Newly appointed Chairman of the Council of the College of The Bahamas (COB) Alfred Sears said since the board has been named, the Christie administration is on a mission to pick up where it left off and resume the process of transforming the college into a university.
Mr. Sears said when the Progressive Liberal Party (PLP) Government was voted out of office in 2007, the Free National Movement (FNM) did not “vigorously pursue” such a “much-needed transformation.”
“(The former PLP Government) at that time had given a mandate that the attainment of university be very actively pursued,” he added. “When that council appointed former COB President Janyne Hodder, that goal was pursued very vigorously.”
“There was a widespread consultation within the College of The Bahamas with internal as well as external stakeholders. That effort resulted in a strategic plan which was crafted under the leadership of that council. But, in 2007 we had a change in government and the pursuit of university status was not pursued as vigorously I think it ought to have been pursued. So we now will resume that process.”
Mr. Sears said a team comprising of faculty members and others will be dedicated to providing technical guidance to the COB Council.
He added that the new council already has some plans in the works to expand the college’s curriculum, making it more attractive to students.
“We’ve been given a number of mandates,” Mr. Sears added. “One is in the development of the University of The Bahamas to establish a college that would be dedicated to the arts, this is literary and visual.
“We’re looking at a marine college, for marine studies, a college that would be dedicated to agriculture and technology and in terms of preserving the history of our people and the various communities which comprises The Bahamas, an institute for oral history.”
Mr. Sears added that as the college moves forward, the council will ensure there is a process in place for Bahamian leadership of the institution.
“In terms of the development of the faculty, we want to maintain the excellent tradition of teaching but to also develop institution for research by the faculty so the challenges and problems facing country would be addressed by intellectual resources which exists within the college, soon to be University Of The Bahamas,” he said.