Categorized | National News

Fitzgerald Mum on COB Presidency

In wake of a lengthy report from the College of The Bahamas’ (COB) Council expressing concern over the long awaited response from Cabinet to approve the recommendation to select former COB President Dr. Rodney Smith to that post, Education Minister
Jerome Fitzgerald on Tuesday remained tight lipped on the issue.

While outside of Cabinet yesterday Minister Fitzgerald declined media questions on the matter, and said, “I wish not to comment.” The council submitted their recommendation for president to the government on June 12.

Considering how long it has taken to make a final decision, the council released a statement over the weekend on the matter as it felt forced to once again address and defend the controversy surrounding their pick for COB president.

“Council would first like it to be known that council’s choice of Dr. Rodney Smith as its preferred candidate is in keeping with the assessment conducted by the ASC of the four shortlisted candidates,” the release added.

“In its assessment of Dr. Rodney Smith, the ASC noted that Dr. Smith had extensive leadership experience, impressive credentials, and an in-depth knowledge of the institutional mechanisms needed to ensure peak performance levels in all areas of the operation of an academic institution. Indeed, across all of the assessment tools used by the ASC to evaluate the candidates, Dr. Smith consistently scored the highest. The ASC also found that Dr. Smith was the candidate best able to articulate the vision of the Council and the mandate of the government for leading the college through the process of becoming recognised as a university in 2015.”

The COB Council went on to emphasise that the search process was open, fair, transparent, and respectful of stakeholder interests.

Dr. Smith resigned as COB president in 2005 after admitting to plagiarising a portion of a New York University (NYU) president’s speech.

The ASC’s pick for president also issued a statement on Monday, once again apologising for his nearly decade old plagiarism scandal and vowed to never make the same mistake again.

Dr. Smith is one of four individuals who were shortlisted to head the institution

He also released a statement over the weekend, apologising for his mistake.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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