The Registrar of the University of Ilorin, Dr. Folaranmi M. Olowoleni, has told staff of the University that they could only be confident in the discharge of their duties when they attain the required modicum of competence on their job.

Dr. Olowoleni made this submission last Wednesday (March 27, 2019) while declaring open the maiden edition of the Training Workshop for Administrative and Executive Staff of the Registry, from Administrative Assistant to Principal Assistant Registrar and Higher Executive Officer to Chief Executive Officer.  

The Registrar enjoined the staff to uphold the pride of the Registry, explaining that the workshop, organised by the Training and Development Unit of the Directorate of Human Resources, was to enable participants to gain hands-on knowledge on the application of the condition of service and understand administrative procedures and processes.

She noted that the training would further make the staff understand the role of the Registrar with a view to representing the Registrar on promotion, examination panels, and other functions, adding that no one would take the Registry staff for granted when they are good at what they are doing.

The Registrar described the training as a refresher course that would help the staff to be abreast of the latest development in university support services and make them to be well equipped to perform in an evolving educational system.

“You must not allow yourselves to be intimidated. The way to do that is to ensure that you are always learning as learning is a lifelong experience”, Dr. Olowoleni told the Registry staff, charging them to “make the best of these two days and ask questions that will help you to learn more; open your mind and enrich your knowledge”.

The Registrar used the occasion to congratulate the staff members, who were recently converted from one cadre to another, as she challenged them to justify their conversion by demonstrating diligence and competence on their new job description. She said, “I want you to double your effort and prove your worth on your new cadre”.

The two-day training workshop, which ended last Thursday (March 28, 2019), featured three lectures on “Effective Representation of the Registrar on Staff Promotions and Appointments Panel” by Mr. M. S. Adegoke and Mrs. Azeezat Q. Ibrahim; “Administrative Procedure and Processes (Interpretation and Application of the Condition of Service)” by Dr. O. A. Akinyemi; and “Student Examinations, Monitoring and Representation at Faculty Board Meetings” by Mr. M. A. Alfanla.

In a chat with Unilorin Bulletin, the Deputy Registrar, Directorate of Human Resources, Mrs. Rebecca A. Okojie, explained that the programme was the idea and brainchild of the Registrar to ensure that the Registry staff members are sufficiently equipped to carry out their roles effectively in the system.

Mrs. Okojie added that the training is more specific to train Registry staff to be able to represent the Registrar on different boards and panels in different Faculties.

“It fell on us as Human Resources to anchor the training because our primary role is staff development”, the Deputy Registrar said, adding, “We only coordinated the programme to ensure it's a reality we are having now”.

The Registrar of the University of Ilorin, Dr. (Mrs.) Folaranmi Olowoleni, has assured the University staff that sat for last year's conversion examination of proper postings provided they meet the laid-down criteria and guidelines for the Departments of their prospective posting.

Dr. (Mrs.) Olowoleni gave the assurance last Wednesday (March 13, 2019) while addressing participants at the monthly Registry Office Technology Seminar at the Auditorium Basement.

The Registrar pointed out that whoever meets the requirement of his/her proposed Department or Unit will definitely be converted and posted there. She also disclosed that letters for the successful conversion applicants are ready for collection at the Directorate of Human Resources.

Dr. (Mrs.) Olowoleni also advised the secretaries to take the seminar seriously as it will enable them to acquire more knowledge and gain new skills that make them effective at their various duty posts. She also advised them to always be punctual at the seminar.

While presenting the Seminar, a Principal Confidential Secretary in the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, University of Ilorin, Mrs, V. T. Olayanju, charged her colleagues to exhibit a high sense of humility and develop cordial intra and inter personal relationship with their bosses, co-staff and subordinates in order to ensure effective and efficient service delivery plus harmonious working relationship.

Mrs. Olayanju urged the secretaries to always make themselves available for duties as at and when due. She advised the participants not to see themselves as second fiddle in the administration of the University in any Department they find themselves.

The seminar paper presenter, who is the Principal Confidential Secretary with the Faculty of Environmental Sciences, also highlighted some concepts of secretary and human relations, which she stated, require analysis of the situation, judgment, technical knowledge and creativity. According to her, “the number and type of activities secretaries are assigned depend on whether they are generalists (multifunctional secretaries) or specialists (such as legal or word processing secretaries.

Also speaking at the event, the Deputy Director of the Centre for Research Development and In-House Training (CREDIT), Dr. (Mrs) Kunle commended the paper presenter for a job well done. She stated that Mrs. Olayanju conducted thorough research before writing the paper.

