As the battle for the emergence of the Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife deepens, some staff of the university have warned against the dissolution of the Governing Council.
A member of staff, who spoke on the matter said the OAU Governing Council’s actions was constitutional.
It would be recalled that that some workers in the university had protested against the actions of the Governing Council.
Workers like the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), OAU branch faulted the Governing Council.
According to them, the governing council deserved to be dissolved for ‘deliberate and irreparable violation of the Statue and Laws for the appointment of a new Vice-chancellor’.
They alleged that the screening conducted by the Governing Council did not follow the provision of the OAU statutes in their bid to favour a candidate.
A top management staff who prefers anonymity, argued that the positions of NASU and SSANU would subvert the autonomy in the appointment of Vice-Chancellors fought for by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
He said, “The position of both SSANU and NASU is disappointing. They have only succeeded in the misinterpretation of the spirit of the OAU statue. It will be very wrong for anyone to wrongly interpret the statue both in spirit and letter.
“The conditions followed during the last screening are not too different from the criteria set now. The only difference is that all the candidates qualified then and not all qualified now.”
It was learnt that though it interfaced with the 11 candidates, the Governing Council has short-listed the first six, who are billed to face an interview session with the Council and the institution’s Senate Joint Committee between Thursday and Friday April 7 and 8.
Another member of the OAU Senate confided in our correspondent that the process for screening the candidates was transparent.
While speaking to our correspondent on the telephone, he explained that the Governing Council has the autonomy to set criteria for the shortlist of candidates.
He added, “The case here is simple. I think we are intellectuals here. It won’t sound well to start creating internal contradictions in the statue. The position of the statue is clear and has been duly followed. The criteria set are of international standard and are worthy.
“The criteria used to shortlist the VC candidates are teaching (5 marks); international exposure (10 marks); publication (10 marks); fund attraction (10 marks); years as professor (5 marks); supervision (5 marks) and referees (5 marks). The awarded score was doubled to obtain the percentage score and a pass mark of 60 per cent pass mark was adopted. You can also see that it is only individuals who are stingy with truth that will say any of the criteria is not necessary.”
“I just hope that those agitating that some candidates should not be screened out are aware of the autonomy fought for by ASUU. Already a bill stating clearly that universities should independently appoint their Vice-Chancellor. If that is the case, are those agitating that no one should be screened out saying that the Governing Council should still compile list of candidates and send to Federal Government again? No, that will be against the autonomy contained in ASUU-FG agreement. The FG must respect university autonomy and dragging government into this matter would be the worst illegality.”
Our correspondent gathered that no fewer than 11 candidates have indicated interest, with the duo of Prof. Afolabi Akindaunsi, Director of the International Office at the Federal University of Technology (FUTA), and one Prof. Charles Akinyokun, contesting the position from another university.
Others candidates, who are Alumni of the OAU, are the incumbent Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Prof. Ayobami Taofeek Salami, from the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Sciences; the former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences; Prof. (Mrs.) Olabisi Aina; former Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede, and former Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Prof. Yisa Kehinde Yusuf.
Others include the former Dean of the Faculty of Education and two-term Chairman of the Committee of Deans, Prof. Alao Kayode; former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Prof. Anthony Enisan Akinlo; former Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design and Management, Prof. Ayo Ajayi and the faculty’s incumbent Dean, Prof. Bioye Tajudeen Aluko, among others.