Jun 19, 2019 Letters
I read in the newspaper of Monday 6/17/2019 University of Guyana’s Public Relations Officer, Ms. Paulette Paul, saying the Diaspora and Entrepreneurship Conference has been postponed. I doubt the conference will ever come off or there will be one like that again. If this were to happen, the new Vice Chancellor would have to continue this vision of Professor Ivelaw Griffith.
It seems as though UG has gone from one step forward to three steps backward. I would not be surprised if more planned programmes will fall apart. You see Editor, the university unions have done such an excellent job discrediting the university, reputable individuals and organisations will sprint away like Usain Bolt. Who will want to be caught in the squall when their time and resources can be directed where welcomed and appreciated. I anticipate grants will dry up, private investments will dry up, donors’ scholarship will dry up, and the diaspora will become less interested in giving and sharing.
In addition to the lecturers saying the university is without toilet paper and flushing toilet will be without what it most needs. Confidence in the university attracting investments from non-governmental organisations. Philanthropists will disappear. No one in his or her right mind would want to associate with that team on the campus.
The lecturers, as usual, won’t care. Why must they care? They got away for years without marking papers on time, with no Certificate of Recognition, with no Collective Labour Agreement and without holding elections in their unions. It has become their modus operandi and I doubt they will allow anyone to disrupt their rules. UG sounds like a wild-west scene without a Marshal. Who wins the brawl is always right.
No one is holding the lecturers accountable. They like holding the University Council and management accountable and not themselves. I guess they will say “why not?” They will continue to get away with poor performance and be paid while the students and university continue to suffer. Editor, I am not saying there is no problem with the management of the Council and the Vice Chancellorship. It would have been more helpful had the government and university gone about fixing the problems in a dignified and mature manner. Students are looking on and learning. This is not the best lesson for them.
I wait to hear who will be the new Vice Chancellor. I am not afraid to say, based on information of what Professor Griffith was doing for the university. I regret he did not want to renew his contract. I still hope he would reconsider. If he does not, the new vice chancellor better be forewarned that orderliness and progress are despised. He would be coming into the lion’s den. If he does not toe the line, he will be the next meal. The unions have swarmed the house of management. They have taken over management. Only their opinions matter and what they say goes.
The University Council seems powerless and overridden by the unions who have one vote on the Council. Rationality has fled or the other council members have grown tired and insipid with the lecturers’ drag down brawls.
The lecturers kicked up a hailstorm during the time of Vice Chancellor Opadeyi. They called for him to go. He left at the end of his contract. They did the same for Vice Chancellor Griffith. If the next vice chancellor is not handpicked and approved by them his fate may be worse. This is bullyism. The Council allows it. The Government allows it. The Opposition allows it. The private sector allows it. The TUC and FITUG seem powerless to stop it or are in solidarity with the bullyism. It seems, with the exception of a few, everybody else allows the bullyism.
Like others, I have no confidence the interim three-man management team would be able to succeed. I would like to be shown where this has ever worked. Students are in for some rough times. My advice to them is to band their bellies or look somewhere else for a good tertiary education. Good people will be left with little choice but to leave. Good people will refuse to come back. This sad country named Guyana will continue to stagger from bow to stern.
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