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Opinions of Friday, 25 March 2005

Columnist: Akosah-Sarpong, Kofi

Legon VC must be fired

  • ?The Truth Will Come Out - Prof. Agyemang.?
  • ?Legon Students Wants VC & Pro VC Out.?
  • ?University of Ghana will protect its integrity ?Registrar.?
  • ?Scandal rocks Legon (Parts 5).?
  • ?Osafo Maafo goes wild?over reported Varsity exam malpractices.?
  • ?Vice-Chancellor's Son Escapes To US.?
  • ?Legon Students Demand Further Probe.?
  • ?Vice Chancellor promises to sanction son.?
  • ?Scandal@Legon: VC's sons poor grades marked up.? ?Legon Vice Chancellor?s Son Nabbed.?
The above headlines from various newspapers and radio stations in Ghana, and increasingly being reproduced internationally by the global mass media, reveal the embarrassing decay at the University of Ghana at Legon. All these troubles have come under the watch of Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, Vice Chancellor of Legon, as the University of Ghana is fondly called, and the fact that his son, Tabiri, is deeply involved in such a dastardly act of academic crime. More doubts about Asenso-Okyere?s credibility and watch of Legon are worsened when it was reported that Tabiri has escaped to the United States. An agriculture economist, Asenso-Okyere became Legon vice chancellor in 2002, and aside from inheriting some academic and administrative problems, most which he has not been able to solved, have had to struggle to handle emerging tribulations, seeing Tabiri, who knows his father very well, having the audacity to openly trade in examination papers and grades. On March 4 his bid to extend his term of office as vice chancellor beyond the September 20, 2006 expiry date by one year, which is being reviewed by a Three-Member Committee chaired by Roman Catholic Cardinal Peter Turkson, was criticized and attempts being made to obstruct it by a group of Legon students called Vice Chancellor Extension Resistance Movement (V-CERG).

As matter of principle, and for the integrity of the university and Ghana, Asenso-Okyere should have resigned immediately there were leaks from the Stephen Mfodwo Committee of Enquiry, which is investigating the examination and grades malpractices, in the press that not only is sales of examination papers and grades by both students and lecturers wide-spread but the fact that his son is heavily involved. In other universities or higher institutions in the world, Asenso-Okyere, as chief executive officer of Legon, would have been forced to resign or sued in court of law to be fired or the association of lecturers would have passed a votes of no-confidence in him to resign immediately for bringing the esteemed university?s name, under his watch, in public ridicule. Last month, in a less bizarre incident compared to Asenso-Okyere?s ordeal, Harvard University?s President Prof. Lawrence Summers endured hostile condemnation, and might have jeopardized his job, as threats of no-confidence vote by faculty looms, for suggesting that the ?under representation of women in engineering and some scientific fields may be due in part to inherent differences in the intellectual abilities of the sexes.?

With over one year more to finish his term as head of Legon, Prof. Assenso-Okyere?s immediate resignation, on both moral and administrative grounds, will restore integrity to Legon and university education in Ghana.



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