The Pro Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), Prof. George K. T. Oduro, has asked politicians to move away from undue interference in appointments and administrative processes in public tertiary institutions.
He expressed worry about the situation where people aspiring for key positions in the universities often rushed to obtain party cards to identify themselves with the political party in power to get advantage over more qualified people, pointing out that the “polarised nature of the country” had permeated operations of tertiary institutions.
Prof. Oduro made the call in his inaugural lecture on the theme: “Repositioning universities for national character development: Does leadership and mindset education matter?,” at the UCC last Thursday.
The event, which was used to usher him into full professorship, was graced by traditional rulers, the clergy, members of academia, his family, friends and well-wishers.
Role of universities
Commenting on the role of universities, Prof. Oduro said for universities to reposition themselves for national character development, politicians must allow decision-making structures and procedures in the universities to operate without political interference.
He said people with extreme partisan and divisive orientation should not be appointed chairmen of university governing councils or vice-chancellors of universities.
“Lecture theatres should promote critical mindedness and accommodate dissenting opinions,” he added.
Prof. Oduro urged Ghanaians to uphold national unity values in the National Anthem and patriotic songs that defined national character.
He said the actions of political fanatics tended to remotely control institutions in their professional decisions, adding that institutional leaders appointed along political lines tended to work in the interest of their political parties instead of the institution or the nation.
Prof. Oduro, who is a professor of Educational Leadership at the Institute for Educational Planning and Administration (IEPA) of the UCC, said the polarised nature of the country was gradually creating a situation where the only person who determined what was appropriate in policy matters would be the politician with leadership power.
“To secure their leadership positions, politically influenced appointees tell the government only the things they know it wants to hear regarding policy initiatives,” he stated.