The crisis that rocked the University of Ghana, Legon, last year has taken a new dimension with the removal of Prof Edward Ofori-Sarpong as the Pro-Vice Chancellor and the dismissal of the Head of the Philosophy Department, Prof Kwesi Agyeman, with immediate effect.
The decision implies that Prof Ofori-Sarpong has been stripped of all administrative functions but he can go back to the classroom, while Prof Agyeman will no longer remain in the service of the university.
The two professors are, however, contesting the decision of the authorities and have filed an injunction at an Accra High Court seeking to restrain the university from proceeding with its action.
According to sources close to the university, some other senior members have also fallen victim to what appears to be a disciplinary action to “redeem the image of the university” following a series of examination and admission malpractices.
The letters relieving Prof Ofori-Sarpong of his post and dismissing Prof Agyeman were dated February 6, 2006, and signed by the acting Vice-Chancellor, Prof C. N. B. Tagoe.
When the Daily Graphic contacted Prof Tagoe on telephone yesterday to verify the story, he said he was not in a position to comment on the issue.
When asked whether or not he was aware of the court injunction filed by Prof Ofori-Sarpong and Prof Agyeman against the action taken by the university, he responded in the negative.
Prof Tagoe, however, indicated that the authorities would soon issue a press statement and, therefore, “we should wait until the statement is issued”.
The rationale for removing Prof Ofori-Sarpong as Pro Vice-Chancellor and dismissing Prof Agyeman was not clear but the sources suggested that it might be a fall-out from the report of the disciplinary committee which was set up to look into the recommendations made by the Mfodwo Committee.
The Mfodwo Committee was set up by the university authorities to investigate allegations of examination malpractices that rocked the premier university in December 2004.
Following the examination malpractices, in which Kwadwo Tabiri Asenso-Okyere, the son of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Kwadwo Asenso-Okyere, was alleged to be the principal architect, the university was plunged into a crisis as the vice-chancellor was asked to step aside until the committee had finished its work.
Prof Agyeman and Prof Ofori-Sarpong also voluntarily stepped aside to allow the investigation to take its course.
Inside sources said no decision had yet been taken as to whether or not to reinstate Prof Asenso-Okyere. His tenure ends in September this year.
Following the detection of examination malpractices at the university, the authorities set up a six-member committee, chaired by Mr Stephen Bekoe Mfodwo, a retired Deputy Registrar (Academic Affairs), to investigate the allegations.
According to the report of the Mfodwo Committee, some senior members of the university were indicted for the malpractices. Some students, including the son of Prof Asenso-Okyere, were also indicted for the malpractices.
Two disciplinary committees were subsequently set up to separately look into the indictment of the senior members and the students as indicated by the Mfodwo Committee report.
Following the decision by Prof Asenso-Okyere and Prof Ofori-Sarpong to step aside, the positions they occupied as Vice-Chancellor and Pro Vice-Chancellor respectively were occupied by other senior faculty members in acting capacities.