OPINION: Is Pierre Gomez a Professor? 

Sep 23, 2021, 2:19 PM | Article By: Saidina Alieu Jarjou

It could be recalled that sometime in 2012, Dr Muhammadou M.O. Kah while serving as the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of The Gambia (UTG) had his professorship questioned by Dr Gumbo Ali Touray, who at the time, was the Director of International Affairs at said UTG. It was alleged that Kah was conferred professorship by the American University of Nigeria (AUN). In which Touray lamented that Kah was not qualified to be considered a full professor as per the academic guidelines?

Though literature thought as that a professor is an academic rank at universities and other post-secondary education and research institutions in most countries. Professor derives from Latin as a “person who professes”. Professors are usually experts in their field and teachers of the highest rank.

Of recent, I have heard many colleagues addressing Pierre Gomez as Professor, but I am baffled in which capacity. Could he be an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Full Professor? 

The last time I checked clause A1.3 of the University of The Gambia (UTG) Conditions of Service (The revised edition of 2007) has it that, an appointment/promotion to the Grade of an Associate Professor shall be based on continuing scholarly achievement, expressed in the form of publications in reputable journals (normally a minimum of four good publications since appointment as Senior Lecturer). A total of seven peer reviewed publications or 70 points shall be required.

While the same clause added that an appointment/promotion to the grade of Full Professor shall be based on distinguished and continuing contribution to scholarship expressed mainly in the form of a substantial body of distinguished research publications (normally a minimum of five good publications in reputable academic journals) since appointment/ promotion as Associate Professor as well as evidence of academic leadership including abilities to initiate and supervise research. A total of 12 peer-review publications or 120 points shall be required. The candidate must normally have had at least 2 years of university teaching experience as Associate Professor.

Pierre is undoubtedly a household name in the UTG. However, as a student of knowledge, I will be pleased to know more about his peer-reviewed journal publications, research experience, and which year he was conferred the professorship. As the norm in academia, any published journal article is usually indexed in Google Scholar. Then I decided to search “Pierre Gomez” in Google Scholar, LinkedIn, and other search engines but what I found was the journal publications of one Pierre Gomez at The Medical Research Council. 

Based on these points above I am compelled to ask, the golden question is Pierre Gomez (the current acting UTG Vice Chancellor) an Assistant Professor, Associate Professor or Full Professor? 

While I take this opportunity to congratulate him on his appointment in the role of Acting Vice-Chancellor of the UTG.

The author is an activist/blogger and a senior student at the said University of the Gambia.