The CREDIT Deputy Director charged others who are yet to present their own papers to work thoroughly on their topics to ensure that they benefit the participants.

The seminar had in attendance junior and senior secretaries from the various Faculties, Departments and Units in the University.

A scholar from the Universiti Utara, Malaysia, Dr. Raji Adetunji Ridwan, has said that the University of Ilorin deserves its leading position among the highly rated universities in Nigeria.

Dr. Raji made the observation last Tuesday (March 12, 2019) when he visited the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, in his office after a two-day workshop he held for the Ph.D students of the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences (CIS), University of Ilorin.

The scholar observed that in no time, the Ph.D graduates of the University of Ilorin would be doing what graduates of Ivy League universities are doing in terms of publications.

Dr. Raji, who is of the School of Multimedia Technology and Communication (SMMTC), Universiti Utara, Malaysia, said that with his interaction with the participants, who, he said, showed much energy, passion, and interest in research and publications, the University of Ilorin is truly better by far.

The don, however, expressed the hope that his visit would yield many other fruitful outcomes such as having Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Universiti Utara, Malaysia and the University of Ilorin to train their experts on research and other important areas.

In his response, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Management Services), who welcomed the guest on behalf of the Vice-Chancellor, appreciated Dr. Raji for deeming it fit to share his experience with the students of the University of Ilorin.

Prof. Sule said his coming had been quite interesting as many students attended the workshop not only from the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences but from other Faculties with the belief that those who attended it must have gained tremendously.

On the challenges facing Nigerian researchers, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor said, "Nigeria is a developing country with myriads of problems but we are surviving with the limited resources and atmosphere. The atmosphere can be very difficult to conduct research but many of our researchers still produce and publish very good papers”.

Prof. Sule pointed out that the University management appreciates the resource person, as the workshop would greatly improve the productivity of the staff of the University. He also expressed optimism that with the workshop, participants would be able to publish in high impact journals across the globe.

Earlier, while introducing the scholar to the Vice-Chancellor, the Ag. Dean of the Faculty of Communication and Information Sciences, Dr. R. G. Jimoh, said that the workshop was organised to make sure that the Ph.D. students of the Faculty excel in terms of conducting, reporting and publishing research in high impact journals.

Dr. Jimoh observed that universities cannot develop without developing research process, because there can't be a very good research product without a good process, adding, "We have discovered that many of our students lack these skills".

The Dean said, "Out of our passion to fill this gap, when we see people who have done excellently well in this regard, we invite them to inspire our students to greatness”.

 

The management of the University of Ilorin has described the death of Prof. Pius Adesanmi as a colossal loss to the country and humanity in general.

Prof. Adesanmi taught at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, before his death in a plane crash on Sunday, March 10, 2019, at a relatively young age of 47 years.

In a moving tribute, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, described the late Professor of Literature and African Studies, who graduated from the University of Ilorin in 1992 with a First Class honours degree in French, as "a true nationalist, a rare patriot, a humanist and indeed an embodiment of all the ideals that Unilorin represents”

The Vice-Chancellor, in a press statement signed on his behalf by the University's Director of Corporate Affairs, Mr. Kunle Akogun, lamented that Prof. Adesanmi’s death at a time when the nation needs his robust intellectual and incisive contribution to her development most.

He said that the country had benefitted immensely from the late Professor's dispassionate interventions through well-researched social commentaries on national issues at critical points of its socio-political and economic development.

"Being a committed nationalist, the late Prof. Adesanmi was never happy at the state of rot in critical sectors of the nation, and he never kept quiet nor indulged in complacency, as many of his colleagues who had found comfortable solace abroad are wont to", Prof. Abdulkareem said, noting that even less than 24 hours before his sad demise, the patriotic zeal in the late social critic was evident on his Twitter Handle where he was still discussing the then ongoing governorship and States’ House of Assembly elections in the country..

While commiserating with the entire nation and especially the immediate family the late don left behind, the Vice-Chancellor urged Nigerians not to allow Prof. Adesanmi die in vain but emulate his patriotic zeal towards taking the country to greater heights.

Prof. Abdulkareem then prayed Almighty God to grant his soul eternal rest, comfort the family he left behind and grant them the fortitude to bear the sudden loss of their bread winner.

Meanwhile, the Faculty of Arts, University of Ilorin, is organising a candle light procession in honour of its distinguished alumnus this Tuesday (March 19, 2019) by 2.00p.m.

The Commonwealth Scholars and Fellows Alumni Association, Nigeria (COSFAN) has begun a training exercise for students of 30 selected universities across the country, including the University of Ilorin, on how best to apply for Commonwealth scholarships.

