The Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology Akure, FUTA, Ondo state yesterday said that the process of appointing the first female Vice-Chancellor of the institution, Prof. Adenike Oladiji was methodical, thorough and transparent.
Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Council, Dr Godknows lgali clarified this at the inauguration of the eight substantive Vice-Chancellor of the institution in Akure, the state capital.
lgali commended the commitment and zeal demonstrated by members of the Search Team, the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board and the entire members of Council to ensure a fair, transparent and equitable selection process.
“I must confess that it was not an easy task making a choice among these erudite professors and scholars of repute who all demonstrated great capacities to lead the University.
“In my more than forty years of public service, covering international relations, diplomacy, administration and even politics, I had never been confronted with such an arduous selection process of appointment of persons to fill a vacant position.
“This is due to the fact that the process was a keenly contested one by eminently qualified global scholars who could be entrusted to lead an institution of such character around the world, even as shown by the overall scores of the candidates.
“As we know in any exercise of this nature, a winner must emerge. Thus, we are gathered here today to celebrate and formally inaugurate the person who has so emerged. I did promise the whole world at the inception of the appointment process that the entire exercise would be fair, honest and transparent.
“I can assure you here today with every sense of responsibility that the process that produced Prof. Adenike Temidayo Oladiji as the new Vice-Chancellor of this University was methodical, thorough and transparent.
“As a man whose entire life has been governed by bureaucratic and protocol norms, I had no choice than to follow the well-outlined guidelines which the Federal Government has put in place after very detailed negotiations championed by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
“These guidelines are premised on the doctrine of academic freedom, which enables universities to choose Vice-Chancellors without any intervention or whatsoever by the government.
“The law guiding the selection process stipulates that “the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board shall consider the candidates and persons on the shortlist drawn by Council through an examination of their curriculum vitae and interaction with them, and recommend to Council three candidates for further consideration of any of them in no particular order. Council shortlisted twenty (20) candidates out of the twenty-nine (29) that applied for the position of the Vice-Chancellor in line with the stated criteria.
“The selection criteria were also strictly followed by the Selection Board to arrive at the three candidates based strictly on merit.
“These three which include Prof. Shadrack Akindele, Prof. Adenike Temidayo Oladiji and Prof. Isaac Ajewole were recommended to Council from which Prof. Oladiji emerged as the choice of Council in the exercise of this, is the unique statutory function in which all members of Council who were in attendance fully participated and applauded up to the end.
“I wish to acknowledge and commend all the candidates who competed for the position for demonstrating sportsmanship and their worth.
“I use this medium to request you to join hands with the new Vice-Chancellor to move this University forward. The University needs your experience, ideas, knowledge and contributions at this moment to take it to greater heights. We need you to bring all those lofty visions you have for the University to the table as we strive for excellence as a world-class University of Technology.
“I also acknowledge, most sincerely, the understanding and cooperation of our various Staff Unions here in the University, that is ASUU, SSANU, NASU, NAAT, especially for granting concessions/waivers for their members to participate in the selection process at a time of National Strike, which has virtually shut down the entire system in the country.
lgali enjoined the new Vice-Chancellor to work assiduously to not only sustain but improve upon the current rating of the University.
“You need to provide exemplary leadership and bring harmony among the various sectors of the University. You will have to surpass the achievements of your predecessors in terms of academic and infrastructural development.
“You must be able to bring your managerial abilities to the fore to harness available resources to achieve breakthroughs for the University on all fronts.
Speaking on workers’ welfare, Igali said “One question of great concern is the importance of according topmost priority to the welfare of members of the University community. The saying goes ’an incentivised worker is a productive worker,’ and vice versa.
“The welfare of all sections of the university community must be taken very seriously and be rest assured that I will do my level best to assist and support you in this respect.”
ln her inaugural address, Prof Oladiji, who is a Professor of Biochemistry, extended her hand of fellowship to all others who aspired for this position, and I solicit your support and cooperation to move our great University to greater heights.
Prof Oladiji said, “We will network and be the hub for the much-desired change in the higher education sector with your support,
“I will provide a purposeful and pragmatic leadership, creating an environment that cherishes unity in diversity and equity which is grounded on tolerance, understanding and probity.
“I will promote and ensure esprit de corps, team building, and team working, to facilitate a conducive working and learning environment for all.
“My focus and priority will be to Improve Internally Generated Revenue; Prioritise staff and students’ welfare; Intensify capacity building and staff development; Deepen research; Enhance students’ experience on campus; Engender peace, security, and stability; Expand the University – New academic programmes and infrastructural development; and Positively impact the host community.
She added that, “It may appear a difficult task, but I am confident that with your support we can meet our target and even surpass it.”