The much announced Town-Hall meeting with the contenders for the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan has been held on Thursday 17, 2020. The event was chaired by Dr Akinyemi Bamidele Farounbi, Nigeria’s former ambassador to the Philippines and moderated by Chief Bisi Adesola, a business mogul. During the event, the duo stressed the need for competent Vice Chancellor, who would advance the country’s premier University vision and mission in the world.
Some days before the Town-Hall meeting, the University of Ibadan Community Forum reported short profiles of the contenders. According to the Forum, Professors Femi Mimiko, Hassan Ajisafe Saliu, Babatunde Lawal Salako, Oladele Olatunde Layiwola, Raheem Adebayo Lawal, Clement Olusegun Olaniran Kolawole, Emiola Oluwabunmi Olapade-Olaopa, Olatunde Rom Kalilu, Tal-Hatu Kolapo Hamzat, Hakeem Fawehinmi, Ebenezer Olatunde Farombi, Temitope Oluwagbenga Alonge, Adeyinka Abideen Aderinto, Olusegun George Ademowo, Babatunde Lateef Adeleke, Kayode Oyedode Adebowale, Aderemi Raji-Oyelade, Anthony Kayode Onifade are the contenders for the position.
During the event, each of the contenders spent 5 minutes for presentation of agenda to the University Community and some Nigerians who participated through social media networking sites (Facebook), YouTube and Zoom. Our analyst, who was part of the event, notes that the contenders were grilled in the areas of sustainable teaching, researching and attracting funds into the University. They were also asked to explain how to ensure the place of the University in the country’s socioeconomic and political development without compromising her expected strategic roles globally.
From their presentation and responses to various questions, it emerged that the new Vice Chancellor wants to aggregate and concentrate his resources on making the teaching environment much better, enhancing environment for research activities and conversation of the outputs into sustainable income for the University. The new Vice Chancellor also wants to ensure that the University is not only ranked among the best universities in the world, but be placed among 100 best universities. In addition to this, the new Vice Chancellor wants the oldest Institution to be the key player in terms of proffering the needed solutions to the country’s challenges.
Participants eulogized the organisers of the event and believe that the best candidate would emerge as the new Vice Chancellor of the University. Our analyst discovered that the reactions of the participants tilted towards having a Vice Chancellor, who will prioritise the growth of the University and retain its position in Nigeria.
Exhibit 1: Dominant Words in Participants’ Reactions
Exhibit 2: Trends of the Dominant Words
- I’m proud to be a Uite and attend this program as Chairman UIAA Lagos State Branch, the Mother Alumni. Congratulations to UI and the UI Community for this trailblazing programme.
- UI is forever No 1 the trailblazing university of Nigeria.
- My question goes to Prof. Farombi. I want to remind him of his landmark achievement during his deanship in basic Medical Science, using his office to draw N100 million from the then Vice chancellor, which was used for laboratory equipment in the faculty, but since then no additional contribution. Please how can you help the university to strengthen the laboratories to facilitate effective teaching.
- I am A.O. Amuzat. I would like to ask Prof. Ademowo about how he intends to manage and solve frequent crises among the staff unions.
- I want to ask Prof Adebowale that if you are perceived unfriendly person to the unions, how do you want to convince, bring them together and ensure industrial harmony.
- You will agree with me that nothing good comes easy. So, to all the aspirants, what and what will you do differently from your predecessors that may like to have negative effect on the University community at the initial and would later pay-off in the future for the benefit of all?
- I will like the aspirants to speak about illegal pension deduction, which OAU has started paying their staff, however are they ready to pay?
- As a VC aspirant, how would you handle the situation whereby you ordered your Bursar to carry out an assignment in good faith, and he turned down your request as regards that? If you are given the opportunity to serve, hope the union(s) will not be marginalized, as usually seen, at times by most past leaders?
- These are intellectuals with great vision for our great University. May God give whoever emerge the will power to fulfil your good promises. Wishing you all the best.