Tension between the University of Guyana’s Academic Board and the Council over recent occurrences at the campus resulted in the annual graduation exercise being postponed indefinitely yesterday.
Close to 1,200 student profiles that are up for approval by the academic board have not been reviewed due to the fallout and the November 10 scheduled graduation date was scrapped.
Informed sources told Stabroek News that members of the academic board expressed their disapproval at the manner in which the council was constituted last month and subsequent actions taken by the council- some openly referring to it as being ‘improperly constituted’.
Additionally, reports have surfaced that Dr. James Rose, whose contract was renewed as Vice-Chancellor two weeks ago has not accepted the post due to certain conditionalities that are attached. In the absence of a Vice-Chancellor, the graduation exercise cannot go on.
The decision by the academic board not to go ahead with any approvals came on the heels of a key meeting between faculty heads and senior lecturers at the university on Tuesday where many voiced disapproval with recent events occurring on the campus, particularly in relation to the council.
Minister of Education Shaik Baksh recently reconstituted the university council and a meeting was held to discuss Dr. Rose’s renewal.
At that meeting, three representatives of statutory members of the council were barred from sitting in – the University of Guyana Worker’s Union (UGWU), the University of Guyana Student Society and the Academic Board.
Dr. Prem Misir who chaired the meeting informed the representatives of two of the bodies that they were not invited and as such could not be part of the discussions. UGWU representative, Freddie Kissoon who was present challenged the move on the grounds that it was illegal but was unable to sit in.
Kissoon said then that the union, the student society and the academic board did not need the minister’s permission to be present.
He referred to the decision as illegal and dictatorial.
The university has not said anything as yet about the November 10 date.