UNICAL VC defends sack of lecturers for academic fraud


Prof. James Epoke, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL), on Tuesday justified the decision of the institution to sack six lecturers for academic fraud.

The university had dismissed the lecturers three months ago for plagiarism.

Epoke told newsmen in Calabar that “the sack was not frivolous” as the action followed due process after the affected lecturers were investigated and found guilty of plagiarism.

He said that the committee set up by the institution to assess the academic staff for promotion also discovered that the affected lecturers copied academic works of others.

The vice-chancellor said that the lecturers appeared before the investigative committee made up of professors but could not defend allegations of plagiarism against them.

He said his administration had consolidated on past achievements and maintained higher academic standards, prompt release of results and would continue to promote discipline among staff and students.

Epoke said that UNICAL had received N3 billion from the Federal Government’s special intervention grant for tertiary institutions in the last one year.

He said the fund was being channelled to the construction of facilities in the medical school of the university.

The vice-chancellor said that the medical facilities were necessary for the institution to ensure that it did not lose accreditation for its Medicine and Surgery departments.

Epoke also said that the university moved up to the sixth position from the 22nd position on the index of performing universities in Nigeria.

He said peace and tranquility had returned to UNICAL.

He decried the dearth of manpower, particularly academic staff, in the university.

“The ratio of teachers to students is not static. We have 1,300 staff to 26,000 students; normally we should have a ratio of 1:7, but this is not so,’’ Epoke said.

He decried the encroachment of the university land by neighbouring communities and attributed the development to the absence of a fence as well as land compensation related issues.

Epoke, however, said that the university had continued to maintain a healthy relationship with the host communities, considering their input in admissions and employment.


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