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New president shares vision for College of The Bahamas

Newly appointed president of COB, Dr Betsy Vogel Boze, envisions a multi-campus system, with research facilities and teaching centres. “We will work this year to distill our essence, to provide the best advice for our future direction and to define the standards by which we, and others, will measure our success,” she says. 

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011

She’s been in office for only two months, yet Dr Betsy Vogel Boze, The College of The Bahamas’ (COB) fifth president, has already taken up the challenge and started displaying proven leadership and management skills–character traits the college listed as essential in its presidential search.

“I appreciate the trepidation that transition brings. I am not here to change The College of The Bahamas, but to embrace it and to help guide this fine institution to the next level; to nurture it through thoughtful evolution,” says Boze. “A college or university, however old, must continuously reinvent itself; listening, learning and supported anew by students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends. I want to build upon our successes.”

As the college continues on its journey to attain university status, Boze says the foundations are strong, as she’s “standing on the shoulders of giants; the many people who built this institution–Bahamian heroes such as Dr. Keva Bethel.”

Boze, who previously served as the chief executive officer and head of Kent State University’s Stark Campus, already has a plan mapped out for COB: a multi-campus system with three campuses and several research and teaching centres.

“We will work this year to distill our essence, to provide the best advice for our future direction and to define the standards by which we, and others, will measure our success,”?shares Boze. “I am an optimist. We have challenges ahead, and great opportunities. We may not be rich in financial resources, but I have already seen a capacity to pull together and do the work of the college, a great college (a great university) with integrity and determination.”

The college attracts a variety of students at different stages of life, says Boze. Some are returning after an absence, often with job and family responsibilities. Others are just out of secondary school, while many more pursue degrees on a part-time basis.  

The College of The Bahamas is, and should be, the college of choice for Bahamians, whether they are recent high school graduates, adult learners, or companies needing customized training, adds the new president.

“Most are first generation college students with little family experience to guide them through the maze of higher education. They all need a first rate education and they recognize that it will let them step up the ladder of success. The future success of our students is directly tied to education, and the success of The Bahamas is contingent upon an educated population.” 

For Boze, the college has a special role to play in helping to transform young adults into the leaders of tomorrow.   

“We must educate the whole person, in and out of the classroom, through campus activities, technology, study abroad and service learning,” continues Boze. “We must prepare our students to succeed in a diverse world that changes so rapidly that many will work in fields we can’t even envision.”  

Today’s college students must appreciate diversity, demand tolerance and have mutual respect, according to the president.

“I am here because I believe in The College of The Bahamas, and that I can make a difference; that I can provide leadership for the unfolding of the next chapter in our history.”

COB President Dr. BEtsy V. Boze

After several delays and setbacks, all financing and contracts are in place to begin the mega-resort project on New Providence's Cable Beach. The brainchild of Bahamas resident Sarkis Izmirlian, the development is expected to take four years to complete and contribute approximately $1 billion in new spending to the local economy during the first year of operation. Pictured above from left to right: Dikran Izmirlian, Sarkis's father; Li Ruogo, chairman and president, Export-Import Bank of China; Sarkis Izmirlian, Baha Mar chairman and CEO; Brent Symonette, Deputy Prime Minister. Pictured below: at the left sit Sarkis Izmirlian and his wife, Katie.

Despite rising operational costs, airline is set to increase its fleet as it expands the number of routes, with daily flights from Grand Bahama to Florida. Chairman says expansion comes on the back of a 51 per cent year-on-year increase in passenger airlift in 2010.

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