‘Sidelined’ GIJ threatens to withdraw from UniMAC merger

By Editor
Headlines Sidelined GIJ threatens to withdraw from UniMAC merger
JAN 30, 2023 LISTEN

Concerned UTAG members of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) have expressed displeasure over management issues after the formation of the University of Media, Arts, and Communication (UniMAC).

In 2019, the government started the procedures to combine the Ghana Institute of Languages (GIL), the National Film and Television Institute (NAFTI), and the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ) into one university.

On Monday, December 19, 2022, the Ghana Institute of Journalism’s North Dzorwulu campus in Accra hosted the logo launching ceremony on behalf of UniMAC’s interim Council and Management.

Unhappy with a number of issues, GIJ is now threatening to withdraw from the UniMAC merger.

At an emergency UTAG-GIJ meeting held on 27th January, 2023, members raised issues about the slow pace and the lack of clear structures and clarity in the merger leading to the formation of UniMAC.

In a document intercepted by ModernGhana News, the ultimate source of confusion and arbitrariness on the part of the UniMAC management is the lack of the UniMAC Statute, which will operationalize the UniMAC Act.

"We are convinced that the merger cannot proceed without the Statute, hence we resolve to mount pressure on the Interim Council to attach much more seriousness to the enactment of the Statute to forestall the impending confusion and anxiety on our campuses as a result of the excesses of the UniMAC management. Failure to act swiftly on the Statutes will give us no option than to protest for GIJ’s withdrawal from the merger," a summary prepared by the Secretary, Eric Agyekum noted.

Members also raised the issue of financial burden on GIJ, which seems to be bearing the majority of, if not all, the cost associated with running the new university.

They also cited issues of autocratic management, expressing worry about the “cherry-picking” posture of UniMAC management, where they pick and choose between the UniMAC Act and the GIJ Statutes as and when it favours them.

Members demand separation of GIJ funds from UniMAC funds, definition of the distinct roles of acting rector of GIJ, registrar and VC of UniMAC as regards the running of GIJ, integrate UTAG-GIJ/UniMAC into the Interim Council and ultimately trigger actions towards amendment of portions of the UniMAC Act which threaten academic freedom, independence, and interest of staff.

The government, interim council, and management of UniMAC have up to February 28, 2023 to act on their demands.

Failure to do so by the said date, UTAG-GIJ has vowed to take further drastic actions.

It was also agreed at the emergency that all GIJ UTAG members wear red arm bands in protest of what they described as unlawful demotion of a UTAG-GIJ member by management of UniMAC.

ModernGhana News will bring you more on this matter.