The Gains and Losses of Olayinka’s Leadership: Key Lessons for the Incoming University of Ibadan’s Vice Chancellor (I)

The Gains and Losses of Olayinka’s Leadership: Key Lessons for the Incoming University of Ibadan’s Vice Chancellor (I)

From Professor Olufemi Adebisi Bamiro to Professor Isaac Adewole, the University of Ibadan community was promised better infrastructure, welfare and continuous development for 10 years. By November 30, 2020, it will be 15 years that the community has received messages and pledges of good fortunes from candidates for the position of Vice Chancellor of the University. On this date, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka will complete his 5 years single term of being the Chief Executive Officer of the oldest University in Nigeria.

In the last few days, our analyst has been writing insights and established metrics that could be used by the stakeholders in charge of selecting and appointing a new Vice Chancellor of the University. This piece is another one that aimed at revealing some of the gains of Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka’s leadership and what the incoming Vice Chancellor could learn from his deficiencies.  This is imperative because the University cannot afford not to have a strong strategic leader who would continue from where he will be stopping and correct the lapses.

This piece emerges because of the need to have a robust discourse around Professor Olayinka’s leadership. Like the analyst noted in one of the previous articles, Professor Olayinka has done his parts. After all, he is not an angel. He is destined to make mistakes and retrace his steps for future growth. Therefore, the article should be seen as a way of gauging his performance in relation to his strategic plan titled “Accelerated Development through Consolidation and Innovation.”

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Our Measures and Data

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time an article is x-raying an outgoing Vice Chancellor in any University in Nigeria. He is being judged considering his contribution on academic, research and quality assurance, administration, financial management and branding of the institution in the last few years. Specifically, the piece interrogates the key resources in terms of relational, strategic, structural and human capital, he employed to deliver value he promised the University Community, especially staff and students.

As stated earlier, our first data source was his strategic plan. Since the plan is his strategic template for managing human and material resources towards the realisation of the mission and vision of the University, we leveraged it and extract keywords [dominant words he used to explain his ability and capability to lead the University for 5 years]. We called the select keywords strategic keywords because we found that the words were used as constructs and concepts to depict his vision and mission for the University in relation to the University’s own [see Exhibit 3]. As constructs and concepts, we found most of the words as promising and deciding how the resources will be allocated across the University and outside it.

Guiding principles and goals inherent in the strategic plan were our second data category. Guiding principles are the fundamental assumptions tied to each of the priority areas [see Exhibit 1] he intended to focus on as the University’s Vice Chancellor. The principles establish specific steps that he would take in order to realise each of the priority areas. Our analysis, however, suggests that the principles are prescriptive in nature. This means that there is possibility of altering them while implementing the plan due to unexpected situations.  The third data source was his recently released My Stewardship Report. In the report, he documented all his activities from 2015 to the current year. We also analysed his speeches, delivered within the University environment.

His Strategic Plan: What is in It?

In our analysis of his plan, we found 16 priority areas with 48 guiding principles. In terms of guiding principles allocation to the priority areas, analysis indicates that Professor Olayinka believes in amassing his resources towards the realisation of the priority areas differently [see Exhibit 1]. Analysis further reveals a connection of 79.7% of guiding principles and goals [short, medium and long terms].

To realise his vision and mission for the University, he developed 17, 19 and 5 short, medium- and long-term goals respectively. In spite of the high percent of connection of guiding principles and goals, analysis reveals 63.6% of the principles leading to the formulation of goals he had. This means that other factors that were not part of the principles accounted for the remaining percent.

Beyond the principles and goals, we selected 118 strategic keywords [see Exhibit 3]. These words were searched in the strategic plan, stewardship report and speeches he delivered within the University environment. From the analysis, we found a total of 6,709 of the keywords in the strategic plan after counting frequency of each word. A total of 2,080 of the keywords was found in the stewardship report. This indicates a difference of 4,629 keywords.

In his 2017 convocation speeches [comprising undergraduate and postgraduate], we found a total of 1074 keywords. This is quite different from what we discovered in his 2019 convocation speech delivered during the award of postgraduate degrees. Analysis establishes a total of 348 keywords. His speech during the swearing ceremony of members of the Students Union Executive had a total of 210 keywords.

