MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT
11th June 2020
Dear University community,
We hope that you, your families and your loved ones are all safe and well within this new reality brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected us all so deeply. Virtually every society has been impacted on an emotional, social, economic and personal level. Despite the adversity, we remain steadfast and hopeful.
We have continued to closely monitor all national announcements, Emergency Powers Orders, Amendment Orders and guidelines issued by the Government of the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. And naturally, University of The Bahamas is also following the government’s Measured Plan for the Reopening of the Bahamian Economy. This week, the latest Emergency Powers COVID-19 Amendment Order, 2020 was issued outlining that schools and other educational institutions are to remain closed unless they are (a) preschools and infant daycare centres on any island which has been permitted to reopen or (b) where preparations are being made for national examinations. Consequently, University of The Bahamas will continue to operate remotely until further notice and the proposed resumption of on-site operations on Monday 15thJune is suspended. An announcement will be made at a later date regarding the phased reopening.
Over the last few months, the University’s COVID-19 Task Force, co-chaired by VP of Administrative Services Dr. Marcella Elliott-Ferguson and VP of Operations Mr. Ronnie Stevenson, and whose membership includes employees from across the institution, has continued to develop recommendations, offer advice, and thoroughly plan and prepare for the University’s new normal. A Phased Reopening Plan for University of The Bahamas, as well as guidelines for safely resuming our on-site operations are being finalized and will be shared with the University community and stakeholders soon.
This phased reopening plan will be predicated upon protecting the health and safety of the University community and the public, reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19, and carefully transitioning into a new era for academic and administrative operations, business enterprises, and eventually, our social life. Discussions concerning educational delivery moving forward continue. Much time and effort have been placed on trying to source the necessary cleaning, disinfecting and sanitizing supplies and equipment; training for custodial staff; and implementing a thorough and sustained cleaning regimen.
Over the last three months, it has been amazing to witness how diligently faculty and staff have gone about their duties, rendering assistance where necessary, helping our students through this difficult period and working in some instances throughout the night and on weekends to provide customer service and simply get the job done. We are also deeply grateful to those persons, who because of the nature of the services they provide, have been working on campus.
Both national and international health authorities continue to advise us that the best measures to follow to reduce the spread of COVID-19 are maintaining clean and hygienic environments, regularly and properly washing our hands, and promoting proper respiratory hygiene. Please continue to be diligent in these practices as you move about. Maintain the required six-feet physical distance and wear your masks properly.
Continue to visit the UB COVID-19 webpage for all University notices, government announcements, news and other helpful resources and also closely monitor the University’s social media channels and email communications.
Thank you all for your patience and your contributions during this unprecedented period.
Rodney D. Smith, Ed.D.
President and CEO