BY EMMANUEL EDUKUGHO

The University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), has elevated sixty-six (66) academic staff to professorial and associate professorial cadres.

Professor Is-haq O. Oloyede

The Vice-Chancellor, Professor Is-haq O. Oloyede who disclosed this on Monday at a press conference convened at the end of the 128th Council Meeting of the University held in the Council Chamber, University of Lagos, said that these distinguished academics have excelled and the institution has no reservation in proclaiming and appreciating their excellence.

“To profess is to excel in the academic enterprises and to publish is to flourish,” he declared, adding, “the University of Ilorin is trying to improve its performance in response to humanity and a unique step by the council to promote the 66 professors.”

Oloyode explained that on Monday, September 12, 2011, the Appointments and Promotions Committee of the University at its 141st Meeting considered the reports of the External Assessors on the Publications of the University Staff who were deemed prima facie qualified for the professorial and Associate Professorial cadres after their internal assessment.

The reports of the External Assessors were positive, while eleven others are still inconclusive.

Of the total number of applications, the council approved the appointment of 35 professors and 31 Associate Professors/Readers.

A breakdown of the new professors showed four (4) in Faculty of Agriculture, two (2) in Arts, two (2), in Basic Medical Sciences, three (3) in Business and Social Sciences, thirteen (13) in Clinical Sciences, three (3) in Education, one (1) in Engineering and Technology, and seven (7) in Science.

For the Associate Professors, three (3) in Agriculture, two in Basic Medical Sciences, two (2) in Arts, three (3) in Business and Social Sciences, eight (8) in Clinical Sciences, three (3) in Education, two (2) in Engineering and Technology, and seven (7) in Science.

Males constituted 87.9 per cent (e.g 58) of the sixty-six and females 12.1 per cent (e.g 8) indicating that females are still trailing behind their male counterparts quantitatively.

Said Oloyede: “The University is addressing the situation by creating more appointment opportunities for the females so that in a short time, gender equity, not necessarily equality, will be more pronounced in all facets of the university life.”

Twenty nine (29) or 93.5 per cent of the 31 new Readers or Associate Professors are men against two (2) or 6.5 per cent that are women. Out of the 35 new professors, 29 or 82 per cent are men while the remaining 6 or 17.1 per cent are women, which is an improvement on the distribution at the level of Readership.

“It is hoped that our academics, especially the female ones, will continue to brace all understandable odds and publish and flourish while our male dons would also not be complacent by allowing the publish or perish dictum to hold sway,” the VC intoned.

He also said that the University of Ilorin will be hosting the 13th edition of the West Africa University Games (WAUG) slated for January 11 to 22, 2012, on behalf of Nigeria.

“That the Games is for Nigeria as a whole is underscored by the fact that the hosting of the Games was handed over to the Federal Government through the then Minister of Sports, Mr. Abdurahman Gimba, at the University of Ghana in 2008.”

He stated that the University Council under the chairmanship of the pro-Chancellor, Alhaji Tukur Mani, has constituted a special committee to complement the efforts of the Local Organising Committee.

Oloyede solicited the support of Governments at all levels, corporate bodies, Non-Government Organisation (NGOs) and all men and women of goodwill to support the university in every possible way in hosting the Games.

Saying that the Games will cost an estimated N1.2 billion, however, only N250 million has so far been realised, “which is just a drop in the ocean when compared to what we need.”

Education Trust Fund (ETF) has given N100 million for the Games, Globacom chairman, Dr. Mike Adenuga gave N25 million and other public-spirited persons had given support. The Ministry of Sports also has promised some money.

The VC said another Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) to handle Research, Technology and Innovation has been appointed as part of the University’s mandate to consolidate its ranking as the best in Nigeria and become number one in Africa.

“To get to the top is easier than being staying on top. If we are the best, we can’t go to sleep as others like University of Ibadan are already challenging us, hence we are re-engineering so as to go up and up.”

On whether the university has sufficient funds to pay the salaries of the newly appointed 66 professors moreso as it is looking for money to stage the West Africa University Games, Oloyede responded this way: “Professors are not liabilities but are to improve revenue generation for the university.

In overseas, professors are not paid but bring in money through research works. Even in Ghana, professors bring in money and attract funds for the university. They are paid according to what they bring into the system.”

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