The University Teachers Association of Ghana (UTAG), University of Ghana (UG) Chapter on Friday said it considers the suspension of Professor Ransford Gyampo and Dr Paul Butakor, both UG lecturers as relatively harsh.
It said considering that the core allegations of “Sex for Grades” could not be established against the two lecturers, their suspension for six and four months respectively without pay is relatively harsh.”
A statement issued and signed by Dr Samuel N. Nkumbaan, President of UG-UTAG, copied to the Ghana News Agency said what the lecturers went through from the onset of the breaking of the news to its current stage is enough punishment for them and therefore it was harsher to add additional six and four months respectively.
“That UTAG is of a considered opinion that the period of their interdiction and the financial implications of the interdiction constituted sufficient punishment, and expect the recommendations of the Disciplinary Committee to have taken cognizance of that.
“In a communication to University Management, UTAG suggested a suspension with retrospective effect from the time of their interdiction, requiring them to refund financial remunerations received during the period of their interdiction (since the suspension is without pay), to lessen the sum of the economic and emotional impact that this has had on them,” it added.
UTAG therefore expresses mixed feelings concerning the suspension of the two over the alleged “Sex for Grades,” scandal by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The statement also noted that the University in its public and official communications on the matter had been deficient in communicating the actual findings of the Committee.
“This in our view has not done the University good in terms of clearing the name and image of our members and the University of the allegations levelled against them by the BBC,” it said.
The statement said the Association would not condone the contradiction of the statutes of the University, the Code of Conduct for its members, Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy and other policies of the University.
It cautioned against the undue external interferences in the discharge of their mandate to the University and urged management to fiercely resist attempts to dilute the Academic freedom and autonomy of the institution.
It said the Association would work closely with management of the University, especially in areas of continuous training and sensitization of the academic community on the codes and policies that governed relationships and conducts as members of the University.
It would be recalled that the BBC, on October 2019, aired a documentary titled, “Sex for Grades- Uncover in West African Universities,” in which Prof. Gyampo and Dr Butakor, were implicated.
Management of UG followed-up with a Facts Finding Committee to probe into the matter but found no established facts of “Sex for Grades” against the two lecturers.
The two were, however, arraigned before the Disciplinary Committee on charges of misconduct and its recommendations have culminated in the suspension of Prof Gyampo and Dr Butakor for six and four months respectively without pay.
Meanwhile Prof. Gyampo and Dr Butakor have decided not to pursue the matter any further but serve their respective sanctions.