Pay competitive salaries to lecturers in private universities – Professor

Professor Ato Essuman, Dean, School of Research and Graduate Studies and Professional development, Methodist University Ghana (MUG), says for private universities to be competitive, the lecturers must be paid competitive salaries for high performances.

He said the issue of paying competitive salaries for staff in private universities had been widely contested such that it had always been a causality dilemma, which characterised situations in which it was challenging to determine between the cause of an event and the effect.

“The argument has been paying salaries for people to deliver, the other side is, be productive and be remunerated well from such productivity.

“I am not going to pronounce any judgement on this but let me say that whenever the issue of productivity of lecturers has been raised, the recurring response has been this is an academic environment…”

Speaking to the Ghana News Agency on the state of private universities in Ghana and how they can compete with public universities, Professor Essuman said private universities must be interested in the happenings of the corporate world and learn from them.

He said they must work and improve their organisational culture and the mindset of their employees, but that should start, first with the Council, and leadership at all levels.

“Without a change in mindset, nothing can be achieved in the present circumstances,” he added.

The Dean said there should be game changers, and that, that would come when they continually think outside the box, adding that challenges or problems most of the time led to opportunities when people were thinking.

He said private universities had traditionally been slow to respond to external influences, but the pace of externally driven change would surely only increase.

He said those institutions that were agile would have the ability to adapt continuously to be the most successful.

“That may mean changing some deep-rooted ways of working as private universities, and build the ability to be ahead of the game rather than responding after the event,” he said.

Prof Essuman said excellence in the development of knowledge and inspiration of learners was critical for all, such that private universities could not prosper if they were not good at what they did.

He added that in the new world, being excellent across all academic and professional operations would be crucial, good enough will not do.

The Dean said to survive in the education marketplace, private universities must become more business-like, while at the same time focusing on what they were good at and emphasising the very things that made them different.

He said strategic plans helped organisations to be proactive rather than reactive, instilled a shared sense of responsibility and increased operational efficiency among leadership.

The Dean said the lack of it presented chaos due to the ad hoc nature of decision-making and actions based only on leadership experience and discretion and indiscretion.

He said it was important for private universities to focus on soft skills in the curriculum and align their educational offerings with in-demand skills.

The Dean said the hard skills that were in demand changed frequently in the rapidly changing world, but soft skills, including critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, negotiation skills, interpersonal skills, and leadership skills could prove to be invaluable in the eyes of emp

“Designing well-rounded curricula that balance out disciplinary depth by encompassing these skills will give students an edge beyond the ivory tower,” he added.

He said universities must ensure that what they were offering to students was relevant to industry.

Source: GNA