Row At UENR Over Attempt To Extend VCs Tenure Of Office

There is seeming disquiet at the campuses of the University of Energy and Natural Resources (UENR), Sunyani, over the impending vacancy in the Vice-Chancellorship position.

The anxiety reached its crescendo after the University Council, Chaired by Prof. J.S.K Ayim, met on Thursday, January 28, 2016, where a proposal was made for an extension to be granted to the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mrs. Esi Awuah, who retired at 60, in July, last year.

According to The Chronicle’s source, the Council meeting was initially peaceful, until the later part where the Council Chairman proposed an extension of six months for Prof. Mrs. Esi Awuah, despite an advertisement calling for qualified and interested persons to apply for the vacant position.

Per the advertisement, the closing date for submission of application is on January 29, 2016, which depicts that latest by the end of April, this year, there will be a new Vice-Chancellor for the UENR.

The Chronicle’s source narrated that the University Council was inaugurated on June 15, 2015, which was supposed to have its first meeting two weeks after the inauguration, but was postponed to the first week of August last year.

However, the meeting, which was supposed to be held in the first week of August could not come on because the wife of the Chairman of the Council died, which compelled the council to once again postpone the meeting till the final funeral rites of the chairman’s wife is held.

The funeral of the chairman’s wife was in September last year, so based on that, the first meeting of the University Council was held on October 15, 2015.

According to the Chronicle’s source at the meeting, a proposal was submitted by the Council Chairman that the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mrs. Esi Awuah should continue to be the Vice-Chancellor, till the end of January, which was accepted.

At that same meeting, a Search Committee was formed, which constituted two members from the Council, two from the Academic Board and a Chairperson from outside the school.

On Thursday’s Council meeting, some of the members opposed the proposed extension of the VC’s tenure till July, which generated into heated arguments, amidst allegations and counter accusations, with some of them threatening to take legal action against the Council, if the proposal is accepted.

According to The Chronicle’s source, some of the members argued that a new Vice-Chancellor can be appointed before July, so there was no need for Prof. Esi Awuah’s tenure to be extended till July, while others also proposed that some of the Professors on the Council could be acting till a new Vice-Chancellor was appointed, instead of allowing the Vice-Chancellor to continue.

The Chronicle has gathered that some concerned lecturers are making plans to legally challenge any attempt to extend the tenure of office of the Vice- Chancellor, and have called on the University Council, headed by Prof. J.S.K. Ayim, to do what they say is the right thing, by allowing the search committee to go by their mandate, after advertising the vacant position.

From Michael Boateng, Sunyani

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