THE Governing Council of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), has exercised its powers of appointing a vice chancellor without relying on the Federal Government for the exercise.
It followed the commencement of the University Autonomy Act (2007).
University autonomy is one of the major components of the agreement reached by the Federal Government with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to insulate them from political interference, particularly in the appointment of vice chancellors to head the institutions.
Because of the fallouts of such appointments when the exercise was under strict control of the Federal Government, various crises had arisen in some universities, especially when such heads are appointed from outside which prompted the union of university teachers to demand a reversal of the situation.
The first VC to be appointed under the new order for FUTA, Prof. Adebiyi Daramola, at his inauguration in Akure at the weekend, described his appointment by the Governing Council “as a great feat, being the first time Council would exercise its constitutional powers of appointing a VC in compliance with the University Autonomy Act (2007).
The new VC was appointed three weeks ago after an eight-month period during which the deputy vice chancellor (Academic), took charge in acting capacity. The process of selecting the new helmsman, which was coordinated by Council, began with the placement of vacancy adverts in major Nigerian newspapers.
Daramola, a professor of Agricultural Economics and the 6th vice chancellor to head FUTA, pledged to make the institution, which is currently rated as one of the 60 universities in Africa and the best University of Technology in Nigeria, “emerge as one of the top five Universities of Technology in Africa and rank one of the best 20 universities within the next five years.”
The new VC also pledged to “vigorously improve and expand infrastructure while renewable energy sources will be explored as back-up for all university buildings for improved efficiency.
In his speech, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the University Governing Council, Brig.-Gen Raji Rasaki (rtd), said the council decided to give the job to Daramola because of the “robust and impressive” vision statement of the new VC for the institution.
He also urged the new VC “to ensure quality assurance in all facets of the university administration and develop human capital through training and re-training while taking necessary precautions against polarisation of the university community and nip in the bud any attempt to turn the university to a political community.”
Meanwhile, the National Universities Commission (NUC) has selected for award two of FUTA’s Doctoral theses submitted to the commission under the Nigerian Universities Doctoral Theses Award Scheme (NUDTAS) in respect of the 2008 and 2009 awards.
The awards, which were presented to the Best Ph.D thesis in the discipline of Engineering (2009) and Best Ph.D thesis in the discipline of Physical Science (2009), were won by Ojuri, Oluwapelumi Olumide on the topic: “Geo-Environmental Assessment and Remediation of contaminated sites: A case study of Baruwa community, Lagos, Nigeria” and supervised by Professors S.A. Ola and K.O. Ipinmoroti and Ojo, Joseph Sunday on the topic: “Distribution of Rainfall Rates of Short Integration Time and their Applications to Microwave Propagation over Nigeria”, supervised by Professor M.O. Ajewole and Dr. S.E. Falodun, respectively.
The awards were presented at the University of Agriculture, Makurdi, between May 9 and 11, 2012.
Speaking at the presentation of the awards to the new FUTA helmsman, Dean of the School of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. M.A.K. Smith, commended the efforts of the team for a job well done.
According to him, the School of Postgraduate Studies has commenced work in earnest for the university to put in for the 2010, 2011 and 2012 editions of the Doctoral Theses Award Scheme.
The VC also commended the efforts of the two lecturers and their supervisors.
According to him, the awards were signs of good things to come and a showcase of FUTA as one of the best institutions of higher learning in Nigeria. Prof. Daramola told them not to rest on their oars but to continue in their efforts at lifting the university high.
In his speech, the DVC (Academic), Prof. Adedayo Fasakin, who said it is not the first time FUTA will be winning such an award, also praised the effort of the lecturers and their supervisors for attaining such an enviable height.