PROBLEMS, CHALLENGES AND OPPURTUNITY.

a.   The interpretation, harmonization and application of the above laws
and Directives require specialized legal expertise that cannot be
adequately supplied by ordinary administrators. An adequately
trained Legal Office is needed in each university to handle the legal
and corporate affairs of all institutions of higher learning.

b. Many other factors make it absolutely necessary for each IPTA to
have it own Legal Advisor or Legal Corporate Affairs Manager.
Among these factors are:

• rising student and staff population and the increasing number of
disputes relaing staff and student affairs;

• the very large number of MOUs and MOAs being signed by the
universities;

• the very large number of “building contracts” and lease signed
by the universities;

• the increasing amount amount of business, commercial and
corporate dealings due to the push towards “corporatisation” of
universities;

• the growing importance of research and consultancy contracts;

• the establishment of branch and city campuses, each with its
own set of legal problems and challenges;

• inter-university links between local and foreign universities; and

• link with franchise collages.

c. The previous practice of hiring Advocates and Solicitors as “retainers” as and when the need arose cannot be relied upon anymore as the volume of legal work has increased phenomenally. Often, the work required is so urgent that reliance on outside consultants is not feasible. Full times, in house, legal officers are, therefore, needed to attend to each university’s legal needs and to provide on-the-spot legal advice to the officers and administrative and academic units of the university.

d. Compared to government departments, other statutory bodies and local authorities, universities have been slow to establish their own corporate legal units. Even when such units are established, there is reluctance to provide adequate human and financial resources. This is contrast with the generous recognition and support given to Corporate Communications and Public Relations Units in universities. Similar support is hardly forthcoming in relation to the Office of the Legal Advisor. Often no separate financial allocation is made for the Legal Office and funds for its activities come from the funds of the Chancellery. The legal offices of most universities operate in skeletal staff.

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