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13.04.2006 Regional News

Otumfuo was ultimate choice for Chancellorship - Council Chairman

By Ghanaian Chronicle (Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi)

FAR FROM speculations that Otumfuo Osei Tutu II was installed Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) because he is the Asantehene, it has been explained that the choice was a matter of course devoid of any manipulation.

“He (Otumfuo) was freely chosen by members of KNUST including students, academic and non-academic staff, as well as alumni,” Nana Otuo Siriboe II, Juabenhene and chairman of the University Council, explained.

Nana Siriboe said statute 10 of KNUST Statues mandates the University Council to appoint a chancellor.

Following, a Search Committee was appointed last year to recommend names of three Ghanaians of good standing in public life.

The chairman said the Search Committee then invited nominations from different constituents comprising the six colleges, alumni associations in Ghana, USA and the United Kingdom, the Senior Staff Association and the Teachers and Educational Workers' Union (TEWU).

He said the report by the Search Committee was interesting, in that the three Ghanaians chosen by all the constituents turned out to be the one and same personality in the person of Otumfuo (Dr.) Osei Tutu II.

“At the end of the exercise, the first, second and third choice of the constituents read Otumfuo Dr. Osei Tutu II throughout, making the University Council's task of appointing a Chancellor out of the nominees redundant,” the chairman said.

Nana Otuo Siriboe explained further that the reasons for the choice of Otumfuo were very significant. Among them were that: “He is a resident Ghanaian of good standing in public life; he is of national and international stature and recognition; he is literate; he has made meaningful contributions to the progress of education in Ghana through the establishment of the 'Otumfuo Education Fund'; he has skills of advocacy as evidenced by his networks and contacts with national agencies across the globe including The World Bank, whose immediate past president graced his induction ceremony”.

Other reasons given for his automatic choice were: “He is a repository of Ghanaian culture and traditional values; he has made remarkable and immense contributions to the University, such as the donation of a set of British Law reports to the faculty of Law; his handsome donation to the construction of the SRC hostel; and above all his personality office, which could serve as a great asset in fund raising and development of the university”.

The University Council chairman said in accepting to be Chancellor, Otumfuo Osei Tutu had formalized the close affinity that had existed between the Golden Stool and KNUST spanning over half a century.

He said the foresight of Otumfuo (Dr.) Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II had led to the release of a large track of land for the university, whose physical demarcation was done by an accomplished surveyor who later became Asantehene, Otumfuo Opoku Ware II.

Nana Otuo Siriboe described the appointment of Otumfuo Osei Tutu as the titular head of KNUST as timely, and hoped the Asantehene would inspire KNUST to greater heights from the numerous contacts he had from around the globe.

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