The biblical verse at Ecclesiastes 3:5, which says there is a time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones, was demonstrated on Friday, September 14, when a spirit of reconciliation hit Cuttington University’s main campus in Suakoko, Bong County, following announcement that the Board of Trustees has lifted the suspension of the president of the university, Dr. Herman Browne.
Shortly after Browne’s suspension was lifted, instructors reportedly resolved to return to classes today, Monday, September 17, following long hours of a meeting between the faculty and Dr. Browne.
As part of efforts to ensure genuine reconciliation, Dr. Browne informed the faculty that it was now time to forget the past and come together in order to work for the betterment of the university.
He assured parents and faculty members that no student will be suspended or expelled neither will he dismiss any faculty member involved in violent demonstrations in demand of his removal that took place in May this year.
Additionally, Browne said let bygones be bygones, calling on everybody to work together so as to move Cuttington forward.
“The meeting with Cuttington University Faculty Association (CUFA) was a joyful one as members of CUFA have now resolved to work together in the best interest of the university, to ensure that CU remains the citadel of academic excellence,” Dr. Browne said, smilingly broadly.
Dr. Browne: “Furthermore, as president of this great university, I want to congratulate the student community for the spirit of maturity exhibited during these tough periods in the history of Cuttington, and to further encourage all students to abstain from violence as we embrace the future with vision and development.”
Last of all, he said students should be prepared as classes resume officially on Monday, September 17, while late registration, with a 50 percent tuition payment expected to be made by every student, ends on Thursday, September 20.
CUFA president Lepolu Torlon said they have agreed to return to classes and are now willing to work with the Dr. Browne Administration.
“Everyone should be given a second chance, while consultations should be our major priority, because without it, you are like an army without a front-line map key. We need genuine peace [at] Cuttington,” Mr. Torlon said.
It may be recalled that in May this year students and members of CUFA demanded Dr. Browne’s resignation on grounds that he has failed to live up to the task of leading the university since he became president a year earlier.
The faculty also accused Dr. Browne, a 1986 graduate of Cuttington, of bad labor practices, poor management and dictatorial leadership, a situation that resulted to a series of demonstration, with students and faculty calling for his removal.
Following an investigation, the CU Board of Trustees, on August 17, 2018, reinstated Dr. Browne.
Browne’s reinstatement by the Board was, however, received with mixed feelings by members of CUFA, with some faculty members staying away from classes, something that delayed the registration process at the university for a while.
But Mr. Torlon said during the meeting, Dr. Browne committed himself to lots of reforms that will include permanent employment of faculty members as well as coordinating with the student leadership and the CUFA before any major decisions are taken by his administration.