Speculations are rife in different quarters that having failed in their bid to convert Imo State Polytechnic (Imo Poly) Umuagwo to Claretian University, the founders of the latter have allegedly negated the rules of the National University Council (NUC) as regards the appointment of Vice Chancellors by appointing Dr Wence Madu, former Rector of Imo State Polytechnic, Umuagwo as Rector of the institution.
This development has elicited overwhelming controversy among members of the academic community who are questioning the rationale for appointing a catholic Priest turned University administrator a VC chancellor.
According to them, “Rev Fr Dr Wence Madu who became Rector of Imo Poly in 2012, for a 4 year renewable tenure. Shortly after assumption of office he allegedly lobbied the state house of assembly to amend the law to enable him serve a single unrenewable 5 year tenure after which he was supposed to bow out.Surprisingly, after serving the single five year tenure, he refused to vacate office or commence the process of producing a successor.
He was also alleged to have attained the position of Chief Lecturer in questionable circumstances.”
“Rev Fr. Dr Wence Madu, in a condolence message dated November, 19, 2921 which he sent to his predecessor, recently addressed himself simply as Rev Fr Wence without adding the prefix of either Professor or Doctor, probably to avoid raised eye brows because it is unheard of that a person who is not a professor can be appointed Vice Chancellor of a university.”
A source at the Federal Ministry of Education who spoke to this reporter said, “it is wrong to appoint a person who is not a Professor, Vice Chancellor of a university. According to him, “the Vice Chancellor is the Chairman of the Senate that approves the promotion of lecturers to Professors. How can a person who is not a professor decide on the promotion or otherwise of Professors?”
He also disclosed that for one to be made a Vice Chancellor in FUTO, he must have been a professor for at least 10 years and must not be less than sixty five years old on his or her next birthday.”
The onus is now on the NUC to enforce its rules with a view to sanitizing the system or allow the rot which the appointment of Rev Fr Dr Wence represents to fester why settle for less when there are many qualified and experienced Professors in the System,” he queried.
When contacted, the Vice-Chancellor, Mr Wence Madu reacted in anger, “what is your interest? Are you a Claritian, NUC or proprietor of the school, did you give me any job?”.
He finally called our reporter a stupid person for asking to know if his appointment met NUC guideline stipulated for appointment of Vice Chancellor..