The hint for creation of the University came during 1979 Nigeria general elections, when a gubernatorial candidate for Ondo State, Chief M. A. Ajasin made the university creation one of his campaign promises.
In March, 1981, Chief Ajasin as the Governor of Ondo State, announced the establishment a multi-campus university at the launching of 4th National Development Plan and constituted a 17-member Consultative Committee to work on the University blueprint namely: Professor O. O. Akinkugbe (Chairman), Prof. A. Adaralegbe, Prof. O. S. Adegoke, Prof. A. A. Ademosun, Prof. Z. A. Ademuwagun, Dr. N. F. Aina, Prof. J. F. Ade Ajayi, Mrs. Julia Akintoye, Prof. S. A. Aluko, Prof. M. A. Bankole, Chief R. F. Fasoranti, Prof. D. A. Ijalaye, Prof. J. A. Majasan, Prof. E. F. Ojo Prof. S. A. Ola and Prof. I. O. Oladapo (Members) and Mr. R. A. Faba (Secretary).
The terms of reference of the committee were as follows:
- To examine the multi-campus system of university education and recommend the programme that should be followed by the Ondo State Government in achieving its objectives, taking into account the scarce resources (financial and material) of the State;
- To recommend the disciplines to be pursued and the locations of such disciplines;
- To recommend the organizational structure of the academic and administrative components of the proposed university, as well as the relationships between the main campus and the constituent colleges;
- To examine the financial implications of (ii) above;
- To suggest sources of funding the university in addition to Government’s subvention’
- To advise on the procedure for appointing the principal officers of various colleges as appropriate and to plan the working details of each colleges and
- To make such other recommendations as the committee shall deem fit.
Highlights of the Consultative Committee report to the State Government on 16th July, 1981 are:
- That the university should have a main campus and a number of component inter-disciplinary campuses, phased over a period of time and carefully chosen to take maximal advantage of the socio-economic circumstances and the developmental potential of the area.
- That the campus development of the satellite campuses should be undertaken from 1982 onwards, and that the first quantum should show evidence of activity in all campuses.
- That the university should pre-occupy itself with the exploitation of land as an economic investment, stimulation of indigenous entrepreneurial support by endowment, and the establishment, after thorough feasibility appraisal, of promising commercial ventures.
- That the university should embark on a deliberate policy of staff development of incorporate the training of young graduates at the university’s expense with the hope of their returning to constitute the major source of indigenous academic staff support for the university.
The Government then set up another committee headed by Prof. S.A. Akintoye to review the reports of Akinkugbe Committee, the outcome which formed the basis of the Government’s White Paper for the establishment of the University.
On Friday, 19th February, 1982, the Governor – Chief M. A. Ajasin announced the appointment of Professor Ifedayo Olawole Oladapo, OON (a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, former Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos) as the University’s first Vice-Chancellor, while the University’s law was passed into law on 29th March, 1982 as Obafemi Awolowo University Law No. 3 of 1982. He also announced the membership of the University Governing Council as: Chief B. A. Ajayi (Chairman), Prof. A. A. Okunnuga, Prof. M. A. Bankole, Prof. J. O. Oluwasanmi, Mrs. O. Oloruntimehin, Rev. (Dr.) J. Agbowuro, Prof. H. A. Oluwasanmi, Chief O. N. Rewane, Mr. Felix Aiyebusi, Dr. Tahaya Aliu (NUC Representative), Chief R. F. Fasoranti (Finance Commissioner), Dr. N. F. Aina (Education Commissioner) and Dr. O. Ibukun.
The University Council held its 1st meeting at Ado Ekiti on 30th and 31st March, 1982 and resolved, among others, that 30th March of every year be declared the University foundation day. During the 1st, 2nd and 3rd meetings of Council, the University was able to:
1. Appoint the 1st Registrar of the University – Chief Dr. J. G. O. Adegbite
2. Review and implement the University blueprint
3. Set the tone for policy formulation and implementation in the University
4. Adopt the University logo
5. Appoint the University Librarian – Mr. J. A. Arikenbi
6. See to the early commencement of construction work of the mini-campus after the 1st foundation day anniversary in 1983.
