Academics of the Jaffna University have called upon the Deans to disclose the contents of the ‘secretive’ document they have signed, denying the various allegations of abuse that its academics and students have been highlighting for the past few years.
The Jaffna University Science Teachers Association (JUSTA) releasing a media statement, have expressed concern over a letter signed by several Deans including the Jaffna University Science Dean, that has been prepared to be sent to higher authorities concerning the state of affairs in the university.
JUSTA points out that the existence of this document has been confirmed by the Dean of Arts during a meeting held by the university teachers, where he said some deans had contacted him to get his signature on a letter in a ‘secretive and conspiratorial way’, which JUSTA points out is unbecoming of leading academics trusted with positions of leadership.
“The letter has been prepared to deny or to dismiss allegations of abuse on the part of the university. . .,” JUSTA has said while adding that they believe it only proper that all Deans who signed the letter disclose it before their respective faculties.
Furthermore JUSTA has urged the Deans to explain the positions taken in the letter they signed, each to their respective faculty board at special meetings called for that purpose – this call has been particularly made to the Dean of Science- if their denials are genuine.
We publish below the statement in full;
Covert teamwork by deans to sweep malfeasance under the carpet
The general body of JUSTA is deeply disturbed by reports of a letter signed by several of the deans, including Dean, Science, have sent the higher authorities concerning the state of the University of Jaffna. Reports and statements prepared by JUSTA since December 2013 have
documented systematic abuse in academic and non-academic recruitment, including in the Science Faculty. We understand the letter by a section of the deans purports to deny or to render inconsequential allegations of abuse on the part of the University. The matter was taken up for discussion at the UTA on 6th February, where the Dean of Arts confirmed that an attempt was made by some deans who called at home to importune his signature on the letter in a secretive and conspiratorial manner unbecoming of leading academics trusted with positions of leadership – positions that call for honesty and transparency among colleagues.
We may also remind the deans that our reports have been widely circulated and the members of the Council are certainly aware of them. Several were sent to them directly. We have received no response at any time nor have the main allegations of malfeasance ever been denied. Moreover, one of the cases was submitted as an appeal to the Supreme Court, which took our allegations seriously enough to give leave to proceed. Further, in their response the Vice Chancellor and along the Dean Management along with partial admissions of the charges, are guilty of lying under oath on three counts, in matters of fact that are easily verified.
As academic colleagues, we think it only proper that all the deans who signed the letter lay it before their respective faculties. If the main thrust of the contents – denial of malfeasance – are correct as reported, we urge the deans as is only proper, that as a functionaries elected by the faculties, they should explain the position taken in the letter they signed, each to their respective faculty board at special meetings called for that purpose. We urge is especially on our dean – the dean of Science.
We further remind the deans that when they take up positions on academic and administrative issues concerning their faculty, they must consult their faculties and voice the view of the faculty, and not their personal view. Sadly, for more than a year the deans of faculties, against which serious charges of malfeasance have been made have failed to consult their members.