ASUU faults Vice Chancellor vacancy advert

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The Usman Danfodiyo University Sokoto chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (ASUU), has faulted the advertisement for the institution’s Vice Chancellor position.

Recall that the tenure of the incumbent Vice Chancellor of the University will end by July 2024.

Chairman and Secretary of the chapter, Nuruddeen Almustapha and Shu’aibu Sadiku, in a statement jointly signed, described the federal government’s decision to cancel the miscellaneous provisions in the university system as undermining the principles of transparency, equity, and merit-based selection of university principal officers.

According to the union, the National Universities Commission’s arbitrary dissolution of the university’s governing council and all federal universities’ governing councils in June 2023 undermined the institutions’ established procedures and autonomy.

ASUU alleged that an available report indicated that attempts were being made by some outgoing Vice-Chancellors of federal universities to explore the absence of their Universities’ Governing Councils to impose their stooges as “Acting Vice Chancellors” to cover a plethora of baggage of the outgoing ones.

“Unauthorised advertisement of vacancies for the offices of the vice-chancellors and other principal officers in federal universities also violates proper procedures and threatens the integrity and academic freedom of Nigeria’s public universities,” the union said.

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It further stated that “It has flagrantly violated Section III, Subsections I and II of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1993.”

The union explained that university law distinctly delineates the governing councils’ composition, roles, and dissolution procedures.

According to ASUU, the law also prescribes the protocol in the event of the council’s absence, particularly regarding the appointment of principal officers, noting that “at no point does the law transfer the council’s functions to the minister or the visitor.”

“ASUU-UDUS urgently calls on President Bola Tinubu, the Minister of Education, and other critical stakeholders to, as a matter of urgency and necessity, reconstitute the governing councils of public universities.

“This step is crucial for universities to operate legally and smoothly, aligning with the provisions of the law. It will uphold the autonomy and independence of universities by adhering to established procedures and safeguarding their integrity.

“Investigate all manners of violations of the Law in the recent actions taken by various universities in the absence of the government councils,” the Union said.

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