Some academics in Ekiti State have decried a clause in the call for application for the vacant vice-chancellor (VC) position in Federal University, Oye Ekiti (FUOYE) and said the instruction was “a dangerous new trend being introduced into the selection of vice-chancellors for Nigerian universities.”
The academics, who coalesced under the name “Concerned Citizens and Friends of Academia in Nigeria” particularly frowned on an infraction which stipulates that candidates, apart from being of the rank of Professor with a minimum of eight years experience at the time of application, should also be from a federal university.
In a statement by Dr Ayokunle Joshua, the group said the preference for professors from only federal universities was a ploy to deny qualified, competent candidates an opportunity to aspire to the position.
Joshua said: “It was categorically stated that the candidate is expected to “be a highly distinguished scholar of the rank of Professor with a minimum of eight (8) years’ experience at the time of this application, preferably from a Federal University and must demonstrate the ability to provide academic and administrative leadership for the fast-growing institution.
“The injection of the clause ‘preferably from a Federal University’ into the advertisement of the vacant VC position is suspect and may be used to screen out many eligible candidates during the short-listing exercise.”
The group decried the clause, claiming that it was a ploy the Management of FUOYE to arm-twist the newly constituted Council to take “steps to exclude the majority of highly distinguished scholars who may wish to apply for the just-advertised position of Vice-Chancellor of FUOYE.”
According to the concerned academics, the best practise in such advertisement worldwide “is a request that applicants should come from recognised universities.”
To them, “this selective advertisement tend to exclude the best minds and hands from home and abroad, including Ekitis working in state and private universities in Nigeria and also those working in foreign universities.”
Joshua said the clause was discriminatory and “has no history in the selection of Vice-Chancellor in Nigeria and it should not be allowed to stand,” and therefore called “on the appropriate authorities in the Federal Ministry of Education to nip in the bud this surreptitious decoy that would definitely lead to the collapse of a meritorious selection of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities as the effect would be contagious if allowed to pass in FUOYE.
“We equally call on the academia the world over to rise and fight this discriminatory selection of Vice-Chancellor for the vacant position in FUOYE.”
Reacting to the development, Deputy Director, Corporate Services of FUOYE, Mr. Adeyinka Ademuyiwa, said the protesters should properly identify themselves and tell if they are applicants or just troublemakers “because the university will not respond to people who are throwing stones from the shadows.”
Ademuyiwa said: “We encourage them to come out in the open if they have any genuine case. If you are coming to equity, you must come with clean hands. Before we can accord such claims any serious look in, those people must properly be identified, otherwise, we see nothing to their claims. They should know that in cases as this, there are possibles and probables while among the rest are not wanted except if something extraordinary happened.”
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