Looking at the data further, we discovered that Ibadan [590 times] appeared the most in his strategic plan, while it was students [154 times] in his stewardship report. Students [102 times] also appeared the most in his 2017 convocation speech and research occurred the most in his 2019 convocation speech. Again, occurrence of students as keyword 46 times made it most used word in his speech during the swearing ceremony of Executive Members of the Students Union.

What are the implications of these results? This was further explored by our analyst with the specific reference to how the keywords contributed to his actions [activities during the years]. In all, analysis establishes strong percent of the link between the keywords in his strategic plan and those used [replication of the words was considered] in the stewardship report and speeches he delivered.

Our analysis reveals that the keywords in the plan and stewardship report were related by 83.7%. This percent dipped when we analysed the connection of the keywords in the plan along with those in the 2017 convocation speech. We discovered 76.8% linkage. This also dropped when the connection between the keywords in the plan and those in the 2019 convocation speech [we discovered 70.1% connection] and 2019 UI SU swearing ceremony [we found 52.0%] was analysed. These results imply that Professor Olayinka has only managed to appropriate his keywords in planning and reporting achievements than applying the same vigorously while engaging with the stakeholders [see Exhibit 4].

Exhibit 1: Priority Areas and Guiding Principles

Source: Olayinka, 2015; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

Exhibit 2: Goals per Term of Delivery

Source: Olayinka, 2015; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

Exhibit 3: Keywords in Strategic Plan (2015-2020)

Source: Olayinka, 2015; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

Exhibit 4: Severity of Keywords Occurrence (0-100 Score)

Source: Olayinka, 2015; Olayinka 2020; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

His Spending

This is another factor we considered imperative to understand how he has employed and deployed financial capital. We examined projects/contracts he has executed, excluding the projects/contracts that commenced in the years before his tenure started in 2015 [2014 downward] The year 2015 was counted because there is a need for him to continue with projects/contracts already approved during his predecessor (Professor Adewole).

Our analysis shows that he spent N5,239,163,687.05 between 2015 and 2018 [this includes projects/contracts awarded before he became Vice Chancellor in December, 2020]. During the period, N748,451,955.29 was the average spending on projects/contracts [see Exhibit 5]. Examination of his stewardship report indicates that a brand new 200kva Perkins Engine Power generating set for the Vice Chancellor’s lodge & other location was procured in 2018 at N15,235,500.00. Electrical materials worth N160,195,911.03 was supplied. In 2018, one new Prado VX, V6 leather petrol 2017/2018 model was purchased for Pro-Chancellor at N55,938,750.00.

We also found that a Mathematics Laboratory is being constructed at the rate of N75,247,128.80, while construction of Laboratories and Offices for Faculty of Pharmacy, practically completed, was awarded at the rate of N170,000,000.00. The Lecture Theatre, Offices, Seminar and Conference Rooms for the University of Ibadan School of Business Lot 1, 2 and 3 were completed using N211,447,14 7.60 allotted to them. Despite stating 12 projects as those carried out at Halls of Residence, the total amount expended on each project was not stated in his stewardship report [the part is highlighted using red colour without any explanation].

Beyond these results, we explored the implications of Professor Olayinka’s guiding principles, goals and strategic keywords on the projects/contracts. Our analysis indicates that one percent of the principles increased his spending on the projects/contracts by 34.5%. It was 37.8% when we considered the goals [short, medium and long terms]. Surprisingly, analysis shows that one percent of the strategic keywords reduced his spending on the projects/contracts by 35.3%. With these results, there are positive and negative implications for advancing the University as stated in his strategic plan. One of the implications is that the principles and goals seem better in terms of helping him realising his vision and mission for the University than the keywords.

Exhibit 5: Spending on Key Projects/Activities between 2015 and 2018 (in Naira)

Source: Olayinka, 2020; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

Exhibit 6: Adequacy of Spending on Each Project/Activity Category

Source: Olayinka, 2020; Infoprations Analysis, 2020

His Strategic Plan: What It Has Delivered?

This question will be answered in the second part of the article, which x-rays the implications of the guiding principles, goals and the keywords on human and material resources he has been managing since 2015.

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One thought on “The Gains and Losses of Olayinka’s Leadership: Key Lessons for the Incoming University of Ibadan’s Vice Chancellor (I)

  1. The sundry gains made by the outgoing VC of UI and the great institution prove that leadership could be thermostatic and transform the system in which it operates. May his successor be a builder too.


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