The University of The Gambia (UTG) Faculty and Staff Association has extended their heartfelt congratulations and best wishes to Professor Mustapha Fanneh, a distinguished scholar and former Dean of the School of Business and Public Administration at UTG, on his recent appointment as Vice-Chancellor at EUCLID University.
EUCLID University, renowned globally for its commitment to higher education and sustainable development, offers a wide range of online training, Master’s, and PhD programs, making Prof. Fanneh’s appointment a significant milestone in his academic career.
Professor Mustapha Fanneh’s tenure as the Dean of the School of Business and Public Administration at UTG was marked by transformative leadership, elevating the school to a standard learning centre. His dedication to academic excellence and commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive academic environment have impacted the institution.
However, the UTG Faculty and Staff Association expressed their sadness regarding the departure of highly qualified individuals, such as Professor Fanneh, from the university. This trend of departures is attributed to frustration and a lack of motivation stemming from bad governance issues within the UTG Management and the university’s Governing Council.
Specifically, the association highlighted concerns about the recruitment process for key positions at UTG. Despite applications submitted by qualified individuals, including Professor Fanneh’s application for the position of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) and Professor Sidat Yaffa Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation), the UTG Management and Governing Council have faced criticism for delays in the selection process for over one year since their application.
The association cited a call for applications for these positions, emphasising that all application materials were to be submitted by June 30, 2022, to the designated email addresses. However, the protracted selection process has left many vacant positions, causing further frustration among faculty and staff.
According to unconfirmed reports, rumours are circulating that the positions of Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Teaching and Learning) have already been reserved for two undisclosed foreign candidates who are currently in UTG as Technical Assistant Corps. While these reports have yet to be officially confirmed, the University of The Gambia (UTG) Staff Association has committed to ensuring that qualified Gambians will not be overlooked for top positions within the UTG if they meet the necessary qualifications. They emphasise that recruitment procedures should strictly adhere to the UTG Service Rules, which stipulate that vacancies must be posted internally before external candidates are considered, ensuring a fair and transparent selection process. The UTG Staff Association remains vigilant in advocating for equal opportunities for Gambian professionals within the university.
The association also stressed the need for the government to revisit and consider recruitment practices at UTG to ensure qualified Gambians are prioritised for top positions when they meet the necessary qualifications. They clarified that their stance is not anti-foreign staff but rather an appeal for a fair and transparent recruitment process prioritising qualified Gambians.
Furthermore, the UTG Faculty and Staff Association raised concerns about the exodus of key staff members, including the Head of UTG Procurement, Director of Research, Chief Accountant, and other senior staff members. They attributed these departures to demotivation and poor governance challenges within the university.
In his illustrious academic career, Professor Mustapha Momodou Fanneh, a Gambian scholar with training in the United States of America and the United Kingdom, has made significant contributions to the fields of economics and education. He holds a Doctorate in Economics from Fordham University, New York, and has held teaching and research positions at various prestigious institutions.
In addition to his academic achievements, Prof. Fanneh has been actively involved in various capacities, including as Chairman of the UTG-UNDP Graduate Scheme, Chairman of the Development of the UTG Strategic Plan 2021-2025, and Chairman of the Gambia Tourism and Hospitality Institute (GTHI), among others.
As Professor Fanneh assumes his new role as Vice-Chancellor at EUCLID University, the UTG Faculty and Staff Association joins in extending their warmest congratulations and best wishes. His dedication to higher education and his commitment to fostering an inclusive academic environment align perfectly with EUCLID’s core values and mission.
The UTG Faculty and Staff Association’s appeal for improved governance and recruitment practices at UTG reflects their commitment to the institution’s progress and their desire to see qualified Gambians take leadership roles in the university’s development.
In closing, Professor Mustapha Fanneh’s appointment as Vice-Chancellor at EUCLID University marks a significant achievement in his academic journey, and the UTG Faculty and Staff Association remains proud of his contributions to higher education and national development.