…. The real issues
It has emerged from reliable sources within the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) information that suggests political interference is allegedly behind the troubles currently ongoing at the university.
The Republic sources in UEW indicate that on 13th March, 2013 the Ministry of Education (MOE) wrote a letter to tertiary institutions in the country communicating the President’s mandate for all Governing Councils of these institutions, whose terms of office have come to an end as a result of the Presidential Transition Act (845) of 2012, to continue to stay on and perform such functions as a Council shall until such a time that new councils will be constituted.
Indeed Section 14(1) of Act (845) states: On the assumption of office of the person elected as the President, a person holding any of the offices specified in the Schedule (Schedule 6): person appointed by the President or a Minister of State as a member of Statutory Board or Corporation shall cease to hold that office, and shall be paid the relevant retirement benefits and the enjoyment of facilities as provided by law.
Section 14(2) of Act (845) also states: the functions of office of a person who cease to hold office under subsection (1) shall be performed by person so appointed by the President for the period specified in writing by the President.
Hence , in view of the foregoing, the Governing Council of the University of Education, Winneba, (UEW) whose term of office should have come to an end under Act(845), continued to stay on to perform such functions as a Council would ordinarily perform.
Therefore, on 15th September, 2014, another letter came from the National Council of Tertiary Education (NCTE) reminding these tertiary institutions of the mandate given to their expiring Councils by the President in the letter from the MOE.
So, in 2015 due to the fact that the team of office of the then Vice Chancellor (VC) was coming to an end on 30th September 2015, a Search Party was constituted by the Governing Council to look for a suitable person to take over from the outgoing VC.
The Search Party comprised a former VC of KNUST, Prof. Adarkwa as Chairman, a former acting VC of UDS, Prof. Nokoe, two members of council who were not staff of the University, two representatives of the Academy Board of UEW and the Executive Secretary of NCTE as members with the Registrar of UEW as the Secretary.
An advertisement was placed in the print media for interested qualified persons to apply, according to our sources who want to remain anonymous. Three persons from the University subsequently applied for the position of VC; namely, Prof. Mawutor Avoke, a former Pro VC and the Dean of the School of Graduate Studies, Prof. Harrison Dapaah, then Principal of the College of Agriculture of UEW, Mampong Ashanti and Associate Professor Rev. Fr. Anthony Afull Broni, then Dean of the Faculty of Education Studies.
It is alleged that as soon as the Search Party was ready to do its work then, the leadership of the Junior Staff (TEWU) and Senior Staff (FUSSAG) of UEW wrote to the panel that they do not want an Ewe to become the VC, because they claimed that there were too many Ewes in leadership positions in the University.
A faceless group also caused to be published in the “Crusading Guide2 newspaper that they will resist any attempt by the Search Party to select an Ewe as a VC for UEW, allegedly.
It emerged that when the Search Party later met with the leadership of UTAG, this issue was brought up and they were asked whether they had any ethnic preference as to who the VC should be, as the other unions had indicated.
The leadership of UTAG, in their response, emphasised that merit, and no other consideration, should be the only criterion for the selection of the VC.
Eventually at its meeting on 30th July, 2015, the Governing Council, upon considering the report and thus the recommendation of the Search Party, decided to appoint Prof. Avoke as the new VC to take over from Prof. Asabere Ameyaw on 1st October, 2015.
This decision, according to our sources, did not go down well with some people on the sole pretext that he is an Ewe. Hence the subsequent unfolding events…..to be continued