A very senior lecturer in the institution who pleaded not to named in the report told our ccorrespondent that since after the unusual and illegal promotion of misses Asiabaka to the position of a professor, those who were in the same level with her are fuming and asking the parameter and modalities used in her promotion.
The source explained that over 20 senior non teaching staff within level 11 – 13 were denied promotion even though they met all the requirements prescribed by the university scheme of service but the wife of the vice chancellor who was just two years old in the institution as at October 2014 promotion window, was surprisingly promoted.
It was also alleged that the over 50 promotions of some professors within the same promotion period was just a political ploy to appease some of the powerful and influential academics in the system so as to douse the expected tension and at same time a decoy to hide and promote Mrs Ihuoma Asiabaka.
However, a discreet investigation into some of these allegations revealed that the said Professor Mrs Ihuoma Asiabaka left the Imo state university IMSU as a senior lecturer in 2012, just shortly after her husband assumed office as the vice chancellor of FUTO.
According to findings, Mrs Asiabaka was immediately made a reader (associate professor) on her asumption at FUTO in 2012 and in 2014, was again awarded a professorship, a situation her aggrieved colleagues say violates the university procedures of promotion having been promoted twice in 2 years.
Some grounds in which some members of staff of the university community are arguing is:
1: Professor Ihuoma Asiabaka currently is the Director of an outreach
unit in the University known as the Centre for Women and Gender Development Studies
(CWGDS) and also the president of FUTO Women Association (FUTOWA).
2: Though she was, on entry, drafted into the School of Management Technology, she is neither known to have lectured any class nor supervised any project student in the University. Similarly, she has not headed any department or faculty (School) in FUTO as her portfolio seems largely concerned with social functions in the institution.
3: Having moved from the Department of Education Foundation and Counselling (Administration) in
Imo State University, her course of specialization does not seem to have much academic space in FUTO which mainly runs a science and technology-based curriculum.
4: Before moving to FUTO, Prof. Mrs. Ihuoma Asiabaka did not head any department or Coordinate any centre in Imo State University.
Based on these and the refusal to allow the promotion of the about 20 other staff in the institution during the same promotion window, when the matter was put before the vice chancellor, the source said the excuse of the VC was that there was no vacancy in the institution despite the fact that the various units of the affected staff had appraised them and forwarded their names for promotion.
They also hinted that the Vice Chancellor was reminded that such refusal will amount to violation of the University Scheme of Service which stipulates that appraisal and promotion should happen every three years and as such, the affected staff should be promoted which Professor Asiabaka vehemently turned down.
However, further interviews with some top members who understands the workings and procedures of promotion and awards of professorship but who pleaded anonymity told HOMELAND news that it would take a minimum of seven years for one to move from the position of Senior Lecturer to Professor and a minimum of three years to move from Reader to Professor.
Again, any senior lecturer must have his or her research works published in reputable international journals and the published works must be adequate to justify the promotion to professorship. Even before the person is promoted from Senior Lecturer position to Reader, his or her papers must be internally reviewed by a Professor in the same discipline to establish a prima facie case for promotion.
Also before one is promoted to professorship, such a person must have held substantial administrative positions such as Head of Department, Associate Dean, head of institutes and also shown to have some aptitude for academic work by supervising projects and thesis of graduating students .None of these they allege Professor Mrs Ihuoma Asiabaka has in her CV.
Speaking to us in a seeming furious tone, one of the sources said “You know very well that once you become a professor in a university, you can as well become a vice chancellor any time in that same university and I strongly think this is what the VC and his wife are scheming to achieve in the nearest future. With the tenure of the VC running out around june 2016, he seems in a hurry to have elevated his wife to the highest level where she can and may be, assume the office of the VC in future.”
He continued “We are worried because if not checked, this will set a bad precedence and bring this institution to disrepute in future”.
However when contacted, the Director of Information in the university, Mr. Chike Ezenwa defended the award of Professorship on Mrs Asiabaka. He insisted that the promotion of Professor Ihuoma Asiabaka followed the normal and due process and that the promotion of the 50 Professors had nothing to do with the promotion of the wife of the Vice Chancellor.
According to Ezenwa, Prof. Ihuoma Asiabaka joined FUTO as a Reader (Associate Professor) and her next promotion was supposed to be Professorship.
He explained further that her movement from IMSU to FUTO was a case of transfer of service maintaining that her promotion was deserved.