The Second Substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University and the immediate past two term Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Professor Julius Amioba Okojie (OON) will breast the tape of retirement honourably with a Valedictory Lecture on Wednesday, July 25, 2018 by 2:00pm at the Institution’s Ceremonial Building.
Having served the University assiduously and meritoriously, the desire of the enigma that moved the University to its permanent site is to retire “without any stumbling block”.
The Professor of Forest Resources Management had told the University’s Senate during a Welcome Reception, organised in honour of his ‘Home Coming’ in August 2nd, 2016 after five and ten years stint as Vice-Chancellor, Bells University, Ota and Executive Secretary of NUC respectively, that “my prayer was always that”, “God, as I am woking at the tape that signifies the end of my career, let me breast that tape without any stumbling block”.
In apparent answer to his prayer and due sense of fulfillment and thankgiving to God for unflinching commitment and dedication to the academic and humanity in general, the University First Inaugural Lecturer will deliver a Valedictory Lecture titled, A Servant is Not Greater Than His Master: Who Wants To Be A Vice-Chancellor?.
The Lecture is expected to draw erudite scholars, associates, top government functionaries and well-wishers from all works of life.
It would be recalled that only recently, precisely 25th April, 2018, Prof. Okojie delivered the University’s maiden Distinguished Lecture Series.
Since he joined the service of the University on October 1, 1990, his profile read like a Best Seller titled, “from Glory to Glory” as Professor Okojie like the Eagle has been mounting and soaring from one height of success to another, leaving on his trail an enduring legacy that has stood the lest of time and impacting overwhelmingly on the University.
He traversed FUNAAB, Bells University and the National Universities Commission (NUC) where he carved a niche as Vice-Chancellor and Executive Secretary, in that order, and bestriding it like a colossus.
Checks revealed that Professor Okojie foray into giant strides in the University began with his appointment as Dean, College of Environmental Resources Management (COLERM) (1990-1994).
Thereafter, the Erudite Scholar was appointed Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University in 1994 and he became the Institution substantive Vice-Chancellor in August 1, 1996.
His tenure consolidated and improved overwhelmingly on the pioneering efforts of the team of the first Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nurudeen ‘Nimbe Adedipe, after which he moved the University to its permanent site at Alabata Road.
Like the proverbial man with midas touch, his Vice-Chancellorship impacted tremendously on the University with landmark achievements that are remarkable reference points in the annals of history of the institution.
They include the emergence of FUNAAB (then UNAAB) as the Best University in Nigeria, creation of a beautiful environment that earned FUNAAB the reputation of having one of the most beautiful campuses in the country, through the planting of palm trees.
Professor Okojie also spearheaded the planting of a 250-hectare cashew plantation which formed the bedrock of the establishment of the University’s Industrial Park as well as source of Internally Generated Revenue.
The Valedictory Lecturer also sustained and entrenched high academic standard, among several others.
Furthermore, Professor Okojieis is also a man of many firsts in the history of the University.
These include his clout, the University’s first Inaugural Lecturer; First Chairman of Ceremonies Committee; Initiator of the First Open Thesis Defence in the University and the First former Vice-Chancellor to return to the Institution after national service to his fatherland outside the University.
Married to Erelu Oluremi Okojie, the revered titled holder of Aare Agbe of Egbaland, who arrived Abeokuta ditto FUNAAB 28 years ago as a young Professor left the University on August 31, 2001 and returned on August 2nd, 2016. While on leave of absence, Professor Okojie was appointed Vice-Chancellor, Bells University and subsequently, for two term Executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission (NUC).