The resignation en-mass of academic and non-academic staff of Tansian University, Umunya, Anambra State has once again triggered concerns which may be unconnected with the ownership crisis rocking the institution.
On Friday, a professor at the University confirmed that she has resigned both as a member of governing council and lecturer after she criticized the Pro-Chancellor Prof. Nkechi Theresa Obiekezie for being highhanded, making political decision in academic affairs of the University and meddling which is against the very spirit of higher education.
This wasn’t the first time professors have resigned from their posts as a mark of their dissent. The female professor in the Department is among those who made headlines by quitting her coveted jobs over perpetuation of academic flaws and abrupt reversal of all promotions done before the new Council was inaugurated.
She was said to have also quitted as a mark of protest against instructions issued by the Pro-Chancellor that all staff should submit their Bank Verification Number (BVN) to the registrar without clear explanation of what such sensitive bank details is meant for.
“She has reduced the University Government Council into a hand-maiden of vicious, undemocratic and partisan affairs,” the Prof. opined.
She also cited the fact the Prof-Chancellor can no longer provide space for academic expression and freedom and she lack the will-power and moral capacity for meaningful affirmative action.
Her action at the Council is “ominously disturbing for university administration and grave injustice done to the staff of the institution.
Investigation conducted show widespread discontent, according to responses from staff and acclaimed scholars who consistently question Prof. Obiekezie’s style of Pro-Chancellorship.
Some staff who spoke to the press on the condition of anonymity expressed solidarity with the protests over the Prof-Chancellor style of administration.
“We are distressed that the Prof-Chancellor has mishandled several critical issues and great harm has been done to the reputation of Tansian University,” one of the staff said.
Another lecturer added: “As we no longer have faith in Prof. Theresa Obiekezie’s ability to lead the university forward, we call upon her to immediately tender her resignation to the Tansian University Board of Trustees.”
The fallout over Prof. Obiekezie’s hiring has garnered media attention as she has often met with pushback from other Council members who consistently raised concerns with her fraught decision process and the manner in which she conduct council meetings. Council members are calling for more inclusiveness in decision-making at the council’s meetings and she may be forced to walk back some of her abrupt decision and directives to the Vice Chancellor.
Initially, Prof. Obiekezie appointment was heralded but in the weeks following, vocal groups from outside the university system expressed issues with her manner and conducts. And not she is facing pressure to resign or be fired.
Overall, investigation shows that principal staffs of the University do not trust the current leadership of the Council and many feel that Pro-Chancellor is cultivating an environment of fear and intimidation on campus, which has led to “incompetent handling of issues.”
It has been warned that many of her decisions were “causing substantial disruptions and threatening the integrity of prestigious and precious institution.”
Earlier in the week, the University drew criticism from members of the public following rejection of all certificates issues by the university. In a letter signed by the Chairman of Anambra State Local Government Service Commission, Vin Ifeanyi Ezeaka (Esq) directed all the 21 Local Government Council not to accept all part-time degree certificates issued by Tansian Unicersity for the purpose of employment or for official purposes.