Categorized | National News

Growing Opposition to COB Presidential Pick

Amid the controversy surrounding the possible reappointment of former College of The Bahamas (COB) President Dr. Rodney Smith, founding member of The Bahamas National Citizens Coalition (BNCC) Wesley Campbell called for Cabinet to reject the recommendation from the College Council.

Mr. Campbell said the leaders of the college are obligated and must set the highest moral example for students to follow.

“Students can be granted second chances if they fall short not those who have the high moral positon of teachers in the department of education,” he said.

“You have to be in the position to provide the image not only to the students but to the rest of the community, to the nation and to the international community that you are above reproach and for us to have less than that it’s an insult to the dignity of what we’re trying to achieve in The Bahamas. We cannot support or endorse Dr. Smith or support the college’s board recommendation.”

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

Dr. Smith recently apologised for his nearly decade old plagiarism scandal and promised never to make the same mistake again.

Mr. Campbell said that this is not about forgiving Dr. Smith for past his mistake but rather about the colleges’ sacred duty to uphold integrity, honour and its vision.

“You can’t be at the forefront setting the standard and be committing plagiaristic transgression, that is absolutely unacceptable in fact the college should not have even allowed his name to resurface. The opposition is very clear, he can ask penance from our lord and saviour and we say amen to that but being in charge of our college, not a day like it.”

A month ago the College Council made its recommendation to the Ministry of Education to reappoint Dr. Rodney Smith as president.

However there has still been no final word on the matter from Cabinet on the matter.

The council has recently expressed its concern with the long wait for approval and released a press statement defending its controversial pick.

Community activist, Rev. Dr. C. B. Moss recently expressed opposition to the possible appointment of Dr. Smith.

Slamming the College Council and the president search committee, Dr. Moss said that their justification for claiming that the former president was the best choice proves their failure of the search and willingness to settle for an ‘unsuitable candidate.’

“There is little question that Dr. Smith is academically and professionally qualified for the position, but these are not only desired and expected assets that the holder of such an august office should possess,” Dr. Moss said.

“Plagiarism is one of the cardinal sins of academia and simply being ‘sorry’ is a woefully unacceptable reason to consider his reappointment. There appears to be a major character flaw which an opportunity for a second chance will not be able to repair. The council should be instructed to initiate a renewed search, preferably with a new search committee. Present and future students at the college should not be burdened with the mistake of a flawed decision.”
Education Minister Jerome Fitzgerald recently declined to comment on the issue.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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