Let’s offer a step by step account of the crisis at UG as it unfolded so the students who are being affected by the postponement of the graduation and their parents can see who are the academics that stand for principles and the ones that have a narrow agenda. According to the statutes of the University, in the absence of a Vice-Chancellor (VC) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (DVC), the Committee of Deans (COD) performs the functions of the VC and DVC. This happened in September 2005 when there was no VC and DVC. The Office of the President sacked the Acting Vice-Chancellor, Dr Mark Kirton, and the COD ran the University. Let us start the step by step evolution now:
1 -The contract renewal of Dr Rose was demanded by the Office of the President (OP) and was drawn up by OP. But it got embroiled in controversy because Dr Rose rightfully embarked on a policy of realpolitik. The citizenry, the Council and the University couldn’t stop his third automatic installation, because the edict came from the Office of the President. Dr Rose began to negotiate from a position of strength. He refused to sign his contract making some considerable demands that the Council found appalling. Dr Rose contended that he has 360 days leave which dates back ten years ago. The Council refused this citing no documentary proof.
2 – So in the absence of a VC and DVC, the show was left up to the COD to run. It refused. But basically only two Deans spoke up. Three said absolutely nothing. An area of illegality was entered into because the dispute with the Council and the VC was none of the COD’s business. The COD’s task was to administer the institution not to make policies. How can the people entrusted to run an organization refuse to do so because the Board and the CEO cannot arrive at the contents of a contract? In the corporate world that is unimaginable.
3 – A meeting of the academics took place in which the academics stood on impeccable grounds. At this point it got the support of the two unions. The academics agreed that the Council was not legally constituted and that its inaugural meeting of October 17 was not legitimate. It refused to accept the decisions that came out of the Council’s October 17 deliberations and hinted at legal action. No one could have agreed with this grievance. No one did
4 – We are entering the muddy water of opportunism and rank dishonesty. The President met with Dr Rose and agreed to Dr Rose’s requisitions. Dr Rose assumed duties on Monday, November 5.
5 – A conspiratorial group among the academics, led by Mr Creighton, has now shifted the goalpost. They dropped the question of the legality of the Council, and rejected all but one of the decisions that came out of the Council meeting of October 17. Any ten year old school boy would know which of those decisions this tiny cabal openly embraced and endorsed -the appointment of Dr Rose.
6 – As matters now stand, this conspiratorial cabal sees nothing wrong with the manner in which Dr Rose was appointed but sees everything wrong with all the decisions the Council has taken. The hypocrisy and double standards are overbearing. To sum it up, this group does not mind if the Council treats the University like a floor cloth. It is not the principle of not interfering that is the problem with them; it is who the Council interferes with. In the meantime, a majority of the academics just bide their time or they hope UG is given new leaders with a vision to resuscitate the University.
7 – The Vice-Chancellor has now turned his back on President Jagdeo in what has to be the biggest joke in the political career of Mr Jagdeo. The Vice-Chancellor has accepted the attitude of the conspiratorial clique that graduation cannot go on until the Council’s edicts of October 17, except Dr Rose’s contract, are rescinded by the Council. The Council is in trouble since it has new members that know about the terrible leadership at UG and are not prepared to damage their national credibility by acceding to the egregious schemes of the conspiratorial few. The two unions in the meantime believe the graduation should go on. And both of them believe that the Council made wrong decisions that should be revoked but they want a holistic approach. They are not driven by the role of personalities, politics and race. Those negatives have destroyed UG. Why must we continue to recognize them?