PROFESSOR Ayobami Salami will tomorrow (Friday, June 24 2016) assume duty as the 11th vice chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife.
Named as the head of the 54-year-old institution by the university’s governing council on June 6, 2016, the new vice chancellor has promised to execute a 10-point agenda to uplift the institution in the next five years to position it as one of the best, not just in Africa, but also globally.
In his presentation to the governing council entitled ‘Moving Great Ife a Notch Higher (2016-2021), Professor Salami said, “There have been 10 vice chancellors since the establishment of the university till date. This implies that that the 11th signifies the dawn of a new decade in the leadership of the institution.
“History beacons on the new vice chancellor not only to be able to sustain the gains of the past, but to also capacitize the system for innovative strides at the onset of a new ‘decade’ in the annals of governance of the university.”
He promised to pursue and execute vigorously Information and Communication Technology (IT). Under what he termed ‘technovation’, Professor Salami promised to harness a lot of value-added services from the university’s bandwidth. As part of this process, he intends to reengineer results-processing software.
Tribune Education recalls that during the parley organised in the buildup to the appointment, Salami had promised to gradually move the university “from the manually driven processes to the e-based processes, like e-Senate, e-Faculty Board, e-Governing Council,” and so on.
He also promised what he called “academic renaissance, which will involve a comprehensive review of the curricula in all faculties and departments in line with global realities.”
Salami listed physical development as part of areas that will also receive his attention, saying that he would open up the OAU campus Phase 2 around Tonkere gate, as well as make the university an entrepreneurial and responsive university to make the training of every student not only focused on obtaining degree, but making them have the entrepreneurial mindset.
The new vice chancellor also said he would work on new strategies for improving the internally generated revenue by attracting non-subvention funds from both public and private sources as well as the international organisations. He promised to promote industrial harmony by laying emphasis on staff and students’ welfare.
He also promised to be committed to campus aesthetics and to reposition and re-invigorate the university’s town and gown committee, where committed and knowledgeable members of the host community and experts in the area of culture and tourism in the university will chart appropriate line of action to boost and develop the cultural heritage of the people for sustainable development.
Until his appointment, Professor Salami was the deputy vice chancellor (academics) in the university; and since his appointment, he has gained the support of the university’s branch of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Students Union, though the process leading to his appointment has been protested by the local chapters of the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).