Message from the Chairman of the Board of Trustees
19th March 2020
Dear University of The Bahamas Students, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni, and members of the public at large:
We have been witnessing the rapid spread of COVID-19, a novel coronavirus that has drastically affected us on an individual, national and global level. On Wednesday, 18thMarch, we all listened attentively as Prime Minister the Most Hon. Dr. Hubert A. Minnis announced the government’s framework to allow for stricter measures in order to tackle this pandemic, now on our shores. The Governor General declared a national emergency as well.
University of The Bahamas (UB) is taking the COVID-19 pandemic very seriously. For the past several weeks, the University has been preparing for the likelihood that drastic efforts may have been necessary to contain the spread of COVID-19. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I commend UB President, Dr. Rodney D. Smith, and his team, for their swift and efficient response to this crisis, always maintaining the safety and wellbeing of all our stakeholders foremost in their decision-making.
In the aftermath of health authorities confirming the first case of COVID-19 in The Bahamas, UB activated remote operations on 16th March, 2020, using its recently implemented 21st century data management system, Banner. Since students have full access to online advisement, course registration, financial aid and scholarships, bill paying and deferred payments, the University continues its business operations. Faculty members have moved to teaching courses online, and every effort is being made to accommodate plans for practicums and internships, that cannot be done remotely.
Students with a minimum ‘C’ grade as of 13th March, who do not have access to technology, computer equipment or mobile devices at home, may apply for an Incomplete Grade, with the balance of their course content being completed at a later date, at no additional cost.
Protocols are also in place for any member of the UB family showing any sign of illness, and those have been shared widely.
Additionally, all non-essential personnel have been working remotely. The only professionals currently on campus are those fulfilling essential duties that must be completed on campus, inclusive of security. These persons have been cautioned to observe the recommended social distancing.
I wish to assure everyone that the President and Administration have been working diligently with the Ministry of Education and other government agencies, faculty members, unions, student government, academic leadership and many others to ensure that the University remains operational, that there is academic continuity and that academic integrity is maintained. With the University’s migration to Banner, UB is able to function more efficiently, remotely, than most institutions around the world.
The University has constituted a COVID-19 Task Force and it includes:
- Dr. Rodney D. Smith, President & CEO
- Mr. Troy Dexter, Executive Director, Gerace Research Institute
- Ms. Tameka Lundy, AVP University Relations
- Dr. Ian Strachan, VP of UB-North
- Ms. Ingrid Culmer, VP of Finance
- Dr. Maria Oriakhi, VP (Acting) Academic Affairs
- Dr. Marcella Elliott-Ferguson, VP of Administrative Services
- Ms. Prestonia Wallace, Director of Health & Safety
- Ms. Kathleen Johnson, Director of Health Services
- Mr. Ronnie Stevenson, VP of Operations
- Mr. Joe Stubbs, Dean of Students
- Mr. Glenn Miller, Director of Campus Police and Security
- Ms. Nyoka Sweeting, University Nurse Ms. Nickara Pratt, Director of Housing & Residence Life
- Ms. Antona Curry, Director of Enterprise Risk Management
- Ms. Phillipa Moss, Assistant Director, Facilities Rental
- Ms. Atalia Cash, Retail Manager
- Ms. Alexis Lightbourne, President of Student Government Association
I urge everyone to visit the University’s COVID-19 website at www.ub.edu.bs/covid/for additional information and frequent updates. And, I stress the need to practice proper social distancing along with proper hygiene.
Together, we will get through this crisis, of that I have no doubt. The Board of Trustees joins me in asking you to please stay safe and be well. May God Bless us all.
Dr. K. Jonathan Rodgers,
Chairman, Board of Trustees
Office of University Relations
University of The Bahamas
2nd Floor, Michael H. Eldon Complex
University Drive, Oakes Field Campus
P.O. Box N-4912
Nassau, The Bahamas
Tel: (242) 302-4355/4354/4365
Chartered on 10th November 2016, University of The Bahamas (UB) is a beacon for national transformation. Approximately 5,000 students are enrolled in the University of The Bahamas system which includes campuses and centres on New Providence, Grand Bahama, San Salvador and Abaco, as well as UB online education. UB’s diverse academic programmes, research engagements, athletics and leadership development experiences equip our students to become global citizens in a dynamic world. For more information, visit www.ub.edu.bs.