us.’”

President Smith has indicated that the soon to be University of The Bahamas will begin work towards acquiring full accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges and will also seek to acquire national accreditation from the National Accreditation and Equivalency Council of The Bahamas through the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology.

This year, 11 new faculty members joined the college, eight of whom possess terminal degrees, while approximately 1,500 new students were accepted for Fall 2015.

The 2015 Faculty Seminar continues on Friday, August 21. The College of The Bahamas academic year begins Monday, August 24, 2015.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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