For the Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Professor Oluwafemi Olaiya Balogun, who is expected to hand-over to a successor, mid-next year after eventful five-year tenure, it will still be all work, work and more work.
Professor Balogun gave the hint, last week that he would not slow down on his hallmark of fast pace, proactive disposition and ingenious leadership style, in the remaining seven months to the completion of his tenure. Rather, the Vice-Chancellor has pledged to work more assiduously and “launch out with a terrific speed before the final exit”.
Four and a half years on, the University has witnessed monumental transformation, virtually in all aspects of development under his watch, as articulated in his 9-Point Agenda, which he unfolded in 2007, when he assumed the mantle of leadership.
Professor Balogun disclosed that he would tinker with more innovative ideas, to shore up the University’s revenue generation drive and maintain the institution’s current, impressive global ranking, academic standard, and the entrenchment of congenial ambiance, institutional governance and infrastructural development, without passing the inherent burden on parents and students.
He made the assertion when he led members of the University Management on an unscheduled tour of Departments and Colleges, to ascertain their readiness for the forthcoming institutional and programmes accreditation by the National Universities Commission (NUC), in December.
Explaining that the visit was to ascertain the level of preparedness of the different segments of the institution, towards contributing their quota to the success of the exercise, he cautioned against ‘window-dressing’, so as to avoid casting slur on the good image of the University.
The Vice-Chancellor expressed joy over the University’s impressive growth, as he stressed the need for the review of the criteria for ranking universities in Nigeria, which he noted should be based on records of current developmental landmarks, rather than “the usual, archaic ranking template, which is merely factored alongside old generation versus new generation institutions”.
According to him, “the obvious reality nowadays is that many first and second generation universities are merely living by their names and in a way, retarding the growth of other young, dynamic and growing universities”.
He tasked members of FUNAAB community not to rest on their oars, but continue to foster best practices in terms of work ethics, good maintenance culture and evolving of ingenious ways of improving teaching, training and research, while shunning negative tendencies that could disparage the enviable image of the institution.
Professor Balogun said the current administration, in the last four and half years had been unprecedented in injecting the much-needed funds into Colleges and Directorates, based on the independent sharing formula, well implemented by the University’s Committee of Deans and Directors (CODAD).