The National President of COSFAN, Dr. (Mrs.) Biola Ruth Adimula, disclosed this last Monday (January 11, 2019) at a press conference to mark the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth of Nations held at the Lake Side, University of Ilorin.

Dr. Adimula said that COSFAN was working round the clock to provide Nigerian students with moral support on how to easily access the Commonwealth scholarships.

She hinted that students of five universities across each six geopolitical zones of the country have been earmarked for the training, saying that COSFAN began the training exercise with the postgraduate students of the University of Ilorin in December last year.

The COSFAN National President explained that the organisation considered the training exercise as necessary to ensure that more Nigerian students enjoy the Commonwealth scholarships award.

She said that COSFAN is a non-profit organisation consisting of eminent Nigerians who have enjoyed the sponsorship of the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (CSC), United Kingdom, in their respective post graduate pursuits and/or career enhancement from 1960 till date.

“In line with COSFAN's frantic efforts to spread the Commonwealth scholarships opportunity to Nigerian students, we have organised a training workshop for postgraduate students of the University of Ilorin in December last year to guide them on the best way to apply for Commonwealth scholarship", Dr. Adimula disclosed.

Speaking on the Commonwealth celebration, Dr. Adimula explained that COSFAN on Monday joined other people in the Commonwealth countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Americas, the Pacific and Europe to observe the Commonwealth Day, adding that the day is celebrated with a multicultural and multi-faith service at Westminster Abbey, the seat of government in London.        

The COSFAN President presented her three year Strategic Plan to the public at the  event, saying that it is in partnership with relevant bodies in the pursuit of her goals.

She said that “COSFAN is presently in partnership with the Federal Ministry of Education and the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu is happy for COSFAN to work with five of the Ministry's Departments on capacity building; technical support; data research, girl child education project and science competitions; while we are also in an on-going partnership discussion with the TETFUND, National Universities Commission (NUC), Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Television Authority, headquarters Abuja".

Dr. Adimula disclosed further that COSFAN was set to give back to the society in appreciation of the British and Nigerian government investments in their career, and set to impact the Nigerian society positively towards enhancing the education and other relevant sectors in the country, by offering voluntary services to those that need their professional services.

The COSFAN National President used the opportunity to call on other COSFAN members across the globe, yet to be part of this vision, to be encouraged to join this move, to put our country at a higher pedestal of high educational standards.

The event was attended by eminent personalities across the country including notable figures from the University of Ilorin.

The Labour Party candidate in the just concluded governorship election in Kwara State, Comrade Issa Aremu, mni, has described the University of Ilorin as a pace setter and a shining light to other tertiary institutions in the country especially in the area of transforming theory into practice.

Comrade Aremu, who is also the Vice President of the IndustriALL Global Union, made this observation last Tuesday (March 12, 2019) during his Thank-you visit to the management of Unilorin FM for demonstrating high level of professionalism in the reportage of political events in the state before, during and after the elections.

The veteran labour leader said that the establishment of a functional radio station by the University ten years ago is a practical example of the better by far institution's unblemished pace setting record that is difficult to surpass by any other tertiary institution in the country.

Comrade Aremu, who is the General Secretary of the National Union of Textiles and Garment Workers of Nigeria (NUTGWN), noted that the fundamental tripartite functions of the University is to teach, conduct ground breaking research and provide community service, saying that the University of Ilorin has made an indelible mark in these three critical areas of its major responsibilities.

According to him, the establishment of a radio station and several other projects and programmes that connect the gown with the town is highly commendable and very rewarding.

“A university should work the talk to be able to achieve its set goals of developing the society”, Comrade Aremu said, adding that “this is only possible if theories are transformed into practical and that is exactly what the University of Ilorin has been demonstrating over the years".

Comrade Aremu lauded the impressive stable academic calendar in the University for almost two decades, and urged the management of the institution to continue in the same spirit so as to sustain the good name it has made for itself.

He said that he was at the University radio station to thank the management of the station for its support for the Labour Party, hinting that he had paid similar visits to other media houses in the state to show his appreciation for their support.

In his response, the Directorate of Corporate Affairs, University of Ilorin, Mr Kunle Akogun, thanked the leaders of the Labour Party for deeming it fit to pay a visit to the Unilorin FM and described Comrade Issa Aremu as a game changer, a unique and outstanding politician whose political prospect in Nigeria and Kwara State, in particular, is very bright.

Mr. Akogun pointed out that Comrade Aremu is philosophically and politically sound, saying that he is a veritable gubernatorial material and a candidate to watch in future governorship contest in Kwara State.

