Prof Lillian Salami is the second female vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, Edo State. Prof Grace Alele-Williams became the first female VC of the institution in 1985.
Salami is also a fellow of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria and the International Federation of Home Economics/Home Professionals Association of Nigeria.
The University don was born in Jos, although she originally hails from Edo State. She started her education in Jos, but due to the Nigerian Civil War from 1967 to 1970, she had to move to Edo State for her secondary education. She attended Baptist High School, Benin City.
She then proceeded to the United States of America and earned a Bachelor’s degree in Home Economics, and a Master’s degree in Nutrition at the North Dakota State University in 1979 and 1982 respectively, before returning home to serve her fatherland in the mandatory National Youth Service Corps scheme, in Benin City.
Her quest for education excellence inspired her to go for further studies at the University of Nigeria Nsukka in 1989, where she earned a PhD in Human Nutrition.
As a lecturer at the University of Benin, she earned a postgraduate diploma in Education in 2001. In 2005, she bagged post-doctoral degree at the Vaal University of Technology, Vanderbijlpark in South Africa.
Salami started her career at the University of Benin as a senior lecturer in 1994.
She also taught briefly at the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University). From there, she proceeded to the University of Maiduguri where she worked from 1985 to 1994.
Before she was appointed as the Vice-Chancellor in 2019, Salami held numerous administrative positions, which include being Head of the Department from 1996 to 1998 at the University of Benin; Chairman of the Board of the University of Benin Integrated Enterprise, Director of General Studies, director of a part-time programme; and Director General of the National Institute for Educational Planning and Administration, Ondo State.
She became a professor in 2005.