The 1st matriculation ceremony was held on Friday 25th March, 1983 at the Assembly Hall, Ajitadidun Temporary Campus, Ado-Ekiti where the Vice-Chancellor was ably assisted by the Registrar in leading the students to swear to the matriculation oath of the University. Later same day at the City Hall, Ado Ekiti, the University’s 1st Foundation lecture titled “The University and the State in Nigeria” was delivered by Prof. J. F. Ade Ajayi (A renowned historian, national merit award winner and former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos).
In August, 1984, Chief B.A. Ajayi resigned as Chairman of Council, paving way for formal dissolution of the 1st University Council and the appointment of a new one headed by Professor J. Ade Ajayi as Pro-Chancellor and Chairman.
The Council headed by Professor J. Ade Ajayi was in office from August 1984 to March 1988. During the period, the University was able to:
1. Change its name in June 1985 from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ado-Ekiti to Ondo State University, Ado-Ekiti under the State Military Government headed by Commodore M.B. Otiko
2. Saw to the movement of the University from its temporary sites to the permanent site on Ado-Iworoko road in August 1985.
3. Adopt the motto “For Service and Integrity” and approve a revised University logo
4. Change its abbreviated University name from ‘OAU’ to ‘OSUA’.
5. Appointed Professor A. Fajana as the 1st Deputy Vice-Chancellor for a term of two years
6. Appointed Mr. F. A. Adeniyi as the 1st substantive Bursar
7. Approved a career structure for teachers in the University Staff School.
The 2nd Council was dissolved on 31st March, 1988 and the 3rd Council constituted in October, 1988 with Chief Augustus Adebayo as Chairman. On March 31, 1990, the tenure of Prof. I. O. Oladapo as pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the University came to end after eight years having given stock of his stewardship at the 4th convocation ceremony of the University held on Friday, February 23, 1990. The successful completion of the terms of Prof. Oladapo led to the appointment of Prof. Peter Oluwanbe Bodunrin as his successor and 2nd Vice Chancellor of the University. He assumed duties on 1st April, 1990. During his tenure, the University witnessed:
1. The appointment of new principal officers of the university starting in August, 1990 with the appointment of Prof. S. O. Agbi (Dean, Faculty of Arts) as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor.
2. At the 10th Foundation Anniversary on Monday, 30th March, 1992, HRM Oba Festus Ibidapo Adesanoye (The Osemawe of Ondo) was installed as the 1st Chancellor of the University at a ceremony witnessed by the State Governor, Evangelist Bamidele Olumilua.
3. In September, 1991, Mrs. R. O. Faluyi, was appointed 1st Deputy Registrar of the University and in 1994, she became the Acting Registrar for awhile
4. In September, 1992, another Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor I. O. Orubuloye, was appointed.
In 1996, the University appointed the 2nd substantive Registrar – Chief M.O. Ogunniyi to succeed Chief Dr. J. G. O. Adegbite. Equally Prof. W.O. Ibukun (a Professor of Educational Management) became the Deputy Vice-Chancellor in March 1997 when the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. P. O. Bodunrin, was indisposed before his demise. Prof. Ibukun’s tenure as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Acting Vice Chancellor continued till September, 1999 when Ondo State Government established its own University at Akungba-Akoko and appointed Prof. Ibukun as the Vice Chancellor.
With the vacation of the office of Vice Chancellor by Prof. Ibukun, the Ekiti State Government took over full proprietorship of the University and approved the appointment of Prof. Olutuyi Ashaolu as the Acting Vice-Chancellor. Prof. Asaolu later handed over the mantle of leadership to Prof. Akin Oyebode (a Professor of International Law) as the substantive Vice-Chancellor at the commencement of 1999/2000 academic session.
During the period of Prof. Akin Oyebode, University administration was able to achieve the following:
1. Appoint Mrs. F.M. Fapohunda FCA as the Bursar
2. Appoint Mr. G.O. Ogunleye as the University Librarian
3. Appointed Arch Dr. O. Oriye as Director of Physical Planning, Dr. P.O. Omoniyi as the Director of Health Services and Engr. Ogundare as Director of Works and Services.
