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Concerns are heightening over significant changes being processed at the University of Guyana. The 2013-2014 academic year greeted stakeholders of the country’s highest learning institution with several major implementations which they say, changes the university’s statutes and employment conditions “without any or very minimal input from the very academic community these changes are purported to benefit.”In a statement to those concerned, the Guyana Senior Staff Association (GSSA) and University of Guyana Workers’ Union (UGWU) said that the Council, based on a submission from Vice Chancellor, Dr. Jacob Opadeyi,Wholesale Adidas Hockey Jerseys, took the decision to amend the statutes governing deanships.They said while the original statute reads,Nike Air Max 95 For Sale, “The Dean of each Faculty shall be appointed by the Principal and Vice-Chancellor on the nomination of the Board of that Faculty from among the members of the Faculty eligible to hold office,”?the amendment reads, “The Dean of each Faculty shall be appointed by the Principal and Vice-Chancellor from among the eligible members of the Faculty, after he would have consulted with the Board of the specific faculty.”The unions believe however that the amendment is unnecessary and potentially injurious to the University. They are concerned that the process of fundamentally changing the academic orientation of the university is being done silently and “one might be tempted to say clandestinely – no one knew that the amendment was on the table for consideration, and the document was submitted to council members a mere two days prior to the meeting.”“Unionists say that there was therefore no time for university groups represented in council, including the academic board and committee of deans, to discuss the proposed amendment.”Additionally, they said the VC did not solicit the views of academics across the campus. The union noted some acceptance on the recommendations of the Trevor Hamilton Repot, but worries that Professor Opadeyi is displaying a tendency of going it alone. “We have urged in a meeting with him that he seeks ‘buy in’ for these myriad changes that he believes necessary and if no such ‘buy in’ is secured that he reconsiders his approach and/or proposals.”The union continued that “under the original statute,China Jerseys Free Shipping, although the faculties nominated individuals to serve as deans, such individuals couldn’t be appointed unless the VC agreed – thus the VC had considerable power – though not sole power.“With this amendment, the current and any subsequent VC will now be responsible for identifying and appointing the Deputy Vice Chancellor, the Deans and Heads of Departments (HOD) – a situation where all those who hold senior academic appointments will be beholden/accountable to one individual.” “With the Council dominated by partisan political appointees,Wholesale Jerseys, the long term implications of this amendment are even more disturbing and do not bode well for the autonomy and independence of the University,” the union contended.“There are several revisions that would complement the amendment proposed by the VC– including autonomy for faculties and the deans having control over faculties’ finances. These however have not been proposed. Moreover,Cheap Jerseys China, it is instructive to note that under the amendment, deans can also be recalled for non-performance. No process governing recall of deans was proposed so this will also presumably be at the will of one individual – the VC.”The union is adamant that “a nomination from the faculty allows the dean to?enjoy the confidence of his/her colleagues and the individual will likely secure their support.”The Unions said they were dismayed that the process utilized by the VC to select HODs “was not truly consultative and it lacked confidentiality, which then led to fracture and discord in several departments.” The VC has been attempting to force a lecturer in the faculty of Natural Science to take up the headship although she has refused it, union members were advised that all academic contracts obligate staff to attend meetings at the department and faculty levels and to discharge all teaching, consultation, marking and examination duties for courses assigned. “It does not obligate anyone to take up headships or deanships if one is unwilling or unable to do so.”It was however proposed that if the amendment stands, the process employed to appoint deans should be a truly consultative one and the process be clearly outlined. The union noted that after consulting the University of the West Indies, they were advised that,Cheap Jerseys Wholesale, “the consultation process utilized by that university was highly confidential and entailed (a) the VC consulting either individually or jointly, the Assistant Deans, HODs, the outgoing dean (if not being reconsidered for the deanship) and senior faculty members and (b) other faculty offer their recommendations in writing (either individually or jointly).” The union thus recommended that a similar structure be institutionalized and employed, if the amendment is retained.
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