Five academic staff of the University of Calabar have been dismissed from the institution after being found guilty of plagiarism and financial fraud, while ten others have been demoted from their positions. This was noted by the Governing Council of the University in a press release yesterday.
According to the release which was signed by the secretary to the Council and Registrar of the institution, Dr. Julia Omang, four of the dismissed academic staff were involved in plagiarism while one was a case of financial fraud.
The press release, which was made available to The Nation, further states that 10 academic staff were demoted because they chose to publish their works in fake or cloned journals and proceeded to submit same and obtained promotion in the process.
Those that were dismissed for outright plagiarism are, Dr. Azubuike Iloeje and Dr. Maurice Bisong of the Department of English and Literary Studies, Mr. Oden Ubi of the Department of Marketing and Dr. Paulinus Noah of the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies.
According to the release, Dr. Damian Agom was dismissed for salary overpayment, thereby enriching himself to the tone of N7, 268,044. 95 over a period of 11 months.
The demoted lecturers are – Prof. Udoayang, Dr. Asuquo Akabom, Dr. Sunday Effiong and Dr. C. O. Udoka, all of Accounting Department, Prof. Molinta Enendu Department of Theatre and Media Studies and Dr. E.S.Akpan of Banking and Finance
Also demoted are – Dr. A.I. Afangideh and Dr. Francis Okpiliya of the Department of Geography and Environment Science and Dr. K.B.C Ashipu of the Department of English and Literary Studies.
Professors Udoayang and Enendu were demoted to the rank of senior lecturer, while Dr. Okpiliya, Dr. Afangideh and Dr. Ashipu have now moved down to position of lecturer 1.
Besides their demotion, they are to refund all monies earned from their unmerited promotion and barred from promotion for the next six years, the release stated.
It is disheartening that the sort of offences usually committed by corrupt politicians and public office holders has filtered into the academic institutions to such an extent that is punishable with dismissal and demotions.
Using fake journals to obtain a promotion is not just the sort of thing we hear of from academicians. Fraud and plagiarism are also serious offences which are not supposed to be taken lightly, especially in an environment where the characters of our future leaders are being molded.
Considering this, what do you think of the action taken by the University’s governing council? Is it commendable?