4. Increased University cut-off point above national average to improve the quality of the University entrants
5. Improved and constructed physical structures such as 4 in 1 Lecture Theatre, ETF Hall Construction and 1st University gate among others
6. Improved Library services
7. Created Law Faculty library
8. Improved NUC accreditation of University courses
9. Positive image laundering of the University in the public
10. Commitment to academic excellence with new work ethics for all staff for better performance
11. Confrontation of social vices in the University community
12. Employment of new and well qualified administrative staff
Prof. Akin Oyebode memorable tenure as Vice-Chancellor ended in May 2003 and Prof. (Mrs.) Olufunke Agbeke Egunjobi (A Professor of Zoology) was named the Acting Vice-Chancellor, having served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor under Prof. Oyebode. The 1st Visitation Panel to the University was appointed by the State Government during the tenure of Prof. Oyebode.
In 2004, Prof. I.O. Orubuloye took office as Vice Chancellor while Chief Akin Omoboriowo became the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council. Prof. Orubuloye served in the capacity until 2008. It was a period that saw that the University:
1. Appointed a new Registrar – Dr. Omojola Omowumi Awosusi to succeed Chief. M.O. Ogunniyi
2. Appointed a new Deputy Vice Chancellor – Prof. Dipo Kolawole
3. Appointed Prof. Oyebola for a brief period at Provost of the newly introduced College of Medicine before it was abandoned
4. Constructed a new Library block in the University
5. Introduced internet admission registration processes in the University
6. Constructed new Office buildings for Faculties of Arts, Agricultural Sciences, Education, Science, Social Sciences and Management and Faculty of Engineering Auditorium
The 2nd Visitation Panel to the University was appointed by the State Government during the tenure of Prof. Orubuloye. At the expiration of Prof. Orubuloye’s tenure, Prof. Dipo Kolawole (A renowned Professor of Political Science and Public Administrator) who had served previously as Deputy Vice Chancellor became the Acting Vice Chancellor. He served in the position until he was appointed in 2009 as the substantive Vice Chancellor of the University.
Prof. Peter Adeniyi (former Vice Chancellor of Federal University of Technology, Akure and a renowned Geographer) became the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council in year 2008, while Prof. Dipo Kolawole assumed of office as substantive Vice Chancellor of the University. Professor Kolawole introduced the spirit of TEAM UNAD, a consultative and management wide approach to University policy making and administration. This has resulted to tremendous changes in the University management and invariably resulted within the past year in the:
1. Conscientious lifting up of the University image in public forum and functions
2. Creation and involvement of extended Management in policy making and University administration
3. Reintroduction of the University College of Medicine and appointment of Prof. G.F. Esan as the Provost of the College
4. Adoption and implementation of new University Law
5. Streamlining of academic procedures and quick processing of results and graduating list
6. Streamlining of academic records and prompt production of certificates and academic transcripts
7. Conference marking of semester results and quick compilation and computation for Senate approval
8. Construction and effective maintenance of University buildings and renovation of old ones
9. Construction and equipping of New buildings in the University such as Shell ICT Centre, Part time Degree Programme Complex, Alumni funded Faculty of Law Moot Court, New Faculty of Engineering Complex, New Faculty Buildings for the Social Sciences, New University Lecture Theatres and New University gate
10. Improvement of the University landscape and construction of new road networks funded by the State Government
11. Implementation of the Visitation Panel’s report
12. Commitment to academic excellence including punctuality and prompt action to work ethics by all academic and non-academic staff for optimal result and better performance
13. Commitment to staff welfare and development through research grants and journal publications, prompt payment of salaries, social engineering among staff unions and the creation of Staff Club to mention a few.
14. Employment of new sets of well qualified academic staff
15. Improved Library services through acquisition of new books and virtual library
16. Introduction and deployment of new University website and other Federal Ministry of Education computer facilities for the University
17. Confrontation of all social vices in the University community
18. Auditing of Students in the University and expulsion of illegal students from the University community
19. Proper handling of disciplinary cases of insubordinate and unruly staff and the termination of their appointment from the University
20. Improved University admission rating through monitoring of the quality of the University entrants and screening of legitimate students