Njala University which about one year ago was a thriving institution seems to be on the throes of lethargy and collapse as a result of manipulation by the Minister of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission in the name of His Excellency the President and Chancellor who it is said is giving these instructions for reasons I cannot fathom. This is stemmed from a University Court meeting of 1st April, 2009 which I attended having being recently appointed to the Court of that University. The meeting circular memorandum sent out by the Registrar indicated that the purpose of the meeting was to appoint a Search Committee for Vice-Chancellor. I was astounded that at the meeting the Chairman of the meeting a Dr. Sandy Bockari stated that he was under instructions from His Excellency to announce to us the names of member of the Search Committee we were to set up. He even called the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of who was not a member of Court but was sent to attend the meeting by the Minister of Education to sit on the high table to show that he was acting under instructions from above. Members questioned the reason for summoning the meeting since the decisions had already been taken but we were again told that His Excellency had instructed that the meeting should approve the membership. What was most alarming was that even though questions were raised as to the legality of what was going on, since there was incumbent at post that had been sent on leave unceremoniously and his appointment had not ended, the meeting was told that the Court had not sent the good gentleman on leave and it was His Excellency the Chancellor and it was his wish. We were further told that the Court had no hand in the matter and he was under instructions not to discuss the matter. I have read the University Act and it says that it is the Court that has responsibility for the terms and conditions of service of the Vice-Chancellor. Your Excellency, you should read it too and take action to avoid unnecessary litigation on the University. I was even more baffled when we were told that the so-called search committee was to recommend the appointment of Deputy Vice-Chancellors for the two campuses because those currently holding the posts were appointed “by mistake” as the University Act says they should be appointed by a search committee. Again I have looked at the University Act and it says nothing of that sort. What is going to happen to the gentlemen who have been appointed and currently holding those positions? Interestingly, when it was pointed out by another member that if we were going by the dictates of the University Act then the appointment of the current Acting Vice-Chancellor was ultra vires since he was not the Pro Vice-Chancellor, the Chairman stated that it was His Excellency the Chancellor that made the appointment and it had nothing to do with him or the Court (Please note Your Excellency, that the Acting Vice-Chancellor is being referred to as “Dormant” by some staff and “Mr Procurement” by others!!). The Representative of the Tertiary Education Commission who we were told at the meeting advises Government was muted as all this rubbish was going on. At the end of meeting when other members were stunned and mumbling about what had transpired, I overheard your Chairman saying to someone that the problem was the Minister of Education and that he was with him for a long time trying to convince him about some of the issues that had been raised but to no avail. The University is autonomous and can be very volatile if not handled with care. Remember 1977!! Your Excellency, what went on at that meeting in your name was shameful and disgraceful to say the least. If these were your dictates, then I wonder what manner of a man are you?
A very Concerned Court Member