ABOUT 30 members of the non-academic staff of the University of Ibadan have undergone lateral conversion to the academic staff ranks.
In his address at the one-day induction programme organised for staff who converted from non-academic units to academic units by the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETeL) last Tuesday, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, said the move was as a result of dwindling economic resources and the demand for more academic staff by academic units in the university.
Speaking further, he said coupled with the inability of the university to recruit new staff over the past four years, the university management came up with the idea of re-designating interested suitably qualified non-academic staff members who had displayed their inclination for rigorous academic career by their being holders of doctoral degrees or who are currently doctoral candidates, as academic staff.
He also stated that in order not to deplete the administrative workforce of the university, the management had equally taken the complementary ingenious path of the lateral conversion of some qualified junior administrative staff as senior administrative staff.
He said: “There are three major areas of engagement for an academic in a university-teaching, research and community service.
“Since it is our vision to be a world-class institution for academic excellence geared towards meeting societal needs, the university invests in building the capacities of its human resource. This workshop is one of such investments.”
The VC, who was represented at the workshop by Professor Ayodele Jegede, admonished the inductees to use the event as a platform to establish professional links with their colleagues and facilitators, and consequently initiate networks for the purpose of future research collaborations and long-term mentorship across disciplines.
“Remember that the world is tilting towards multidisciplinary and more creative solutions tend to come from imaginative multidisciplinary research,” he noted.
Professor Akin Odebunmi, the director of the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETeL), noted that converting a large number of non-teaching staff to the teaching staff was a most pronounced effort and a clear expression of ingenuity on the part of the present administration.
He gave kudos to the Vice-Chancellor for the ingenuity with which he had been able to beat restraints on employment in the face of the enormous need for academic staff in the university.
Speaking at the workshop on the topic ‘Ethics of Teaching and Service Delivery,’ Professor Jegede challenged the inductees alongside other facilitators “to promote transmission of positive cultural values and functional learning behaviour through adherence to the work ethics that will enhance effective service delivery in teaching, research, innovation, community service and administration by all cadres of staff and allied service providers.”