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Title: From College to University : The Role of Higher Education in Developing Bahamian Society
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Title: From College to University : The Role of Higher Education in Developing Bahamian Society
Physical Description: Archival
Language: English
Creator: The College of The Bahamas
The College of The Bahamas ( Contributor )
Publisher: The College of The Bahamas
Publication Date: 2007
 Subjects
Subject: College
Bahamas
University
Caribbean   ( lcsh )
Spatial Coverage: North America -- Bahamas -- Nassau
Caribbean
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Bibliographic ID: CA00299055
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: The College of The Bahamas, Nassau
Holding Location: The College of The Bahamas, Nassau
Rights Management: Copyright 2007, The College of the Bahamas. All rights reserved.

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16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook


"From College to University: The Role of Higher Education in

Developing Bahamian Society"


Radisson Cable Beach Resort

Tuesday, January 9, 2007


Notes for a presentation by Janyne M Hodder


The College of The Bahamas





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 1

Good afternoon.



I congratulate The Counsellors on the organization of this event

and thank them for inviting me to join this most distinguished

roster of speakers. The theme of this year's event "Economic

Year 2007: Opportunities, Plans and Outcomes" is particularly

appropriate for us at The College of the Bahamas as we are

deeply engaged in analyzing the opportunities we face, in

making the plans we need to make to lead to the outcomes we

seek not for ourselves, but for the country at large.


Before looking to the future, I wish to pay tribute to those who

laid the foundation from which we are now building The

University of The Bahamas. The University of The Bahamas

was foreshadowed by the government administration that led

this country to independence over thirty years ago. Its

foundations were built by the principals, presidents, faculty,

staff and students who, in the performance of their roles for

three decades, created at The College a passion for excellence

and who built programmes of high quality. Many of our

graduates went on to universities overseas, many others are





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 2

employed here and in all cases, their performance has

contributed to our reputation for excellence.



We can count numbers of College alumni in every sector of our

economy. Indeed, the roster of speakers today includes two

College alumni, Vernice Walkine and Peter Blair.



The contribution of these men and women is also enriched by

that of those who are at the College today. I have a formidable

team- men and women who have a passion for education; men

and women who helped build the College and have fostered its

growth.



Today, The College serves 4,615 registered students as of

January 6th 2007. We employ 202 regular teaching faculty and

200 more on a part-time basis, 100 of whom are working this

semester. Close to one quarter of our faculty, including

counsellors and librarians have terminal degrees, most usually

a doctorate. We also employ 396 full and part time staff. We

have a budget of $37 M for operations and anticipate spending





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 3

nearly $11M on capital projects this year. We offer 6

baccalaureate degrees in 59 majors and 3 associate degrees. We

offer, as well, 4 graduate degrees in collaboration with other

universities.



This then is the foundation from which we are building The

University of the Bahamas.



Often when I speak about the transformation from College to

University, I am asked two very important questions.



The first is: "Do we need a university "



Those who ask that question often follow it with the statement

that there are good universities elsewhere that Bahamians can

attend. They imply that we cannot achieve excellence here in

the Bahamas in part because of our size.



My answer that question is that no country should "outsource"

the higher education of its citizens. The presence of a national





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 4

university is crucial to ensuring long-term, sustainable

prosperity and a high quality of life.



A national university has a triple mandate; to educate citizens,

to carry out research that creates and disseminates new

knowledge, and to serve the community in ways it is most

capable of doing by virtue of its teaching and research

excellence. The universities of other countries, though a

valuable resource to students and researchers everywhere, have

no mandate to meet our national needs.

We do.



We must invest in the talent of this nation, as much the talent

of the students we educate as that of the Bahamian professors

we support and bring home. A country that exports the most

talented citizens is not building a prosperous, peaceful and

sustainable future. The extent to which The College of the

Bahamas has had outstanding success in educating more and

more Bahamians, so that now, for example, most accountants





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 5

are no longer expatriates, should serve as a clear reminder that

educating at home is the best investment a country can make.



And though it is true that much of our economy is based on the

beauty of our natural resources, it is also true that the

sustainable future of these very resources and the extent to

which Bahamians benefit from their development will be a

direct consequence of our national investment in highly-

qualified and talented human resources.



The second answer to this question concerns confidence. It is

the idea that because we are a small country, we cannot have an

excellent university. The evidence does not support this view.



There are a number of relatively small universities that have

established high quality reputations. It is mostly a question of

focus. A relatively small university must be committed to


seeking excellence where it can achieve it.





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 6

For us at The University of the Bahamas, this will of necessity

mean offering a broad range of undergraduate programmes, a

reasonable range of professional graduate programmes, and a

very select number of research graduate programmes where we

can be truly excellent one thinks spontaneously of the marine

sciences, of tourism, of the financial sector, of public policy

research and others



The second question is: "Does the move to University entail

any real change?"



The answer to that question is yes. But though the differences

are profound, they are not always easy to see from the outside.

An analogy might be helpful. There is a huge difference

between a medical clinic and a university hospital yet, if you

are at a clinic to be treated for a routine flu, you will not really

notice much difference. If you are there to have heart surgery,

however, you will.





