The Ghana Association of University Administrators (GAUA) has called on the government to expedite the negotiation and consultation processes for their conditions of service.
Since the signing of the Rules of Engagement with the Fair Wages and Salaries Commission on Wednesday, August 25, 2021, the negotiation process had been uncomfortably slow and tedious.
The Association stated that there is a need for government to move swiftly to wrap it up to promote equity and advancement in public universities.
This was in a ten-point communique issued at the close of a three-day congress at Winneba and signed by Dr. (Mrs.) Beth Offei-Awuku, President and Mr Richard Afriyie, General Secretary and copied to the Ghana News Agency (GNA).
The congress on the theme “Corporate Governance and Socio-Political Environment of Public Universities in Ghana: -The Role of the University Administrators,” allowed the members and stakeholders to conduct an in-depth assessment of the tertiary education landscape and to exchange knowledge, experiences and innovations to create a new pathway for progressively shaping tertiary education administration and its environment.
The Association indicated that the Government, Councils, Council Board/Committees, Management members, Staff, and Local Community leaders, who are stakeholders of the public universities have a definite role, responsibilities and powers within the clear confines of the Acts and Status Governing Universities.
According to them, when these powers are exceeded or undermined, they lead to governance challenges for the nation’s public universities and with regard to the stakeholders must, therefore, appreciate and fully function within their statutory boundaries to ensure good governance in the public universities in Ghana.
“As a consequence of the above, the Government who is the owner of public universities must appoint persons with the requisite expertise, competencies and skill set to the Governing Council of the public universities, while the Management must also ensure structured pre-service orientations for such appointees, to facilitate good governance in the Nation’s Tertiary Institutions,” it indicated.
They stated that the appointment of Government Representatives from within public universities to their councils was inherently problematic and must be avoided at all costs, adding that the Council must be seen as continuums with the capacity to carry on their businesses and see through their tenure, even when Governments changed for a holistic business of the universities.
University Administrators must strictly utilize tact and diplomacy anchored on sound governance structures and principles to address situations even where persons of some influence attempt to unduly exploit and circumvent the public universities’ systems.
They emphasised the need for ethics to be at the front burner of university governance and management practices, saying “adherences to ethics eliminate breaches in record confidentiality, conflicts of interest and duties, fraudulent admissions, favouritism, meritocracy and nepotism, as well as allowing transparency and equity to prevail in public universities,” they stated.
“Universities do not operate in isolation and must be alive to their Corporate Social Responsibilities to communities in which they operate and with regard it must be a university’s business to research, identify and address gaps in the communities where they are situated,” they stated.
Also, they must devote sufficient time, attention and money towards social work as their Corporate Social Responsibility and not just as an obligation, but as part of strategic objectives to meet their bottom line.
They suggested further that solving the country’s current crippling economic conditions, which have widened the unemployment and inequality gaps, there was the need, therefore, to bring on board its best brains from all divides to formulate and implement sound policies and measures to go a long way help to overcome the current challenges.
“We are aware that a lot of fiscal discipline is required to pull through, but while at it, the government must priorities people-centred policies to soften the blow on people,” the communique added.