The Board of Governors of the University College of the Cayman Islands has appointed Roy Bodden the new president of UCCI.
Mr. Bodden, a former minister of education, was recommended as president by the government in July and his nomination has been under consideration since then.
‘Mr. Bodden has proven leadership ability and experience in a wide range of senior positions, including the private sector, education and government. He is a respected scholar, with the rare ability to relate to people at all levels,’ saidBerna Murphy-Cummins, chairman of the UCCI Board of Governors.
‘Among his distinguishing characteristics was his ability to convince the panel that he is a visionary leader with the experience and commitment necessary to conceive and communicate strategy at the highest levels, and to carry others with him. The board has offered its full support to the new president and we look forward to a new start at UCCI,’ she added.
Mr. Bodden took up his appointment Monday, 19 October.
Mrs. Murphy-Cummins said his appointment followed a ‘lengthy and vigorous process to find the right candidate’ and that a selection/interview panel of five board members were tasked with hiring a new president.
‘We were fortunate to have a broad field of over 130 applicants apply for the position. From this number, three were short listed, two of whom were Caymanian and one a permanent resident,’ she said.
Minister of Education Rolston Anglin said he looked forward to the university being re-organised and stabilised.
UCCI was dealt a heavy blow in May last year when its president Hassan Syed resigned, citing ill health. Since then an Auditor General’s report revealed financial irregularities relating to the former president’s spending. Mr. Syed’s whereabouts remain unknown and he continues to be subject to a police investigation.
Brian Chapell has been the acting president of the university since Mr. Syed’s departure.
‘Mr. Bodden takes over during extremely challenging times for UCCI. However, I am confident that he is the right person to be the president at this crucial juncture of the college’s history and development,’ Mr. Rolston said.
‘The Ministry expects that UCCI will not only be stabilised but we also envision a reorganised institution focused on the needs of students and the economy. We anticipate relevant programme offerings that will distinguish UCCI not only regionally but internationally,’ the education minister added.
Speaking at a UCCI faculty and staff function on Friday, Mr. Bodden told attendees: ‘It is an honour to have been selected to serve as the next president of the University College of the Cayman Islands.
‘The interview process was, by my own reckoning, one of the most meticulous, thorough and comprehensive exercises that I have experienced and it was conducted with exemplary professionalism.’
He said he had been ‘humbled’ by the outpouring of support from the Caymanian community throughout his candidacy, ‘and a special appreciation is held for those persons who informed me that I was borne up in their prayers. It is my hope that these prayers will continue.’
Mr Bodden said that he looked forward to working with the Board of Governors, the faculty and students ‘to build an institution to which every person in the Caymanian community can feel that he or she is a stakeholder … an institution which caters to the educational needs of the growing diverse society that is the Cayman Islands’.