TU administration dismisses faculty’s claims

The Administration of the Tubman University in Harper, Maryland County, southeast Liberia says, at no point in time has the President of the University, Dr. D. Elloitt Wreh-Wilson, transferred anyone with a bachelor’s degree to the classroom as claimed by the Faculty Association.

In a response issued Thursday, March 3, 2022, the administration says the hiring of faculty is the sole responsibility of the University’s Division of Academic Affairs in concert with the Department of Human Resources and Compliance, not Dr. Wreh-Wilson’s office, contrary to the faculty’s claim.

It notes that the Tuman University Faculty Association or TUFA fails to name the specific person with a bachelor’s degree who was purportedly transferred to the classroom.

The TU Administration says it has no knowledge of re-employing anyone who was previously dismissed ‘for stealing’ at the university as it is being alleged, explaining that criteria for appointment of faculty members are clearly articulated in the university’s academic policies and do not support an undergraduate degree holder becoming an assistant professor.

On the question of salary cuts, the University says the Pro-Poor Cuts of 3.5%, 5%, 7.5%, and 10% respectively during the first half of 2018 was based on Government of Liberia’s policy intended to address payroll issues, and not the making of, or unique to, Tubman University as it is being purported.

Similarly, it says salary harmonization, which is different from the Pro-Poor Cuts, was also the government’s fiscal policy intended to address salary disparities across all three branches of government (Executive, Judiciary, and the Legislature) and not peculiar to TU.

The administration adds that this was further clarified by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning and the Civil Service Agency in a zoom meeting held with the University which TUFA members allegedly declined to attend.

“To that effect, the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and the Civil Service Agency (CSA) have committed to work with all stakeholders to address the issues of harmonization and any disparities in the payroll”, administration reveals.

It says the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning (MFDP) and the Civil Service Agency (CSA) have agreed to set up a joint team to visit and work with TU’s administration to probe the issues of salary increment and any possible disparity in pay among faculty, clarifying that TU does not have the authority to automatically raise salaries for its employees.

It says TU’s payroll is controlled by the MFDP and the CSA, both of which must approve such increases, and that tenure and promotions for faculty are performance-based.

The University further notes that as a matter of best practice in higher education the world over, the faculty, not administration, normally organizes promotion and tenure committees. “Regrettably, despite constant reminder by the administration, the faculty is yet to establish said committees.”

On the question of housing and housing allowances, the administration further reveals that following the February 17, 2022 meeting held at the University’s conference room, the President’s cabinet reached the decision to abolish the collection of maintenance fees from resident faculty members, and it is, therefore, surprising that TUFA would again raise this same issue.

Additionally, the administration says it introduced maintenance fees collection to enable repairs and maintenance of facilities, while the Cabinet also agreed to avail all records collection and expenditure of the maintenance fees to a certified public accountant for audit purposes as requested by TUFA.

Administration reminds TUFA that a formal contract existed between SAAR Insurance and Tubman University to provide group insurance, and premiums paid are non-refundable, adding the insurance contract was renegotiated and canceled based on complaints from employees that SAAR’s services were unfavorable.

Contrary to TUFA’s claims that the University has refused to give audience to plights of its members, the administration says it held three meetings in February alone, including the zoom meeting with the MFDP and CSA, to resolve issues raised by them.

Meanwhile, the administration calls on students of TU to remain calm as the Board of Trustees engages with both sides to find a workable and lasting solution to the conflict in the best interest of the parties, especially the students.

 “As a university family, we must now realize that peace and tranquility are indispensable for a conducive learning environment. The university also encourages all members of the faculty to return to the classroom, and implore the leadership of TUFA to return to the negotiation table especially now that the Board of Trustees is involved”, the statement concludes.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/lecturers-go-slow-at-tubman-university/


The New Dawn is Liberia’s Truly Independent Newspaper Published by Searchlight Communications Inc. Established on November 16, 2009, with its first hard copy publication on January 22, 2010. The office is located on UN Drive in Monrovia Liberia. The New Dawn is bilingual (both English & French).
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