No fewer than 28 professors of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in Abia State, have been recommended for demotion for allegedly breaching various guidelines regarding the appointment of professors in the institution.
The recommendation for their demotion was contained in the report of a six-man committee, set up to examine the “challenges influencing quality and products of academic programmes” in the university.
The report was submitted to the governing council of the university asking it to approve the demotion of the professors.
It was learnt that the panel, headed by Prof. S. N. Ibe, examined the process leading to the award of professorship to about 31 lecturers in 2015.
The committee also recommended that 10 of those appointed should be demoted to the rank of associate professors; nine to senior lecturers; seven to lecturer 1 and two to lecturer II.
The report read in part, “Whereas the guidelines, even as advertised in a national daily (newspaper) on Tuesday, January 20, 2015, stated that for a candidate to be qualified to be appointed a professor, he must have 12 years cognate experience, majority of those who were so appointed lacked that particular criterion.”
It stated that only three candidates Prof. (Rev. Fr.) Mike Ukah, Prof. Isiguzo Ahaneku and Prof. Patricia Mbana, were qualified to be appointed professors.
The panel expressed shock that two lecturers, who applied for the post of associate professors, were awarded full professorship while in one instance, somebody, who claimed to have obtained his Ph.D before his first degree, was also made a professor.
It was learnt that an attempt by the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Francis Otunta, to present the report of the committee at the Senate for deliberation and implementation, failed as the affected faculty members opposed it.