UG unable to attract and retain highly qualified staff due to resource constraints – Deputy VC

Dr Paloma Mohammed Deputy Vice Chancellor of Philanthropy Alumni and Civic Engagement (PACE)

Despite increased tuition and other related fees at the University of Guyana (UG) in recent times, the institution is still grappling to pay highly-qualified persons to facilitate classes, resulting in many of them leaving.

Deputy Vice Chancellor of UG, Professor Paloma Mohamed on Thursday explained that the institution has been suffering from lack of resources for many years and as such, some of their operations are stymied.

“The University has suffered, like most parts of the country, for many years from lack of resources; not because a lot of resources were not put into the university but because the country did not have the fiscal space to do everything that we needed it to do”.

She responded to criticisms faced about their competency in publication and research, stating that it is because they have failed to retain individuals who are qualified to fill these roles. Again, the lack of resources is to be blamed.

“This is the kind of thing that happens when you are a resource-trapped university…A lot of time, people would say that ‘UG is not producing research, UG is not producing that kinds of publications that we want to see’. The reason why this is the case is because we have failed to attract and retain the king of pedigree and the level of staff that we need. That’s just because, again, back to resources”, the Deputy VC noted.

Further, she added that the current salaries paid to their staffers are incapable of financially sustaining them. There are only some instances where persons stay due to family ties or research work.

Presently, more than half of the staff population have acquired a master’s degree or below. While some hold a doctorate, they are part of the administrative body and are not in charge of daily classes.

The Audit Office of Guyana had contracted an independent company to conduct the much-needed and highly-anticipated audit into UG – in light of allegations of mismanagement of funds. Back in June, the probe was halted until officials could figure out who would stand the cost of the investigation.

Auditor General Deodat Sharma had noted that the backlog of years which UG did not complete its audited financial statements was a cause for worry.