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I’ll ensure UNILAG be among first 100 in the world – Sofoluwe

By Emmanuel Edukugho
The 10th Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos, appointed on Friday, January 29, 2010, Professor Adetokunbo Babatunde Sofoluwe has declared his own vision of the institution.

Recalling the vision statement of the university which is “to be a TOP CLASS INSTITUTION in pursuit of excellence in knowledge through learning and research, as well as in character and service to humanity,” he stated that his own vision is “to ensure that the University of Lagos by the mid term of my vice-chancellorship is ranked amongst the first hundred universities in the world.”

Prof Babatunde Sofoluwe, VC, UNILAG

He acknowledge that, “the university community has very good materials which are underutilised, and there is need to harness their potentials by employing electronic driven strategies which I shall put in place as the vice-chancellor of the university.

Sofoluwe asked rhetorically: “How do I achieve this?, that is, what is my mission?”

Apparently, he answered that my mission is “To make the University of Lagos e-university,” pointing out that this is in agreement with the university mission which is “To provide a conducive teaching, learning, research and development environment, where staff and students will interact and compete effectively with their counterparts, both nationally and internationally in terms of intellectual competence and the zeal to add value to our world.”

As a professor of computer science, he promised to deploy his knowledge of the discipline in the way the university is run and managed.

“Having been very close to the past three administrators headed by late Professor Jelili Omotola, Professor Oye Ibidapo-Obe and Professor Tolu Odugbemi as the Dean of Faculty of Science, Director of Academic Planning and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services) respectively, I do have a very good understanding of University of Lagos. In addition, I have been and I am still a member of the Governing Council of the past and present councils. My interaction at the council has made me a strong linkage between the past and present.”

The new VC said he has realised that for the development and progress of University of Lagos, he must always carry all stakeholders along with him.

“The Governing Council headed by Pro-Chancellor is to assist in policy, formulation and superintendence. The management of the university headed by the Vice-Chancellor is to implement formulated policies. The vice-chancellor is to deploy his two Deputy Vice-Chancellors, other principal officers, Directors, Deans, etc, in the day-to-day administration of the university.”

On his style of administration, he will break the university (a system) into sub-systems, e.g, Bursary, Registry, Faculties and building on his knowledge of these subsystems, through very competent committees of the council, senate and the university to carry out what is referred to as system analysis in computer science.

He explained that there will be systematic evaluation of subsystems on periodic basis for better performance, regular updating of university website with useful and interesting information about the university, increase of internet bandwidth and facilities, make the libraries attract more patronage, be users friendly and information accessed away from the libraries via internet.

Sofoluwe assured that the University of Lagos master plan will be available for transparency and manual for the maintenance of the physical structures such as hostels, faculty, buildings, staff quarters, etc, for use by the Works and Physical Planning department and for all to view. Each faculty and department will set targets that must be met within a time limit. When such targets are not met, there will be merger of departments.

Regular quarterly and annual report will be submitted by department, units, faculties, etc, pointing out further that, “the university would have been through innovation and collaborative teaching and research by the time these measures are put in place.”

He also mentioned Quality Control mechanism whereby the Quality Control section of the Academic planning unit will be revitalised to further enhance quality of programmes.

Greater international visibility will be given to the University of Lagos by providing greater opportunity for staff exchange programmes with international institutions, and encouraging greater students exchange between UNILAG and reputable universities all over the world.

On International Linkages, he referred to the popular maxim that no man is an island and that experience has also shown that no individual or group can do all things, all by himself.

“Consequently, I intend to strengthen the existing linkages we have with other reputable institutions all over the world while we continue to prospect for linkages which will be mutually beneficial to our university and other world-class universities.”

He disclosed that the academic calendar of the university will be designed and computerised in such manner that students scheduled for the session and the university will  ensure strict compliance.

As regards to Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Sofoluwe said he intends to “embark on an aggressive generation of revenue through endowment and development of a greater number of non-FTE programmes,” adding, “government alone cannot fund tertiary education.”

He pledged to place high premium on ensuring that the university workforce is heathy and there will be bi-annual comprehensive medical check-up scheme compulsory for all staff.

Sofoluwe, whose appointment as VC, UNILAG, will serve a non-renewable term of five years with effect from January 30, 2010. He is the third alumnus of the university to occupy the position since 1962 when the institution was established.

Born on April 15, 1950, he graduated with second-class Upper Division Honours in Special/Mathematics in June 1973 from the University of Lagos.

An astute-scholar researcher, the new VC started his teaching career as a Graduate Assistant at the University of Lagos in 1976, rising through the ranks to become a full professor in October 1996.

He has authored and co-authored many academic books, manuscripts and articles in several reputable local and international journals, and belongs to many professional bodies. Professor Sofoluwe is happily married with children.


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