GIJ Council asks Rector to proceed on leave

BY: Charles Benoni Okine
Dr Wilberforce Dzisah
Dr Wilberforce Dzisah

The Rector of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Dr Wilberforce Dzisah, has been asked to proceed on leave with immediate effect.

In his stead, Dr Modestus Fosu is take over as the acting Rector of the institute pending the appointment of a substantive Rector.

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According to a high profile source at the institute, the action, which was taken by the Governing Council after an emergency meeting on Wednesday, January 31, also affected others at the top hierarchy of the institute.

The source said the council also asked the Registrar of the Institute, Mr Perry K.K. Ofosu, to proceed on leave, while the acting Deputy Rector, Dr Ebow Afful, had been directed to revert to his previous position as the Head of the Journalism Department.

Dr Dzisah is said to have resumed office last Thursday February 1, 2018, after taking part of his annual leave only to be be given the letter directing him to proceed on leave the next day, Friday 2, 2018.

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Details of the directive from the council are sketchy, but reports point to various allegations, including poor managerial skills, nepotism, interference in the affairs of the academic board in the determination of best students and other actions that have affected the image of the institute.

There are reports to the effect that during his tenure, although Dr Dzisah was able to physically transform the status of the institute with the construction of new lecture halls and staff offices, among other things, he was unable to firmly stamp his authority on the campus, leading to gross indiscipline.

In the latter part of December last year, reports emerged that Dr Dzisah had been ordered to proceed on leave over alleged procurement infractions, but the Institute rebutted with a statement to debunk the said reports.

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Instead, information released explained at the time that the Rector was rather taking part of his annual leave from Wednesday, December 27, 2017 to Thursday, February 1, 2018 “to allow for a smooth investigation into some concerns raised, including academic integrity and procurement practices.”

Alumni reacts

Meanwhile, there are mixed reactions from the alumni to the latest development regarding the action of the present council.

While some described the move as necessary and long overdue others were of the view that the actions of the council were a repeat of what had been happening in the past whenever there was a change in government.

While urging calm among students and the academic board, the alumni also urged on the council to ensure that the institute regained its former glory as the best communications school in the country and the sub-region.

They also called for a way to depoliticise the positions of the top hierarchy of the institute to give those at the helm of affairs the free hand to discharge their duties without fear or favour.