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 7

A university particularly a comprehensive one such as The

University of the Bahamas will continue to do many of the

things you see us doing today. We will be offering

undergraduate degree programmes to full and part-time

students and this will continue to be where the bulk of our

activity is.



But we will also be building a stronger outreach programme to

be able to respond to human resources training needs of the

Bahamian economy. We will offer better quality teaching and

learning resources a stronger library, improved access to on-

line knowledge and learning.



We will be supporting faculty who want to develop research

programmes, and our priority focus will be supporting multi-

disciplinary teams working on broad thematic areas of

importance to the nation. We will be more present on the

international scene, joining international associations of

Universities as a full member, representing the Bahamas and





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 8

learning and sharing with these universities from across the

world.



We will be seeking to offer our own graduate programmes in

those areas where we know we can build excellence nationally.



The key difference between now and then will be in the depth

and in breadth of our scholarly work and reach.



2007 is a pivotal year for us. Our internal plans are well

underway. These plans include generating broad and deep

public support, of the kind which crosses all differences in our

society political differences, religious differences, class

differences. All these must pale in the face of the awesome

opportunity of building the University of the Bahamas the

university to shape our future.



We are confident of this support but we never take it for

granted. We require major investment and we know that

investors need to be confident before they invest.





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas


Why then should you invest in us and what is our role in developing

Bahamian Society?



We have three distinct roles to play in the development of

Bahamian society.



1. Contribution through education: Access of Bahamians to high

quality university programmes.



The first role is the one we have already been playing as The

College of The Bahamas. We provide high quality and

accessible undergraduate education to Bahamians, many of

whom would not have such access without us. It is important

to remember, for example, that over half of our students study

on a part-time basis. Many of these combine work and study

and we serve in helping them improve their skills and thereby

increase their capacity to aspire to more demanding work.





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 10

The University of the Bahamas will build on this foundation to

increase access by developing new delivery models across the

archipelago. We will also be increasing accessibility to

graduate programmes. This again is of great benefit to the

nation and to the pool of talented human resources.



In addition, as we build the University of the Bahamas, we will

also be building international links which will allow Bahamians

students to study abroad with partner universities. This is

again of great benefit to our students and to the nation. This

will allow Bahamian students to have the benefit of

international exposure which so many want (and so many

parents want for their children) while not having to spend 4

years abroad. Already, two students from The College will be

on an exchange at The University of Rhode Island this semester,

and in December, we signed an agreement with The University

of Johannesburg which will allow for such exchanges. In

identifying international partners, we are always looking for

those who offer programmes which can enrich those we offer

ourselves The University of Johannesburg is well-known, for





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 11

example, for its tourism programme and we believe both our

faculty and our students would have an enriched experience

through an exchange.



This first contribution we make then is in the education and

development of Bahamian citizens directly through the

education we offer.



As we build our programmes, review them for quality, monitor

their evolution and ensure that they meet international

standards of excellence, we also have a need to stay close to all

sectors of the Bahamian economy which will employ our

graduates. I am pleased to report that we are doing so more

and more.



For example, we are currently working very closely with the

Bahamas Hotel Association to make sure our tourism,

hospitality and culinary programmes respond to industry

needs. We are grateful for the collaboration of industry both

as financial supporters and advisors. We are also pleased to





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 12

welcome Dr Lincoln Marshall as our new Executive Director.

Dr. Marshall has extensive experience and brings back to the

Bahamas his great talent.



Academic activity will also occur in the context of lifelong

learning programmes, which offer to adults not only the chance

to complete an interrupted education but also opportunities to

explore areas that can represent an interest quite outside their

professional life. I have asked my colleagues to seek out ways

of increasing the general level of public offerings and I draw

your attention to the wonderful Anatol Rodgers Lecture series

first held in 2006 when a talented Caribbean-born writer and

academic Fred D'Aguiar came to deliver a lecture and stayed

to offer writing workshops to the public at large. This too

demonstrates the kind of contribution The University of the

Bahamas can make to the quality of life in our country.


2. Contribution through Research





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 13

For thirty years now, The College of the Bahamas has educated

students, passing on the combined skills, knowledge and

attitudes which form the current best in each discipline or

professional programme. The exciting time ahead for us is that

we are now going to be expected to create new knowledge -

which is in fact what good research does.



The University of the Bahamas will take its place in the world

as a place where new knowledge is created, discovered and

shared. This is a major step for us. And it represents a

significant challenge. For example, there is the tension between

research driven entirely by the personal interest of an

individual researcher and research driven by national interests

of one kind or another. We see The University of The Bahamas

as a place where this tension is resolved creatively with a focus

on excellence.



We see research as having practical applications for the course

of our national future. And we see the possibility of research

carried out here which has an impact internationally. And in





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 14

the international sphere, we see our research as built on

productive partnerships -with the universities of other small

island developing states in some cases, with countries that have

strong marine research programmes in others, and indeed with

any who seek to answer questions similar to those that occupy

us in education, in the marine and environmental sciences, in

cultural areas, in economics, in business, in tourism, in

development studies or any other field of interest.



