Scramble For University Of Ilorin Vice-Chancellor Job
For the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) Vice-Chancellor, Prof Is-haq Oloyede, has intensifies with intrigues gradually crystallising from certain quarters, and others faulting the criteria For a new VC writes ADEKUNLE JIMOH
Who succeeds the outgoing Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), Prof Ishaq Oloyede, whose tenure expires in October? This is the question being asked by staff and students as the race For the seat hots up.
A lot is being thrown into the race, with some interest groups rumoured to be scheming to get the Job For their crony.
It was gathered that most of the candidates had hurriedly submitted their letters of intent to beat May 14, 2012 stipulated in the advertisement.
The candidates that beat the ultimatum include Professors Timothy Opoola from the Faculty of Science and three of his colleagues from the same faculty, Professors, Albert Olayemi and Musbau Akanji and Joshua Obalaye.
Prof Hassan Salihu from the Faculty of Business and Social Sciences (BSS) also beat the deadline just like Prof R.A. Akamidu from the Faculty of Arts and Prof Luke Ayorinde from the Faculty of Agriculture and Professors J.A. Olorunmaiye and B.F. Sule from the Faculty of Engineering.
There was also Prof AbdulGaniyu Ambali from the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. The only external candidate mentioned in discussions during the investigation was Prof Ignatus Madu from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.
By law the university’s Governing Council is expected to shortlist the names of three candidates to the university’s Visitor, President Goodluck Jonathan, from which he is expected to make his choice of who will lead the University till October 16, 2019.
Most of the candidates have either been or are currently Deans of the respective faculties. Apart from this, Akanji has been Dean, Students Affairs (DSA), while Olayemi recently completed tenure as Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC).
Ambali, a professor of Avian and Aquatic Animal and Medicine, joined the University in 2010 to set up the faculty of veterinary medicine. He had applied to be the Vice–Chancellor during the exercise that produced Oloyede but was dropped on the basis of arguments that the University as at then had no programme in his discipline.
Opoola, who has been Dean of the Faculty of Science between 2001-2006, also contested the post with Oloyede in 2007. He has also been a member of the university’s Governing Council. His area of specialisation is in Complex Analysis.
Prof Olayemi, immediate past Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management Services, had also been Director of Academic Planning Unit, of the university. He was also the chairman, Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the West African University Games (WAUG) hosted by the institution. Like Olayemi, Prof Ayorinde had also been Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) in the administration of the outgoing Vice Chancellor.
Prof Salihu, a political scientist of note, who is also heading the UNILORIN Elders Forum, has been reported in local media of recent as saying he wishes to build on the successes of the outgoing administration. He also contested with Oloyede in 2007.
Olorunmaiye has been a Professor of Mechanical Engineering since 1997 and between 1997and 2003 was head of the department while he has been Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology since January 2009.
Oloyede’s tenure has brought about what is regarded as a watershed in the history of the second generation university.
However, by law, the university’s Governing Council is now expected to shortlist the names of three candidates to the university’s Visitor, President Goodluck Jonathan from which he is expected to make his choice of who paddles Unilorin canoe For the next five years.
The University has set up a search team headed by the institution’s council chairman and former minister of state For education, Alhaji Saka Saadu. The council is to recommend a candidate For President Goodluck Jonathan For appointment.
The vacancy advertorial signed by the Registrar, Mrs Olufolake Oyeyemi, said the applicants: “must not be a distinguished professor of not less than 10 years in one of the disciplines offered by the University of Ilorin; should demonstrate astute managerial ability to maintain peace and academic stability For which the University is reputed; be a scholar of outstanding national and international repute, with proficiency in Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and considerable experience at top levels of University administration and; a professor with track record of teaching, research and community service; a person of entrepreneurial and innovative predisposition with a proven track record appropriate to the vision and mission of a first class university.
“The person “must be capable of inspiring the advancement of learning and reaching out to all persons without discrimination in any form; be of a sound health, pleasant disposition, unassailable integrity and strong moral character For inspiring and maintaining moral discipline among staff and students and; of proven ability to initiate contacts and funding from national and international sources.”
Some pundits are, however, picking, holes in the criteria.
In a newsletter published by a faction of the UNILORIN branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Dr Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju, a unionist who was part of the Unilorin 49 sacked by the University but reinstated by the Supreme Court three years ago, faulted the criteria.
The newsletter reads: “For some, the race is lost or won even before it begins. The advertisement would normally spell out preliminary qualification criteria that may exclude some persons. For example, the current advert ab initio excludes those whose professorships are less than 10 years, as well as those who are above 60 years as at the time of the advert.
“While such criteria often appear objective on the surface, they are sometimes arbitrary and may indicate an underground machination to exclude some persons from the outset. For example, the 10- year requirement was not always applied in the last few exercises, and the reason For its application this time may not be clear. The 60-year limitation is another case of arbitrariness. This limitation is ostensibly related to 65-year retirement age.
“Intrigues may have already crept into the current exercise. First of all, who exactly is the current Pro-Chancellor of the university? The situation is not at all clear. Reports have it that an external member of Council has suddenly begun to act as chairman of the governing council.
“The status of Alhaji Tukur Mani, the known chairman until recently is not at all clear. The registrar is yet to publicly announce a change of baton at the pro-chancellery.
“In the meantime, Prof Oloyede, has appointed new deputy vice-chancellors (DVCs) For his successor, less than five months to his own exit. By law, DVCs are supposed to be nominees of the incumbent VC.
“The reason For this sudden manoeuvre by the outgoing VC has been a subject of speculation. Many believe it may be a twin strategy by the incumbent to have an upper hand during the current VC selection exercise; and then, whatever the outcome of the exercise, to have a foothold in the next administration through his DVC nominees. A related strategy speculated is that it may be to enhance the CV of any of the DVCs who may be favoured to vie For the position of VC.”
The head of the Information Unit Kunle Akogun declined comments.
Some of the contenders include: Timothy Opoola from the Faculty of Science and three o f his colleagues from the same faculty, Professors.
Scramble For University Of Ilorin Vice-Chancellor Job
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