The Director noted that the University of Ilorin is ever ready to collaborate with individuals and corporate organisations that share the institution's philosophy of promoting quality education and community development.

Giving the vote of thanks, the Ag. Station Manager of the Unilorin FM, Mr Idris Alooma, said that Comrade Aremu was the first governorship candidate to visit the radio station before and after the election.

Mr. Alooma said that he was not surprised with Aremu's courage to visit media houses and other critical stakeholders because he was the flag bearer of the political party that places the people at the center of its development agenda.

An appeal has gone to the academic staff of the University of Ilorin to always be mindful of their academic integrity as they pursue career progression.

This advice was given last Monday (March 11, 2019) by the Chairman of the University's Library and Publications Committee (L&PC), Prof. S. F. Ambali, during an interactive session on the Promotion Guidelines for academic staff held at the University Auditorium.

Prof. Ambali, who held his audience spell-bound for more than two hours on various amendments to the 2014 Guidelines on the prerequisites for the annual promotion to various ranks in the academic cadre, assured the lecturers that all the proposals aggregated by his Committee were intended to bring out the best in the University teachers and ensure that promotion exercises in the University conform to the global best practices.

He also stated that the event was packaged to ensure the positive ranking of the institution among its peers on national and global platforms.

 Prof. Ambali, who is the immediate past Dean of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Ilorin, stated that the University management has nothing to gain in the stagnation of its staff members, particularly those in the academic segment. He, however, stated that the University would not sacrifice merit for any other consideration.

The L&PC Chairman, who underscored the need for the concerned staff to show more interest and imbibe all the factors that are often considered in their annual promotion exercise, said that henceforth "promotion guidelines will be open in such a way that staff can easily assess themselves to know where they stand and their eligibility for promotion".  

He added that the guideline "is a document that is open to criticism so that at the end of the day more stable guidelines can be achieved". He encouraged his audience to criticize the committee's recommendations to ensure maximum improvement in the process of promotion exercises in the University.

Prof. Ambali challenged the academic staff to ensure that they look for reputable outlets to publish articles, saying that publications in substandard journals or "journals without proven integrity” will no longer be accepted.

 The renowned Veterinary Surgeon also implored lecturers to do away with what he called "academic dishonesty", which, he said, often reflects in the unnecessary recycling of old works or working with some colleagues with poor background to produce substandard journals in desperation for career progression.

He remarked that those who may have one complaint or the other have the right to forward such to the University Council through appropriate authorities.

The L&PC Chairman also urged the lecturers to take-up superogatory responsibilities within and outside the University, saying that their eligibility for promotion will also be anchored on their administrative capabilities and contributions to the development of the University.

Prof. Ambali stressed the need for the academic staff to take the attendance of conferences very seriously, saying that such conferences will expose them to the latest development in their fields as it will also promote the cross-fertilisation of ideas between them and their colleagues from other universities within and outside Nigeria.

Declaring the interactive session open earlier, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, said that the essence of the event was to apprise the academic staff of the University on the new rules for promotion.

He said that "once rules are met no one will be denied his promotion". He assured that "nobody will change the rules in the middle of the game".

 Prof. Abdulkareem assured that the University will continue to respond to changes in the University system and that the rules will be dynamic to conform to international best practices. 

The Vice-Chancellor, nevertheless, appealed to staff members who may not be favoured by the rules at one point or the other not to be disturbed or discouraged by such temporary set-back so as not to block future opportunities.

In his remarks, the Chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Ilorin Chapter, Dr. Usman Adebimpe Raheem, commended the Committee for what he called "a very proactive reaction to the yearnings of the University's academic staff over the years". He said that the innovations "will reduce tension in the system" and promote intellectual productivity.

While noting that the Committee benefitted tremendously from the report of a Committee his Union had earlier constituted on the same matter, Dr. Raheem pressed for more improvement to make the guidelines more friendly to take care of the interest of staff.

Dr.  Raheem also called for more funding for research and conferences not just to boost the career progression of lecturers but to also improve their skills and enhance the image of the University with a view to accentuating its ranking among its peers.

Several amendments were proposed to the Promotion Guidelines and the Library and Publications Committee promised to incorporate all the proposed amendments in the final document to be presented to the University's Appointments and Promotions Committee (A&PC).

The event, which was attended by over 100 lecturers from all Faculties, was also graced by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof. Sylvia Malomo, who moderated the interactive session; the University Librarian, Prof. AbdulWahab Olarewaju Issa; the Provost, College of Health Sciences, Prof. O. T. Adedoyin, as well as Deans of some Faculties, among others.