Professor R.T. Awuah, out-going Principal of the College of Agriculture Education, University of Education, Winneba (UEW), has called for a review of the university’s statutes to give some administrative autonomy to its campuses to enable them to function properly.
He said the UEW operates three satellite campuses; Kumasi, Asante-Mampong and Ajumako, in addition to the main campus at Winneba, and that the current centralized management arrangement was presenting problems.
Prof. Awuah said it was important to allow the colleges to take and implement some decisions on admissions, recruitment of staff, procurement of goods and services, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructural establishment among others.
“They need to be nurtured to grow properly and one day become autonomous or at least partially autonomous institutions,” he said.
In a valedictory lecture at Asante-Mampong, Prof.Awuah said the current centralized approach to managing the multi-campus system was not helpful to the growth and development of the campuses.
He described the frequent travelling to Winneba by the staff as “disruptive of both administrative and academic work,” in addition to the high expenditure and risks involved in such travels.
He said: “The multi-campus system is not unique to UEW. Many universities, the world over, do practice this system and so our university should be guided by the best practices of some of these global universities when reviewing the statutes,”
Prof Awuah said the issue of autonomy wouldl require institutional debate and the earlier the debate is initiated, the better.
He spoke of significant progress made by the College of Agriculture Education within the past five years and said four new academic programmes were introduced.
These are Sandwich Diploma programmes in “Education,” “Environmental Health,” “Sanitation,” and a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) Degree programme in Biological Sciences.
They also took a bold step to establish a new Faculty of Science and Environment Education.
Prof Awuah said with these, the “College is better positioned and is enjoying more visibility in Ghana than before”.
He said: “A university must show relevance in society not only by way of academic programmes but also by revitalizing its efforts in public engagements and outreach services delivery”.
It was therefore for this reason that the College has been organizing training and providing technical services to farmer-based organizations, traditional rulers, agriculture officers, dairy cattle farmers, milk collectors and milk processors in its catchments area.