The Institute for Environment and Sanitation Studies (IESS) on Friday, November 14, 2014 at 3:00pm hosted the Provost of the College of Basic and Applied Sciences and his team of administrators, made up Messrs Emmanuel Baidoo, College Secretary, Samuel Acheampong, Senior Assistant Registrar and Mawusi Glozah, Assistant Registrar of the College respectively.
The exercise was initiated to afford the Provost an opportunity to interact with members of the constituent units under the College; aimed at discussing with them some pertinent issues that ought to be tackled together as a College. It was also meant to give an opportunity to Senior Members to tell the Provost their expectations of the new College under his leadership.
Prof. Chris Gordon, Director of the Institute welcomed the Provost and his team, and briefly informed them about the readiness of the Research Fellows to interact with him and to share their ideas and a few concerns that must be dealt with by the College. In response, the Provost indicated that the main purpose of his working tour was to get to know the concerns and expectations of staff, and then together with them fashion out strategies to address the challenges. The discussions therefore took the form of each member of the Institute sharing his/her opinion and ideas to accelerate the work of the College. Among the pertinent issues raise and discussed are the following:
- Policy on promotion – Members expressed concern about the lack of clear policy guidelines on promotions. Specific instances about the number of publications expected of them and the type of journals required by the University to qualify one for promotion were mentioned
- Capacity building and skills acquisition programmes for Research Fellows – There was general consensus among Research Fellows that the College should make opportunities available for members to upgrade their skills set through conferences, seminars, workshops and short courses
- Development of a sanitation policy for University of Ghana and the nation –The issue of a sanitation policy and best practice for the University was raised. The Proposal was for the Institute to lead in the development of a sanitation and water management policy to be implemented by the University and subsequently extended to the nation.
- Capacity building for Administrators- Administrators expressed disquiet about lack of opportunities for them to upgrade themselves and sharpen their skills to enhance efficiency. The call was for the College to make available opportunities for study tours and other training and development programmes that would build the capacity of administrators.
Responding to the issues raised, the Provost assured members that with the coming of the College all the units now belong to a bigger family. He said that the concerns talked about are similar across the board and would do his best to address the issues. He, however, advised that members should not think of lowering standards when it comes to issues of promotion. He urged Research Fellows to target high impact factor journals for their publications; something many in academia have achieved before. He therefore sees no reason why Members of the College cannot achieve same.
Contributing to the issue of sanitation and water management on the University campus and the nation as a whole, the Director of the IESS informed the Provost that the Institute had already started something in that direction. For instance, the IESS is leading in the development of a National Sanitation Standard.
As part of his vision for the College, the Provost mentioned that two main projects would be initiated:
- Centre for the safe production of vegetables to be stationed at the Soil and Irrigation Research Centre, Kpong
- Upgrade and modernization of laboratories in the College
To facilitate the establishment of these projects, the College had contacted some Embassies to support these initiatives. The Chinese Embassy for instance, had indicated that the government of China would be supporting the government of Ghana with a one hundred million (US$100million) United States Dollars to upgrade laboratories in Ghanaian Institutions. The Provost had therefore set up appointment with the Minister of Education to discuss the possibility of the College benefiting from this facility.
In addition to the projects mentioned above, the Provost also said as part of his vision for the College he intended to set up an endowment fund and establish welfare pension schemes for all categories of staff.
In attendance at the meeting was Prof. Sammy Sackey, Director of the Institute of Applied Science and Technology. (IAST). Prof. Sackey took the opportunity to highlight some initiatives the IAST hopes to undertake in the Water and Sanitation sectors. He indicated that the IAST will seek to equip Members to develop products that will help communities in Ghana combat sanitation and water related challenges. A simple product such as water filter if developed by the IAST could go a long way to prevent communicable diseases in the country.
In order to hit the ground running, the Provost appointed Dr. Benjamin Ofori as the coordinator to develop a position paper on how to formulate and implement sanitation and water management policy on the University campus.
Staffs of the IESS present at the meeting were:
- Dr. Ted Annang, Senior Research Fellow
- Dr. Benjamin Dankyira Ofori, Research Fellow
- Dr. Jesse Sey Ayivor, Research Fellow
- Mr. Daniel Darko, Research Fellow
- Dr. Dzidzo Yirenya-Tawiah, Research Fellow
- Dr. Opoku Pabi, Research Fellow
- Mr. Samuel Koranteng, Research Fellow
- Mr. William Asare, Assistant Registrar