INAUGURAL ADDRESS BY THE PRO-CHANCELLOR AND CHAIRMAN OF COUNCIL AT THE MAIDEN COUNCIL MEETING OF EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY, ADO-EKITI ON TUESDAY 29 JANUARY, 2019.
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen, permit me to start this inaugural address by welcoming each and every council member to this maiden Council meeting. Many of us are meeting and getting acquainted with one another for the first time. At least for me, apart from one or two members that we have been in the same academic discipline for decades, I am meeting some of us for the very first time. However, what gives me joy is that when I look at the background, pedigree and caliber of all the members in this new Governing Council, there is no scintilla of doubt that these are accomplished and successful men and women in their different professions. Consequently, I am sure that our experiences from our different backgrounds will no doubt avail the Council of a rich, mosaic, variegated and quality opinions and counsel in the conduct of Council affairs.
Furthermore, I want to thank God for the unique opportunity that He has given us to be called upon to serve Ekiti State at this critical and difficult period of her history especially in helping to reposition and inserting Ekiti State University into the intellectual and knowledge market of the 21st century. This I believe is an immeasurable privilege.
At this point, it will be remiss of me if I fail to acknowledge the work and contributions of past Chairmen of Council and the different University Management Teams from the inception of the university in 1982. There is no doubt that it is upon the foundation they laid that we are building today. And like a master builder, our job is to radically improve on the edifice that we have met on ground so that at the end, this edifice, this university will be a beauty to behold in the area of infrastructural development and a great intellectual and academic space befitting of a 21st century university properly speaking.
As it is well known, Governing Councils of Universities are representational of the various stakeholders viz, the Proprietor, Administration, Senate, Congregation and Convocation which are best suited to enunciate policies for the best interest of all. At the best of time, navigating this labyrinth is complex and tasking. However for us as a Council, we are coming on board at a very auspicious and difficult time following the outcome of the Visitation Panel to the University and the White Paper thereon. The Visitation Report and the White paper are categorical in showing a lot of lacuna and gaps in what has been operating in Ekiti State University over the years as compared with their homologues in other clime. This no doubt distinguished ladies and gentlemen has set an agenda for our Council in repositioning the University for a 21st century Higher Education delivery. Consequently, the unique position of the Council in policy formulation is expected to set the tone for and direction from which the university administration will draw strength and élan. It is expected that a good university must excel in knowledge generation (research), impartation (teaching), and application (community service). However, the foundation for this is good governance which Council must engender. Our backgrounds might be different and indeed we might have come from states other than Ekiti, but now Ekiti State University has become our collective concern which must elicit our commitment beyond personal interests.
In tandem with the aforementioned issues is the urgent need for members to study the Visitation Panel Report and the Government White Paper to enable Council move in the right direction. This is why all members must with single mindedness come on board to play their roles given their experiences in best practices across the world. As a result of its unique and vintage position, Council needs more than any other time to properly interrogate its place as the supreme governing body charged with the issues of finance, human resources and property of the university. To do this effectively, there is the need for transparency, integrity, honesty, unity of purpose and cooperation in the pursuit of our endeavors of giving the university a good and proper direction.
In the context of little or very thin financial resources, government with its concomitant commitments will probably not be able to meet all the university’s financial obligations. Consequently, a major direction of our Council should be ensuring and devising ingenious ways of raising funds for prosecuting the university objectives, mission and vision. For this singular reason therefore, all our hands must be on deck so that we can justify our raison d’etre as a Council.
Let me say at this juncture and without any ambiguity that the Visitor to the University expects a lot from this Council. As a man of letters and an intellectual of consequence himself, the Visitor understands how pivotal is the development of human capital in the whole matrix of economic development and social engineering for the development of the State. It is for this reason that he is desirous that Ekiti State University must be quickly repositioned so that it can take its proper place as an intellectual hub and market of ideas that is globally competitive with great governance ethos where day to day activities follow due process, transparency and best international practices.
I will like to specially enjoin the Senate and Congregation members on Council as they are permanently on ground to be at the vanguard of providing information that is representative of the environmental conditions to enable Council give the best direction that best serves the university and the State. As a Governing Council, we must at all times ensure best practices and standards that promote the welfare and the well being of members of the university community especially staff and students and also demand high productivity and accountability from all. The attainment of these lofty ideas and ideals can only be practicable if the university operates in an atmosphere of peaceful co-existence and mutual entente with its neighboring communities in the context of a robust town- gown relationship.
Finally, as the Chairman of Council, I sincerely seek for your unalloyed cooperation, counsel and consideration. It is when we walk together with singleness of mind and purpose that we can fulfill the expectations of the Visitor and the people of Ekiti State for a University of the highest standards which is globally competitive in a 21st century knowledge economy. I believe that we can accomplish this and more so that at the end, we can leave behind a legacy in the sands of time.
Thank you so much and God bless you.
Professor Bamitale Omole
Pro-Chancellor & Chairman of Council