WELCOME MESSAGE FROM THE VICE-CHANCELLOR,
PROFESSOR DANIELS OBENG-OFORI

I would like to thank the Chancellor, the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, the Council and the entire staff for the confidence and responsibility reposed in me to lead the uniquely unique Catholic University College of Ghana (CUCG). I have taken up the mantle of leadership of the CUCG at a time of stiff competition in the higher education landscape and weak financial health of most private universities in Ghana including CUCG. My vision is to rebrand, revitalise and reposition the CUCG to take its rightful place as the leading private university in Ghana and beyond. It is my conviction that for the imperative convenience of its global clientele, CUCG must aspire to be global in its offerings, structuring of programmes, and manner of doing business. The overall goals of universities are to generate knowledge, disseminate information universally and provide community service through teaching, research and socio-cultural engagements with the community at large for public good. To achieve our universal mandate, CUCG like all other higher educational institutions must uphold its enabling instruments, including the law establishing the institutions, statutes and other regulations and conventions that guide its operations.

I have a strong belief in research as a distinguishing feature in tertiary institutions because a university that does not promote research and publication will sooner or later price itself out of the international academic community. Under my leadership, we will live up to our responsibility of moulding and processing young minds for the future as well as generating knowledge which forms the basis of development. We as academic leaders, therefore, shoulder immense burden and responsibility in shaping and driving the academic enterprise to promote intensity of thinking achieved through sustained research culture. We shall harness the collective talents and expertise of faculty, students and non-academic staff to generate and disseminate knowledge to students and society and supervise the development of appropriate curricula and their mode of delivery. Leadership is about inspiring and empowering people; dreaming and visioning, combined with a determination to achieve the dream or vision. We must recognize that "academic leadership represents leadership in the complex academic institution where the main goal of the enterprise is not growth of market share, but intellectual excellence; not increased productivity in economic terms, but increased intensity of thinking for public good". Academic leadership also involves managing the needs of the human element in the institution, and coordinating the activities of the various stakeholders to achieve harmony in the pursuit of the goals of the institution as well as dealing with the international dimension of the institution.

I am mindful of the fact that academic freedom makes management of universities rather difficult. Nonetheless as the Vice-Chancellor, I shall guarantee academic freedom, safe guide open dissent, and only sanction through due process executed through the approved committee system. I shall establish direction, align people with our vision; and motivate and inspire them to make a change happen despite the barriers. It must be emphasised that positive leadership occurs not by 'leading' others but rather by influencing them. It is the responsibility of academic leadership, in varying degrees, right from the Vice-Chancellor to the head of department or unit to enhance the image of the CUCG and to sustain scholarship and academic excellence. It is our collective responsibility to set the direction and to inspire confidence in the university community to achieve the mandate of the institution. Academic leaders must be men and women of courage. As the great Nelson Mandela explains: "I learned that courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave person is not the one who does not feel afraid, but the one who conquers fear". It takes courage to appoint the right people into an institution or the management team. It takes courage to deliberately encourage the development of next generation leaders. It takes courage to exercise power with the highest sense of integrity and professionalism and be above corruption. In alignment with this public discourse, it takes courage to exercise transformational leadership and institutionalize good governance. We must have courage to take bold and difficult decisions for the good of the institution. Our loyalty must be to CUCG only and not to personalities

CUCG needs true academic leaders who are always prepared to learn even from the worst of adversities, accept criticisms, make amends and move on. Academic leaders must be learning continually and be of an objective bent of mind. Whilst remaining faithful to my personal conscience and principles, I would also be ready to succumb to superior argument if logic and evidence are compelling enough. Furthermore, CUCG needs academic leaders who are positive-thinkers, rather than dwell on their limitations; we must focus on possibilities and be great overcomers. We must be continuous learners and curious people in order to master the environment. Certainly intellectualism, intelligence and intellect are necessary to further practice and exercise of academic leadership. More importantly, we all need to uphold both cardinal virtues and theological virtues. Theological virtues are those virtues, which help us live and relate with God. These are faith, hope, and charity. They are gifts from God, which lead back to God. Cardinal virtues are major virtues, which we all need in our lives. These are prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance.

I shall build a strong and inclusive management team whose aspirations shall be anchored on the following among others:

  • Transformational leadership to bequeath a legacy of creative thinking and change while building and mentoring other leaders who will continue the work;
  • Good governance by providing a disciplined and responsible leadership that is transparent and accountable, and shall always be guided by the statutes and regulations of the University;
  • Upholding the highest sense of integrity, honesty and professionalism in the discharge of my duties
  • Continuous staff development through training and mentorship;
  • Provision of conducive teaching and learning environment including adequate ICT infrastructure
  • Excellent customer service especially to our main clients (i.e. students) to build a student-centered university;
  • Aggressive marketing and recruitment of students;
  • Teamwork and unity of purpose to confront the daunting but surmountable challenges facing CUCG
  • Fairness and firmness to all staff and promote reward system underpinned only by performance and merit;
  • Zero-tolerance for corruption in word and deed.
  • Sustained quality improvement in teaching, research and service. The CUCG must continue to play a huge role in shaping the minds of the numerous students pursuing various programmes who are critical drivers of academic excellence and intellectual capital in Ghana and beyond.
  • Industry-connect to maximise our potential in knowledge transfer through collaboration initiatives with industry. CUCG will work passionately to ensure that our graduates are completely job-ready to serve industry and society's urgent needs for quality manpower. This will lay the foundations for intellectual capital creation systems by ensuring the internalisation of thinking processes and universal analytical skills development
  • Research development is of categorical imperative in order to produce a stream of faculty necessary to sustain the university enterprise of generating new knowledge and impact essential analytical and problem-solving skills in students. We must all appreciate that, although costly, scientific research is a valuable investment and most productive when many researchers and institutions work simultaneously on the same key problems. CUCG will embrace scientific capacity building as integral part of its developmental philosophy and agenda. Science without research is dead
  • Creativity by instilling a mental framework, a mind-set that thinks in terms of deliverables, targets, benchmarks, who is responsible for what action within what time frame and, most importantly, with what resources and how are those resources to be generated.
  • Internationalization of CUCG by establishing functional collaborations with world class tertiary institutions to improve academic excellence and technology development to enhance and promote joint research, student and staff exchange, mentoring, curriculum enrichment and access to advanced international pedagogies

The Challenge is Enormous. 'But I am convinced that collective wisdom, unity and tenacity of purpose and a strong, focused, innovative and transformational leadership would bring about the desired change we need' I welcome all and sundry to support, join and be part of the rebranding, revitalization and repositioning agenda of CUCG. God bless us all

 
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