By Egufe Yafugborhi
PORT HARCOURT – VICE Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Rivers state, Prof Georgewill Owunari, says the modified career structure at the varsity under his watch has put an end to over 16 years of demoralising career stagnation among staff.
Georgewill revealed this on Thursday at the University’s Senate Chambers as he unveiled activities of the 33rd Convocation of UNIPORT which will witness award of 9536 first degrees and 9699 post graduate degrees and diplomas in an exercise that combines 2018/2019 and 2019/2022 sets of graduands.
In stock taking on the journey so far for UNIPORT under his headship, the VC said the career structure he inherited on assumption office defectively restrained some staff of the institution from gaining career progression that demoralised those affected.
The Professor of Pharmacology said, “The career structure of this university has been in the backline for more than fifteen, sixteen years. The old structure was such that some staff don’t have where to climb to. They get to a point and they’re stuck, no career channel to progress on.
“We realised the challenge and said it is not good enough. We ensure that all necessary actions, decisions were taken and the varsity now have a new career structure which has well been approved, stimulating opportunities of growth for staff in various career pacts.”
Among others achievements since taking over July last year, the UNIPORT VC listed a weekly information update on the varsity, delivery of more infrastructures, partnership agreement with foreign universities, global partnership on tackling climate change, improved cohesion among management, governing council, senate, staff and students, all of which, he said, has made running the school easier than it could have been.
He also thanked immediate past Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, the TETFund, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state and others whose efforts in diverse contributions are helping to advance the fortunes of the university.
On the 33rd Convocation which opened yesterday, having been delayed by Covid-19 and the recent strikes, he disclosed that 161 of the 9536 graduands to receive bachelor degrees made 1st Class Honours just as 1028 of the 9699 Post Graduate Degrees and Diploma, will receive PHDs.
Thursday’s opening activities marking the 33rd UNIPORT combined convocation witnessed a convocation lecture, exhibition and the 1st Class graduates handshake with the VC, Friday will see award of 1st degrees and the grand finale Saturday with award of higher degrees and excellence awards and honoraries to deserving recipients.