The National Universities Commission, NUC, has charged Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities to publish the names of lecturers found wanting over allegations of sexual harassment of their students.
The Executive Secretary of NUC, Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, gave this charge at the Redeemer’s University in Ede, Osun, on Monday.
He said it in a keynote address he presented at the 33rd annual conference of the Association of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities, AVCNU.
Mr Rasheed spoke on the conference theme: ‘Revitalisation of University Education in Nigeria.’’
The V-C said that since he took over the leadership of the NUC two years ago, he and his team had been working on reforms to improve the university education in the country.
He said that the reforms had been working and helping to reduce the ratio of corruption in the university system.
Mr Rasheed, however, said that the major challenge at the moment, had been allegations of sexual harassment by lecturers against their students.
“Our major crisis now is sexual harassment.
“Whether we like it or not, I want to charge the AVCNU at this meeting to make it a priority in the communique, to take a decisive action on this challenge.
“The universities should be willing to punish and stamp out the incidences of sexual harassment, because it is damaging to our collective reputation; and we just have to do something.
“Please say it and do it; and whenever you punish or sanction somebody in this regard, let your effort be duly publicised.
“Let the world know that somebody has lost his or her job because of sexual harassment or somebody has been demoted from being a Professor to Lecturer1 because of sexually harassing a student.
“We, in the NUC, will be helping you.
“We can be collecting the names of the offenders monthly and advertising in all the newspapers to expose them as culprits of sexual harassment, because we are determined to fight them.
“This is one area of academic corruption we are fighting.
“If lecturers that were told not to take advantage of innocent girls and boys in the universities decide to do so because they have the power to award marks, then we will equally fight them,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the annual conference is a meeting where V-Cs, key management personnel in higher education and other stakeholders identify challenges facing the institutions and exchange ideas.
Earlier, the host of the conference, Prof Debo Adeyewa, said V-Cs and other stakeholders often come together to exchange ideas aimed at finding lasting solutions to challenges in the tertiary education.
Mr Adeyewa, also the Vice-Chancellor of Redeemer’s University and the chairman of AVCNU, said that the conference was to proffer solutions to societal needs
He added that the leadership of the university system should embrace a courageous vision of quality higher education in the service of humanity.
He said this could be achieved through innovation as well as strengthening of local and international collaborations in research and teaching.
He charged his colleagues to identify areas of strength and weakness, particularly in research quality, quality of staff, funding, graduate employability, students’ satisfaction, technology transfer and accessibility.