The Elusive Charter –
Not so Elusive…?
Some of you may know that getting the engineering program accredited and up and running, and helping Ashesi get Charter, have been my primary “side projects” since re-joining Ashesi almost four years ago. I am happy to write that the engineering program is in its third year, and going well. Charter, however, has been more elusive, an on-going, multi-year
A Charter for Ashesi is more than taking off the training wheels; it means we would issue our own degrees (instead of another university "granting" them). A Charter means our final exams would no longer be reviewed and approved mid-semester, and again our competence in grading them checked after (a holdover from colonial days). A Charter means having full control over our academic program, curriculum and faculty hires. In the early days, this mentoring was helpful to improve the University; but lately, since we are already operating at such a high level of quality, it felt like a process we had outgrown.
While the application for Charter was on-going, the student body grew 50%, half of the Executive Committee resigned, including the Dean of Engineering, and we lost both our remaining parents (including Steve's Dad in September). Adding the general difficulty of living here (both of us had typhoid and malaria this year) these losses reinforced the feeling of isolation from family and friends.
So, it is with much happiness that we read an email last week that said that the National Accreditation Board approved our application for Charter! You haven’t seen a big announcement yet because it is not yet official – now it goes to the Minister of Education and the President. We anticipate that you’ll see an official announcement and a “re-branding” of Ashesi University College as Ashesi University in the coming months. We also leave today on an African Christmas holiday filled with hope and joy that the coming year will bring more blessings for us all than just a Charter for Ashesi.