The ratification of the appointment of the rector of the Universidad Cooperativa de Colombia (UCC), Maritza Rondón Rangel, took place on November 6 at the XLIII General Assembly of IOHE members held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV), in the framework of the Congress of the Americas on International Education (CAEI-2023) that takes place from November 6 to 8 in Nevada, United States.
President Rondón is a Business Administrator at the Autonomous University of Bucaramanga (UNAB). She specialized in Business Management from the same Institution and has a Master’s Degree in Administration from the UNAB agreement and the Technological Institute of Higher Studies of Monterrey (ITESM) of Mexico.
She has served as Director of Quality for Higher Education of the Ministry of National Education (2007 – 2008) and Vice Minister in charge. She assumed the Rectorship of UCC in the first semester of 2015 and before assuming the Rectorship, since 2012, she served as Academic Vice-Rector of said university.
Under her leadership as Vice Chancellor and President, the Cooperative University has achieved high-quality accreditation of 17 programs on the campuses of Bucaramanga, Bogotá, Medellín, Pasto and Santa Marta in Medicine, Dentistry, Psychology, Nursing, Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnics, Engineering of Systems, Law, Business Administration and Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and English. She managed to get the University into the Schimago ranking in 2017 and in 2018 it improved its ranking by placing 16th in Colombia. She also formalized the accession of the UCC to the Colombian Association of Universities (ASCUN) in 2021.
In 2018, Rector Rendón joined the National Council of Higher Education (CESU), an organization with planning, advisory, coordination and recommendation functions for higher education in Colombia.
From the rectorship and with the IOHE, she held the position of Regional Vice President IOHE-Colombia from 2019 to 2023 and was the first woman to assume the Regional Vice President OUI-Colombia in 2019. Now, marking history again by being the first president of the IOHE in Colombia in 43 years of institutional life, and the second woman presiding over the OUI for this period 2023-2025.
In her opening remarks during the General Assembly of IOHE members, Rector Maritza Rondón Rangel expressed: “One of our objectives is to strengthen ties between Latin America, the Caribbean and the North American region. We believe that interregional collaboration and strategic spaces such as the CAEI launched by the IOHE are essential to address global challenges and take advantage of the opportunities presented to us. “Together, we can achieve greater integration, share knowledge and best practices, and work together on projects that benefit all nations in our regions.”
For Rector Rondón, it is essential to continue the actions developed over the last six years by the outgoing president Óscar Garrido, which is why her 2023-2025 Regional Development and Activities Plan includes as general actions:
- Promote links and strategic alliances for the IOHE
- Coordinate 2023-2025 agendas, boards of directors and other collegiate bodies
- Guarantee the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the Annual Activity Plans of the Organization
- Encourage membership for new members of the organization and their permanence
- Disclose the organization’s actions in the media and communication
- Represent the organization before governments, multilateral organizations and events
For his part, Doctor David Julien, Executive Secretary General of the IOHE stated: “The arrival of Rector Rondón as President of the IOHE is part of the continuation of the mobilization efforts that we have achieved together, with her and with Colombia since the management of the CAEI-2019 in Bogotá and the role of many rectorates that have joined forces to position the country as a high-quality emerging sector on our continent. I had the opportunity to work very closely with the UCC and its teams and I have full confidence that today we open a new management cycle with great perspectives for the IOHE and all its members.”
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