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30.05.2005 General News

Legon VC Pack Out Next Week

By Chronicle

... Fallout of Varsity Exam leakage ... Council reaffirms decision to oust Asenso-Okyere Accra, May 30 (Chronicle) -- The University Council of the University of Ghana, Legon, last Thursday decided at a marathon meeting that went deep into the night to give the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, a week's grace, from June 1st to June 7th before stepping aside on June 8 as the administrative head of the premier University.

The decision to truncate Prof. Asenso-Okyere's tenure followed in the wake of massive examination malpractices that have threatened the integrity of degrees awarded by the country's premier university.

The don is also to have his contract which was to end by September of 2006 curtailed, but allowed one academic term in 2005 to virtually end his relation with the University, while the outcome of the Mfodwo committee and the disciplinary committee he is facing go through their paces and the recommendations implemented in full.

Sources close to various groups represented at the Council hinted The Chronicle that Professor Asenso-Okyere cut a pathetic figure after he was given the floor to make his case. He was pressed to come out openly to substantiate how and who he was referring to when he alleged that some were 'pursuing their personal agenda.'

He stuttered on and could not say anything but eventually conceded that he bore full responsibility for the examination malpractices, admitting also that he erred in not being fulsome with the disclosure of his own son's major role in the scandal. Asenso-Okyere had unleashed a press campaign of inexactitudes and grandstanding, excusing himself from blame but attributing the furore over the scandal to senior members of the University and to what he described as a media hype.

From what The Chronicle reporters gathered, Professor Tagoe will stay on as Vice-Chancellor while the most senior dean who, by the reckoning of some senior faculty members, is said to be Professor Kwesi Yankah, will stand in as Acting Pro-Vice-Chancellor.

A search committee will then be set up to find a replacement for the outgoing Vice-Chancellor.

It will be recalled that a committee set up by the University, indicted not only students, but the Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Professor E. Ofori Sarpong and some Heads of Departments, for effecting changes and the award of grades without going through the universities laid down procedures for doing so.

The Mfodwo-led Committee's investigations, established also that Kwadwo Tabiri Asenso-Okyere (a.k.a. K. T.), a 23-year old son of the Vice-Chancellor, was the pivot around whom the mass leakage revolved.

When Asenso-Okyere was requested by the Council to explain

1. How and why the University's administrative systems and procedures broke down so completely as to have allowed leakage of examination questions and other malpractices on the scale reported by the 'Mfodwo' Committee, and

2. Why the University's rules and regulations on administration of examinations were not closely followed and why sanctions were not applied against defaulting members of staff, he was not very forthcoming, the Council therefore was left with no choice but to send him packing, hoping that somehow, the battered image of the university and the threat to the integrity of scholarship, research and degrees from the University of Ghana, Legon would be saved.

The Council had early last month made it clear that it was completely dissatisfied with the Vice-Chancellor's response to their queries, in which he sought to distance himself from the mess following the massive leakage of exam papers, and the fall-out that ensued.

The Council's membership includes Messrs S.K Bah, Dr. D. Adu-Gyamfi, Prof. D. Edoh, Professor Kofi Anyidoho, Dr. M. Blay Adu-Gyamfi, and Cardinal Peter Appiah-Turkson, Dr. Douglas Adu Gyamfi, Kweku Mensah Bonsu, Mr. P.K. Lumor representing TEWU, Josephine Ashia, President of the Students Representative Council, Mr. Ishmael Yamson as Chairman and Nana Wereko Ampem as Chancellor who chairs whenever the Council is in session. Others who sit in Council include Mr. Sam Okudzeto representing the Colleges of Health, the Registrar Mr. A.T. Konu, Mr. J. Addo Larbi representing the Graduate students, and Opoku Duku.

The departing VC engineered propaganda that suggested that he the Vice-Chancellor, was being sent home for 'the sins of his son.'

After the leakage of the Mfodwo Committee report and the subsequent publication in the media, the Pro-Vice-Chancellor was the first to hit the airwaves, denigrating the findings of the Committee.

Prof. Ofori-Sarpong who is facing disciplinary committee hearings along with four other senior staffers had submitted on Peace FM's morning newspaper review programme, Kokrokoo that the findings about him and his student-daughter were without merit, a stance that clearly had the potential of discrediting the much credited Mfodwo report.

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