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Open letter: Seventh African human resource leaders conference must do due diligence

Bernice Welbeck

We write to urge you to withdraw “Dr.” Mrs. Bernice Anowa Welbeck as guest speaker at your upcoming African leadership conference slated for April 25-27 2018. Our request is informed by the following:

  1. The title ascribed to Mrs. Bernice Welbeck is inaccurate. In addition, she is not an authority in the relevant field and should not be asked to speak on the subject matter you have assigned her at such an august gathering (Please follow the link here: https://twitter.com/AfricaHRLeaders).The first point derives from the following facts:
  1. Based on the Ghana National Accreditation Board’s (NBA) recently published list of unaccredited institutions, the Atlantic International University of Hawaii, to which your chosen speaker claims to have graduated, is an unaccredited institution without the locus to confer a credible doctoral degree (Please follow the link to the Ghana National Accreditation Board’s public announcement http://www.nab.gov.gh/unaccredited-institutions). Mrs. Bernice Welbeck cannot claim to be oblivious of this public announcement by the NAB, particularly after a nation-wide drive by the NAB and some individuals to highlight this form of fraud in higher education in Ghana (Here is another link from Joy FM https://www.myjoyonline.com/news/2015/July-10th/accreditation-board-releases-list-of-53-fake-tertiary-institutions-in-ghana.php). To the extent that she continues to hold herself out as a “Dr.” from such an institution considering the issues raised, she is disloyal.
  1. Bernice Welbeck also claims to be currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Chreso Ministries University founded in 2010 in the Zambia (Here is all you need to know about the Chreso Ministries University in the Zambia. Please follow the links: i. http://www.chreso.org/university.html ii. http://www.chresouniversity.org/). On its website, Chreso Ministries University claims to be licensed by the Ministry of Education without specifying the Ministry of Education that licensed its operations. Moreover, granting of license is not the same as accreditation (Tsikata & Dotse, 2016:   https://www.newsghana.com.gh/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/The-Acreditation-Challenges_Full-Paper.pdf). Chreso further claims to be accredited by the International Accreditation Organization (IAO) of Texas, an organization that is not accredited by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Post-Secondary Education or any of its agencies to carry out the functions of accreditation (Here are the links for your verification: i. https://ope.ed.gov/accreditation/ ii. https://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ope/index.html iii. https://www.geteducated.com/college-degree-mills/204-fake-agencies-for-college-accreditation).

As a private initiative that aims at promoting African leadership, it is only prudent that you conduct a proper background check on speakers before engaging them. Obviously, the quality of your speakers has direct implications for the quality of exchanges at such an event.

Currently, Mrs. Bernice Welbeck is the Director of Administration and Human Resource at the National Labor Commission, where she also acted as its Executive Secretary in the past. Again, that speaks to the very issue of lack of institution linkages and trust among our institutions, particularly those operated by the state. How did the Board of Directors miss all the news about these issues? On what basis did the Board appointed her to lead this vital state institution as its Director of Administration and Human Resource? Does that itself not speak to the caliber of individuals who are appointed to the Boards of these institutions (with excessive partisan considerations and lack of consideration for expertise)? Another case or example of breakdown of some institutions in Ghana!

As you will agree with me, doctoral degrees are not for decoration. They are skill-based awards that should equip their holders to perform certain tasks. Thus, when people falsely claim qualification and use them to occupy state institutions, it spells doom for the nation.

Finally, the African Human Resources Leaders Conference reserves the right to promote Mrs. Bernice Welbeck as one of its main speakers but not under the accolade of a Dr. Failure to heed this call will be tantamount to public deception. We sincerely hope that within the next five (5) working days, you will revise the invitation and circulate same (serving us copies). After the five days expire, we will have no choice but to author a commentary on this matter.

By Prosper Yao Tsikata, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Communication

&  Kobla Dotse, Ph.D., Technical Director, Chemical Research & Development, Asian Region

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