The Eighth Substantive and first female Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure Professor Adenike Temidayo Oladiji has been inaugurated.
The event held on Tuesday, May 24th, 2022 at the Obafemi Awolowo auditorium of the institution.
In his address, the Pro Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council, Ambassador (Dr.) Godknows Boladei Igali said “today is the dawn of a new day in the life of this citadel of learning as we say goodbye and well done to our outgoing Vice Chancellor, Erudite Professor Joseph Fuwape and welcome with warmest embrace, our sister, Erudite Professor Adenike Temidayo Oladiji.
Indeed, this is a day that shall always be remembered for generations to come as we enthrone our first female Vice Chancellor of this great institution which remains a global citadel of learning and molding of character of Nigeria’s next generation of leaders and champions not only in technology but in all sphere of national life. More than this, the uniqueness of this day lies in the hope which it brings and the promise which it steers within us of a season which promises to be FUTA’s golden age of accomplishment and ascendancy.”
Dr. Igali who admitted that the task of selecting the Vice Chancellor was tasking said “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 any 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 short list 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.”
Dr. Igali admonished the new Vice Chancellor to hit the ground running so as to sustain the legacy of excellence FUTA is known for. His words “as Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive/Academic Officer of the University, the task before you is quite enormous. You, therefore, need to hit the ground running and 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.”
Commending the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape, Dr. Igali said “let me at this juncture congratulate the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Adeola Fuwape for the successful completion of his five-year tenure. I wish to specially acknowledge his invaluable contributions to the development of the University academically, physically and community-wise during his tenure. It is on record that the University became ranked as the Second Best Federal University in Nigeria under his watch, which implied that he left the University better than he met it. Your modest achievements in academic development, human resource and infrastructural development and other sectors of the University will remain in the annals of tertiary educational development in Nigeria.”
Dr. Igali acknowledged the understanding and cooperation of staff Unions for granting concession/waiver for their members to participate in the selection process at a time of national strike.
In his valedictory address, the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Professor Joseph Fuwape said stepping forward to take the reins of leadership in any university is a decision that requires quite some boldness, convictions and self-belief. He added that though he took over during a period of local crisis, God enabled him and his team to apply wisdom and understanding to resolve issues which culminated into peaceful atmosphere his tenure enjoyed.
He gave glory to the Lord for enabling him to establish the College of Health Sciences with students already admitted into the programme. He also expressed his delight in increasing the number of Schools and for all scientific breakthrough, grants, trophies and awards won by staff and students in his five years in office. Professor Fuwape appreciated the support, encouragement and loyalty he enjoyed from the Council Chairman and other members, including the management team, staff and students while leading the university. He urged all to express hand of fellowship to his successor, Professor Adenike Oladiji and wish her a peaceful and successful tenure.
Lending his voice, the Registrar, Mr. Richard Arifalo congratulated the Council Chairman, Dr. Igali and the selection team over the appointment of a new Vice Chancellor and also congratulated Professor Fuwape for successful completion of his tenure.
In her inaugural speech, the Vice Chancellor, Professor Adenike Oladiji said “for me, today is not a day for a long speech. Let me start by appreciating the Governing Council ably led by an academic guru, a scholar par excellence HE Am. Dr. Godknows Boladei Igali, and the joint Senate and Council Selection Board for the painstaking effort that culminated into my appointment as the Vice Chancellor. I thank you for the confidence reposed in me, I surely will not let you and the University down.
I acknowledge and thank the immediate past Vice Chancellor, Prof. Joseph Fuwape, Principal Officers, Professors and other members of Senate, staff and students for their immense contributions that ensured FUTA stands tall among other universities. I also acknowledge other past Vice Chancellors all of whom have at different times contributed to the FUTA we are celebrating today. As you all are aware, several distinguished academics expressed interest in occupying the respected office of the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology Akure, just like me. My emergence is divine as only one person will serve as Vice Chancellor at a time. I therefore wholeheartedly extend a 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. I must say at this juncture that many have extended hand of fellowship; I therefore salute your maturity and urge you to please let us join hands as we start a new phase in the history of FUTA. I am humbled by the many congratulatory messages, phone calls and prayers that I have received from the various categories of staff in FUTA. I take it as a pledge of support and God helping us all, we will know this time for good. I want to assure you that I have come to serve humanity in FUTA and I will be friend to all.”
Unveiling her agenda for the institution, she said “my philosophy will be to persuade, encourage and support all categories of staff to move in a desired direction as well as recognizing and rewarding achievements. My focus and priority will be to: Deepen research; Enhance students’ experience on campus; Expand the University – New academic programmes and infrastructural development; and Positively impact the host community. Prioritize staff and students’ welfare; Intensify capacity building and staff development; and Engender peace, security, and stability; Improve Internally Generated Revenue; She said the areas of focus may appear a difficult task, but she was confident the support of all stakeholders, “we can meet our target and even surpass it. I therefore earnestly plead that we all stay together, work together so we can celebrate success together.”
Concluding, the new Vice Chancellor expressed her unalloyed loyalty, commitment, and dedication to the progress of the Federal University of Technology, Akure.
“I shall faithfully and dutifully protect the law and Statute of the University and implement Council directives. I will accord due respect and honour to all the members of Council; extend courtesies to the Principal Officers, members of Senate and other statutory bodies of the University. I shall uphold high ethical standards in my relationship with all and sundries through a sheer display of courage, fairness, integrity, transparency, professionalism and exemplary leadership.
With God as my helper, and your collective support, we shall deliver a rebranded FUTA. The inauguration brought together dignitaries from the academic, religious leaders, traditional rulers, captains of industries, professional bodies and the security agencies,” she said.