Njala University finds itself navigating a challenging Public Relations (PR) landscape as it grapples with the absence of a permanent Public Relations Officer (PRO) for nearly two years.

Following the passing of its former Public Relations Officer, Ralph Sesay, the university has struggled to fill the crucial role, leaving a communication void in its administration.

With a student body exceeding 10,000, the absence of a dedicated PR officer has hindered the institution’s ability to effectively address emerging issues and engage with journalists seeking university perspectives. Administrators have been reluctant to interact with the press, leaving student concerns unaddressed and the university’s communication strategy in disarray.

Dr. Joseph Kandeh, a retired lecturer who briefly served as the University’s PRO, demonstrated commendable skills in representing the institution, despite lacking a background in journalism. His tenure saw effective defense of the University’s interests and a positive portrayal in the media. However, since his retirement, the university has been without a permanent spokesperson.

Recent incidents, such as a protest by graduating students over gown distribution issues on 22nd February 2024, underscored the importance of effective communication. Despite media inquiries, university officials were challenged to reach for comment, exacerbating tensions and leaving the university’s side of the story untold.

Established in 1964, Njala University has grown into a prestigious institution with a diverse array of courses. However, the absence of a designated spokesperson undermines its ability to engage with the media and address public concerns effectively.

Media institutions, particularly in Bo, are urging the University Administration to expedite the appointment of a permanent PRO to fulfill its communication obligations and maintain positive relations with the press. The appointment of a proactive and skilled PR professional is essential for restoring confidence in the university’s communication strategy and ensuring transparency in its operations.