In response to the recent controversy surrounding the gender designation in the academic records of President Bola Tinubu, the Registrar of Chicago State University, Caleb Westberg, has provided a statement clarifying the institution’s position.
The controversy emerged when a document from the university identified “Bola A. Tinubu” as female, sparking discussions and allegations of identity theft on social media.
Registrar Caleb Westberg, in his testimony to the court, shed light on the matter. He stated, “President Tinubu applied to the university as a male, and a letter of admission was issued accordingly. My statement that Mr. Bola Tinubu graduated from CSU was based on the transcripts in our possession.”
Westberg further emphasised that he had never personally met or seen Bola Tinubu, who had not visited the university’s campus nor made any financial contributions to the school. He explained the differences in the significance of diplomas between the United States and some other countries, stating, “In the US, diplomas are considered merely ceremonial documents. In some other countries, it may be considered more. In the US, more reliance is placed on transcripts and not on diplomas.”
Regarding the issue of potential mistakes in data entry, Westberg acknowledged, “I’m sure people make mistakes in data entry from time to time. Before this lawsuit, I didn’t know anyone called Bola. It was possible that someone assumed Bola to be a female and therefore marked the SouthWest Transcript as such.”
According to a report by AllNews, he also mentioned that during his tenure, the institution had experienced policy changes, including the handling of replacement diplomas by external vendors. Westberg added, “The institution decided that my name should not be typed on the ‘To whom it may concern’ letter because of the sheer volume of requests I was getting.”
The controversy surrounding President Tinubu’s academic records remains a subject of interest and debate, as individuals await further developments in the ongoing legal proceedings.
For now, Caleb Westberg’s testimony provides insights into the university’s position and its handling of President Tinubu’s academic records.