The embattled Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Professor Obiri Danso has been directed to step aside following violent protests that broke loose last week.
The National Council for Tertiary Education (NCTE), according to Education Minister Dr. Yaw Adutwum, has informed the VC to make way for the interim governing council to take over the administration of the university.
“The status of the VC has been communicated by the NCTE. The VC has been asked to recuse himself till investigations are done. The investigation period may take 3 months or less,” Dr. Yaw Adutwum told Starr FM.
Pro-VC, Prof. Mrs. Rita Akosua Dickson, has been made Acting VC. Only last September, she became the university’s first female Pro-VC.
The Professor of Environment Microbiology has been accused by the students of creating an environment of oppression and is referred to by some students as ‘Kumasi Adolf Hitler’.
They embarked on a protest last Monday triggered by student brutalities that weekend. But it turned violent after the students damaged dozens of cars and properties.
Prof. Obiri Danso has been under pressure since the violent protest. Rumors about his resignation last week was dispersed by the University Relations Office which described it as a ‘figment of the imagination’.
The beleaguered VC days after the protest, met student leaders to grant several concessions. But it appears to have been too little too late.
‘Step aside’ is a Ghanaian political euphemism for sacking.
Prof. Obiri Danso is the 12th VC of the university and was appointed by the governing council in August 2016 with a four-year mandate set to expire in 2020.
The VC retains the support of his colleagues within the VC Ghana and the school’s chapter of the University Teachers Association (UTAG).
The school’s UTAG branch has declared strike while the university remains shut down following the violence.