Lecturers go slow at Tubman University
Members of the faculty association of the William V.S. Tubman University in Harper City, Maryland County, southeast Liberia have staged an indefinite go-slow over alleged administrative management and other excesses, calling for the replacement of the University’s President, Dr. D. Elloitt Wreh-Wilson.
Tubman University is the second public university in Liberia next to the University of Liberia that situates in Monrovia, Fendell, and Grand Cape Mount County, respectively.
Addressing a press conference on the campus of Tubman University on Monday, February 28, 2022, The President of the TU Faculty Association
Mr. Francis Fukah frowned at the university administration for allegedly boycotting their induction ceremony, which he said sends a clear message that enough is enough from constant insults and intransigence of the administration.
Mr. Fukah recounts that since December 20, 2021, they have been engaging the administration on campus to provide redress to issues affecting faculty members.
He notes that it’s saddening that the administration chose to go the path of ignoring their concerns despite the faculty giving them two weeks of prior warning of an imminent go-slow.
He says Dr.Wreh-Wilson has opted to remain in Monrovia while his caretakers proxy issues press releases and appears on radio talk shows to address members of TUFA.
“What kind of president tells lecturers and professors that they don’t have brains, that they are useless if they drank more than a bottle of beer a week; what kind of president tells his faculty members they are “bloody liars”, that he spent US$4,000 to dig his late
wife’s grave whereas we just do our own anyhow here in Liberia; what kind of president goes on record to dissolve the board of a university? What kind of president calls his employees enemies? What kind of president tells you whom to befriend? What kind of president calls students dogs? WE WILL NOT WORK WITH SUCH A PRESIDENT”, the faculty announced via a press release.
Mr. Fukah continues that the administration of Dr. Wreh-Wilson has allegedly denied the faculty privileges ascribed to them and rather, constantly rant insults and disrespect them both in public and private.
He alleges that Dr. Wreh-Wilson and his cabinet apportion unto themselves money that could otherwise be used for the betterment of the entire university.
According to him, besides his salary, Dr. Wreh-Wilson pays himself and members of his cabinet an annual research allowance totaling US$97, 200.
Mr. Fukah questions what such research are they doing and discloses that one of the beneficiaries of the research allowance has admitted to using a portion of his allowance to give “Tips” and to also provide lunch for the people he meets in offices in Monrovia.
He laments that currently, a computer class of 31 students has only six computers in the classroom, noting that such huge amount of Ninety-seven thousand, two hundred United States dollars could go towards buying more computers to boost the computer science program at the university, including housing allowances for faculty members, better offices for teachers, improved laboratories and faculty development program, among others.
Mr. Fukah points out that many of them have spent more than 10 years of their youthful lives, working at the University and are now aging with little or no prospect for a graceful or dignified retirement in sight.
“We get sick with limited options for advanced medical care but thank God for J.J. Dossen Hospital and PIH – otherwise, only God knows how many of us would still be standing here today”, he says.
“Coming here to teach is a great sacrifice. You deny yourself the relative luxury of the city, family time, recreation, advanced medical care. And if you do have kids, options for early childhood educational facilities are very few. We deserve better!”
He discloses that Dr. Wreh-Wilson had used the library, and most recently the classroom as a prison which violates the University’s handbook.
He continues that a trained accountant was a few months ago transferred to the classroom after his audit reports showed that one of the vice presidents of the university had stolen more than one million Liberian Dollars from the university bus fund.
“Recently, this president unilaterally transferred a Bachelor’s Degree holder to the classroom and assigned the person in question the rank of an Assistant Professor. What university president does that?” The TUFA President asks.
He says despite communication(s) from the government, instructing TU to effect 3%, 5%, 7.5% and 10% deductions respectively from employees’ salaries during the salary harmonization exercise, there are still disparities across divisions and “we request the matrix used in harmonizing salaries of employees in order to understand before and after salaries as affected by harmonization.”
Meanwhile, TUFA is among others, demanding salary increment for its members to reflect current economic realities especially, in that part of the country; adjustment of employment from contractual basis to full employment after a probational period, restitute of deductions made from employees’ salaries for a forced insurance program (Saar Insurance) and cease the transfer of administrative/support staff to the classroom as a punitive measure.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/students-protest-at-tubman-university/ Editing by Jonathan Browne