Categorized | National News

COB Faculty Waiting on Presidential Candidates

Scores of College of The Bahamas (COB) faculty and staff said they have not yet had an opportunity to meet with the four presidential candidates selected by the presidential search committee.

In a press conference held late last month, Interim President, Dr. Earla Carey-Baines told the press that the four finalists would have been on campus last week to meet faculty, staff and students.

The four finalists include Dr. Gregory Carey, Dr. Philip Carey, Dr. Rodney Smith and Dr. Olivia Saunders.

The faculty and staff said it is their hope that they get to meet the four candidates this week for reasons they wished not to disclose.

Last week, scores of faculty and staff anonymously told the Bahama Journal that Dr. Rodney Smith is “more than qualified” to become the next president of the tertiary institution and dismissed claims that he is an “embarrassment” to the college.

Earlier, several COB staff members told The Journal that Dr. Smith should not have been shortlisted to become president because he once admitted to plagiarising a portion of one of his speeches.

Dr. Smith stepped down as COB’s president in 2005 after admitting that he had used a portion of a New York University (NYU) president’s speech without giving him proper credit.

Since running the story, scores of other faculty and other staff have approached The Bahama Journal, noting that Dr. Smith should not be “vilified,” noting that he did a lot for the college during his short stint as president in 2004.

The lecturers and staff said Dr. Smith did more in his 10 months than others have done with more time at the college.

Some of those things, according to workers who served under him, include a monthly staff forum where faculty, staff and students had the opportunity to voice their concerns.

The lecturers said those forums even continued under former presidents Janyne Hodder and Dr. Betsy Vogel-Boze.

COB personnel also told the Journal that the Performing Arts Centre (PAC) was a part of his vision as well as the Band Shell, which is used to hold outdoor events and graduation ceremonies.

It is located on the campus’ eastern side.

Dr. Smith is currently the vice president for administrative services, operations analysis and research at Hampton University, but served as COB’s president from 2004-2005.

Several lecturers say they are embarrassed that Mr. Smith was shortlisted to become president.

“I know they want a Bahamian, but he should not have been selected because he embarrassed the college,” one lecturer said on condition of anonymity.

“We always stress to students the serious consequences that come as a result of plagiarism. What message would we be sending to our students and the academic community here and abroad if he is hired?”

Another lecturer said she did not think “it was a good move.”

“The college has come a long way and while it’s good to forgive people, plagiarism is a serious offense in the academic world,” the lecturer said.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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