We do not see research as esoteric, disconnected from our daily

lives. In fact over the past twenty to thirty years, research in

universities has been at the source of an extraordinary number

of innovations. We see research at The University of The

Bahamas as linked in a fundamental way to our identity and to

our future.



For example, we know of the major anchor investment projects

that are planned across the archipelago. It is obvious to me that

The University of the Bahamas can be a research partner as well

as a human resources development partner. The kinds of





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 15

research needed include not only impact assessment on the

physical environment. We should also be studying how to plan

and manage social, cultural and other impacts. This is the kind

of multi-disciplinary integrated work a modern university can

do that is very difficult to do when you do not have a university

framework.



The University of the Bahamas can also play a key role in

making sure that research carried out by others in this country

also serves the needs of this country and is respectful of

national concerns. This is particularly important as we learn of

discoveries of previously unknown fossils in Abaco, or of rare

life forms off the coast of Andros. The University of the

Bahamas can make sure there is a national research framework

designed in service to the nation.



3. Contribution through Service.



The idea that a university contributes through direct service is

not new and the College and its members have been prominent





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 16

in all kinds of community endeavours in every sector of

activity. My colleagues are all leaders in community service and

you will know them as such.



But as the University of the Bahamas, we will be seeking to

formalize this service component somewhat and this will be

through various forms of Outreach, through Institutes, through

partnerships.



Walking out by Clifton over the Christmas break and seeing

once again the beautiful the carvings of Antonius Roberts, I

wondered how the University of the Bahamas might increase

its partnership with heritage and cultural groups to involve

students in understanding and protecting the public spaces we

wish to honour.



Service must also mean direct engagement with community

issues and concerns. For example, the University of the

Bahamas will see as part of its mission:





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 17

To facilitate social justice through enhanced access to

higher education to disadvantaged and excluded

constituencies. We must do more to rescue our young men

and provide greater access to the disabled.



To make it possible to pursue knowledge in ways that

could extend the horizon of human understanding

without always being constrained by considerations of

immediate relevance or returns on investment.



To ensure that the function of higher education as the

'critic and conscience of society' is upheld as fundamental

to the role of a critical citizenry in keeping democracy

vibrant and substantive.



Service can also be found in the myriad activities which do not

fit neatly within the academic programmes or research areas

but which are the life and breath of university life.





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 18

For example, our plans include making the University of The

Bahamas a significant centre for cultural development. The

College has long been an incubator for many of the gifted

students of art and music, who have not only benefited from

our academic programmes but also had the wonderful

opportunity to gain public exposure for their talents through

our well-patronised Colour of Harmony event. A listing of the

prominent talents in Bahamian art today reads like a who's who

of our alumni.



Last year we held a major jazz concert and our first Band

Festival. The latter gave community musicians an opportunity

to hone their skills under the guidance of master musicians.



The College has invested heavily in creating a state-of-the-art

performing arts centre from the bones of the old auditorium

which, in the days of The Government High School, functioned

as an axis for exciting cultural productions. We have targeted

the month of April for a grand opening.





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 19

All of this speaks to the breadth of activity a University expects

to be engaged in.



In conclusion


The University of The Bahamas is very much part of this year's

Outlook. Our plans are underway and we will shortly be

sharing with the public at large a calendar and timeline for the

transformation.



We have the talent and drive to contribute significantly to our

country's prosperity, to the sustainability of our resources, and

to the overall quality of life of Bahamians. We have the

expertise to do what we are mandated to do. We need however

to have champions and supporters like you across the country.



I invite you then to:

SStay tuned for further announcements about our calendar

of transformation, and give us feedback on areas where

you or your business interacts with us.





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 20

SJoin our Advisory Boards, which are designed to bring

together university officials and major employers for two

main purposes: 1) to discuss the needs of local business

and industry, including research, product innovation, and

workforce training and 2) to contribute expertise to the

development of new programmes and curriculum where a

need is demonstrated.

Respond when we seek your financial support. We will be

launching a major funding campaign and hope to have

partners to build The University of the Bahamas with us.

Contribute directly and promote the University's case to

potential donors.

Sponsor scholarships, faculty and student internships and

research, as well as incubator programmes.

Sponsor and participate in our networking events and

college fairs.

Recruit our alumni and let us know how well prepared

you believe they are.





16th Annual Bahamas Business Outlook, Tuesday, January 9, 2007, Janyne M Hodder, The C .. of The Bahamas 21


Provide university artists and musicians opportunities and

places in which to showcase their talents.

Promote university events through your website, your

newsletters and notice boards, so that our alumni in your

organization, other members of your staff and your clients

can learn of them.

Communicate available job opportunities to us so that our


Offices of Communication and Student

promote them to our students and alumni.


Affairs


can


* Patronise our sporting


events, concerts,


and other


university events.




We are in the nation-building business and we need a nation of

nation-builders to help us do what we are poised to do.


Thank you.




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