UCCI finds new boss after year-long search

| 08/11/2018 | 13 Comments
Dr Stacy McAfee, Cayman News Service

Dr Stacy McAfee

(CNS): Just weeks before the current president of the University College of the Cayman Islands (UCCI), Roy Bodden retires, the board have finally appointed someone to take his place. Dr Stacy McAfee is coming to the Cayman Islands from the University of the Pacific, California, where she was the Associate Vice President. Chairman of the UCCI Board of Directors, Anthony Ritch, said she was selected “following a most rigorous recruitment process that started in January of this year”. The college reportedly processed around 200 applications, conducted eleven interviews and had four candidates visit the campus to meet faculty and staff.

It’s understood that at least one candidate offered the job had declined and another gay candidate was subjected to online discrimination and humiliation when his private messages were leaked and posted on a local social media site. But despite the challenges in the year-long search, Ritch said McAfee “demonstrated the strongest expertise, motivational fit, and vision to carry out the duties of the institution’s chief executive officer” in line with the mission of the college.

“We look forward to working with Dr McAfee as we embrace our new Strategic Plan and seek to build on the many improvements, positive initiatives and landmark successes achieved under President Roy Bodden’s visionary and astute leadership,” Ritch said.

Expressing his appreciation for Bodden, who is retiring at the end of the year after nine years on the job, Ritch said he had made an “immeasurable contribution to education across the Cayman Islands. He is leaving us with an enduring legacy and the board is committed to ensuring that we continue to set exacting standards for excellence and educational achievement that build on the great work he has done.”

Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly welcomed McAfee as she spoke about the rebirth of UCCI under Bodden, her old Cabinet colleague and one-time education minister.

“There is a newfound vitality, stability, enthusiasm and sense of purpose that permeates both the campus and the classroom,” she said. “He has surely laid a solid foundation upon which Dr McAfee can build. I look forward to working with President McAfee and the UCCI Board as we continue to provide students with educational programmes that meet internationally recognised standards of learning in the core and developing industries relevant to the socio-economic well-being of the Cayman Islands and its citizens.”

McFee, who will take up the post on 1 January, described the job as a rare privilege. “Together, we will build upon the successes of the past while fulfilling a new vision for locally relevant and internationally recognised tertiary education for the Cayman Islands,” she said.

According to the release announcing the appointment, Dr Stacy McAfee led University of Phoenix’s Bay Area campus before going to California; before that she directed academic affairs for University of Phoenix’s West Region.

She has more than 30 years of leadership experience with a variety of public and private organisations across various industries. McAfee holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Management from Drexel University, an MBA from DePaul University, a Business degree from Iowa State University, and an Associate of Arts from Highland Community College.

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Comments (13)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Dr. McAfee’s outcomes in California, especially at the University of Phoenix in Silicon Valley are very impressive. She was able to put the school at the Silicon Valley map of major companies and organizations. I am sure that she will bring this high level of university leadership, culture, professionalism, and outcomes to UCCI.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Let’s hope she will be supported and also supportive of the huge task that lies ahead of continuing the development of UCCI.
    Outgoing President Mr Roy a Bodden had a very challenging time to correct what he found and also reposition UCCI on a new trajectory which he did in good style.

    • Anonymous says:

      Could 3:39 pm clarify what Bodden “found” that was so challenging to correct?

    • Anonymity says:

      What Bodden found was a highly motivated faculty, quite unlike the reality at UCCI today.

      Sayid committed major mishandling of finances and is now paying for that —and I do agree that it would have presented financial challenges.

      What I am sure about, however, is that there were no internal UCCI efforts to raise funds and establish foundations in support of the university. That is why we now have the emphasis being placed on fundraising for the new president.

      What I also know is that his predecessor Sayid did one heck of a job in raising morale that is now in sharp decline.

      Hopefully the new president will be able to rebuild morale for the well deserving faculty.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Please move away from the vision of creating a Harvard in cayman.

    Don’t get hung up on Ms President.

    Keep graduations within 90 min.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hope she will quickly put in place a better Human Resources Department that will do it’s job.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Will she be cleaning house?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Seems more qualified than usual. Good luck!

    • Anonymous says:

      A PhD is the norm for a university president. And a PhD degree in educational administration is spot on. I don’t think she is “more qualified than usual”.

      What I must comment on, however, is the “newfound vitality, stability, enthusiasm and sense of purpose that permeates both the campus and the classroom.”

      It is nice to hear that the impressions of many are so inaccurate.

      • Anonymous says:

        I did not want to say more qualified than Roy.

        • Anonymous says:

          What is important is that the new president comes with impressive experience as a university administrator.

          She will undoubtedly bring the level of thinking and perspective that we expect from a university.

          It is all good. Dr McFee, welcome.

          We in the public — and I know the faculty also — look forward to a reformation at the university. Long over due.

    • Anonymous says:

      Good luck does not cut it, try watch your back!


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