The University of The Bahamas (UB) is currently in the process of shoring up its financial stability ahead of tackling a number of infrastructural and technological upgrades which are aimed at ushering the institution into a new era of modernization.
Ryan Antonio, Vice President of Finance and Business Enterprise admitted to Eyewitness News Wednesday that the institution’s financial affairs could be in better standing, but quickly assured that the institution is working toward financial stability.
“It can be much better to be very honest with you. We have some challenges from a funding perspective, various costs arising and we have also capped our tuition, but we are making our best efforts to work more diligently and efficiency to shore up our financial standing,” Antonio said.
The university recently integrated student records and financial files into a digital platform called the Banner Network.
The introduction of the new network changes the way that business is conducted at UB, said Antonio.
“The version that we are using is the first in the world, so we will be utilizing cutting edge technology to get our financial standing in order,” he shared.
Dr. Rodney Smith, president of UB affirmed that the start of a successful endowment fund will help to stabilize the university’s financial status.
“The endowment is what is going to help this institution to grow,” Dr. Smith touted.
UB’s endowment fund is currently at $3 million, a far cry from the desired $300 million it hopes to secure.
“So, we need a lot of our corporate partners, individuals who give scholarship money, to seriously think about giving an endowed scholarship fund which will go a longer way in being a benefit to not only students as individuals but it will help the institution as well,” he said.
In the meantime, the university is gunning after international accreditation.
“I think that we are moving positively in that direction. All of the efforts that you are seeing on campus regarding accountability and continuous improvements are all steering us in that direction. We are expecting that we will have that full accreditation by December 2020,” he said.
In the spirit of continuous improvement, Dr. Linda Davis, Provost, UB revealed that diverse graduate programs are in the pipeline.
“The university is nothing without graduate programs. We are looking at niche areas that are tied to the national development plans and ones that will also put us on the map as the university to come to,” she said.
Dr. Davis confirmed that UB is not only modernizing its product offerings but they have also recently mandated that all teachers currently working at the university must possess terminal degrees as well.