The National President, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi has commended members of the local branch of the union for their support towards the advancement of the national body. Prof. Ogunyemi gave this commendation while speaking at a one-day training workshop tagged, “Academic Freedom and Ethics”, organised by ASUU-FUNAAB.
According to ASUU National President, “ASUU-FUNAAB has remained a pillar of support for the Union”, and the University has set the high standard for the hosting of National Executive Council (NEC) meeting. According to him, “When a branch is dynamic and capable of projecting the image of the union positively, we must continue to stand by such branch and that is what ASUU-FUNAAB represents”.
Speaking on the trending issue of sexual harassment in most universities in the country and the impending legislature to be promulgated by the country’s legislators, Prof. Ogunyemi stated that such a law was likely to affect the existing relationship between students and their lecturers. He noted that there was much hatred in the air, which could lead to the erosion of the essence of University education. He declared that ASUU condemns sexual abuse and harassment in any form, stressing that universities were already coming up with their gender policies that would address the issue of sexual harassment in Nigerian universities.
He proffered solution such as the installation of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTVs) in universities as one of the security measures that could be put in place to guard against immoral behaviours in our ivory towers. Prof. Ogunyemi encouraged academics to study the union’s constitution and follow events such as workshops, saying that one of the reasons for holding events like this was to remind members of their responsibilities and obligations towards the system, while identifying integrity, accountability, diligence, patriotism, and workers’ solidarity as the guiding principles of ASUU, and enjoined them to protect and defend the system, and their academic freedom.
Speaking at the occasion, the Vice-Chancellor of FUNAAB, Prof. Kolawole Salako, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Bolanle Akeredolu-Ale, expressed his delight with the workshop, stating that it would help in expanding the frontiers of knowledge. According to the Vice-Chancellor, “This is set to open our eyes on the theme of the workshop and to also challenge Nigerian universities”, noting that universities all over the world require academic freedom to thrive. He equally charged members of ASUU, not to allow their quest to attain academic freedom and autonomy, affect their actions in the face of impending challenges, saying “Universities demand academic freedom as a condition for academic work, and for us to attain academic freedom and autonomy, we must be prepared to see academic freedom as a sacrifice”.
While describing FUNAAB as the best University in terms of the provision of an enabling academic environment, he disclosed that it remains the favourite for seekers of quality research. He informed the gathering that the University recently employed more academic and non-teaching staff in a bid to position FUNAAB for the next level. The Chairman, ASUU-FUNAAB, Dr. Adebayo Oni, noted that the training workshop was a twin-programme that was intended to conscientise and re-orientate members on the ideals of the union, address certain ethical challenges confronting them as academics, and respond to some of the challenges in the society. Dr. Oni added that the workshop was also aimed at exposing newly-employed academic staff to issues that would assist them in responding positively to challenges. He, however, appreciated the union’s National President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, the Executive Secretary of National Universities Commission (NUC), Prof. Abubakar Rasheed, and Prof. Salako for protecting the sanctity of the University.
Goodwill messages were received from the Acting Managing Director, Nigerian University Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO), Mrs. Oluwakemi Ugwu, who revealed that NUPEMCO was aimed at providing pension fund administration services exclusively to staff and members of ASUU, NUC, Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT). Highpoint of the day was the presentation of awards to Prof. Ogunyemi; Guest Speaker, Prof. Omotoye Olorode; Prof. Clement Adeofun, DVC (Development); Prof. Chryss Onwuka; Prof. Ighodalo Eromosele; Prof. Catherine Eromosele; Prof. Toyin Arowolo; Prof. Adewale Dipeolu; Prof. Morenike Dipeolu; Prof. Lateef Sanni; Prof. Adesina Agboola; Prof. Christian Ikeobi; Prof. Wilfred Alegbeleye; and Prof. Olusiji Sowande of FUNAAB, for their loyalty and support toward the union and the University.