Appointment of Pro-Vice Chancellor: MTHE gets parliamentary backing

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Higher Education Minister,Haja Ramatulai Wurie

The Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Technical and Higher Education has upheld the decision of the Ministry of Tertiary and Higher Education, to dissolve the University Court with immediate effect.

The ministry has decided to set up an interim body to run the affairs of the University of  Sierra Leone (USL) until a substantive court is constituted.

There has been scuffle between the ministry and the University Court over the appointment of Pro-Vice Chancellor of USL, with the former assuming an absolute authority, as the highest decision body, over the appointment of Pro-Vice Chancellor, as opposed to the ministry.

With a vacuum after the appointment of Professor Foday Sahr,who was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, as the Director of National Public Health Agency, according to  Section 9(1) of the University Act 2021, the Pro-Vice Chancellor should act in that capacity until a substantive Vice Chancellor is appointed.

While the University Court failed to appoint Pro-Vice Chancellor as stipulated in the University Act, the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education proactively appointed Professor Lawrence Kamara as Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone.

In a rather reactive move, the University Court annulled the ministry’s appointment and endorsed Professor Samai as Pro-Vice Chancellor of USL.

To avoid further the stalemate, the ministry, in consultation with the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) and other stakeholders, decided to dissolve the University Court on the grounds of negligence of duties, coupled with other anomalies within the university administration.

In a letter to the Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, the Ministry catalogued several anomalies within the university administration, citing the disruption of the university calendar, to the levying of exorbitant fees and other academic charges on suffering students, thus necessitating the dissolution of the University Court, which they believe was clouded with several weaknesses.   

It is learnt that Professor Lawrence Kamara would also step aside to allow smooth transition.

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