EKITI STATE UNIVERSITY, ADO-EKITI, NIGERIANEW YEAR THANKSGIVING SERVICE MESSAGETUESDAY, 7TH JANUARY, 2014BYPROF PATRICK OLADIPO AINA VICE-CHANCELLORPROTOCOLIntroduction
To God be the glory and adorationfor bringing us to the beginning of yet another new year.¬† I most heartily congratulate and welcome you all to the year 2014. We all have good cause to thank God Almighty, individually and corporately as a University community because it is by His Grace we have be sustained.¬† While we are rejoicing for being part of this gathering today, ¬†we must not forget to console those who have lost their dear ones in the out-gone year and pray that the Almighty God console the affected families.¬† I personally want to thank God for the successful completion of two years in office as Vice Chancellor of this great University and for the modest accomplishments the University has recorded over the period.
¬†Challenges and Accomplishments in 2013
The year 2013 had come and Gone with all its tribulations and challenges.¬† The year was punctuated by industrial strife, leading to strike, instability and disruption of academic calendar and several adjunct problems.¬† In our University alone, we lost altogether about 6 months of the 2012/2013 academic year as a result, including the 5 month nationwide strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).¬† In spite of this, however, we made great strides in 2013 towards actualization of our vision and strategic goals of transiting Ekiti State University to a world class institution.¬† During the year, we focused on aggressively expanding our on-campus municipal and physical infrastructure for staff and students and increasing our private sector partnerships across various initiative, because we believe that in today‚Äôs economy, leveraging expertise and relationships are critical towards the success of any organization and educational institutions, as ours, are not an exception.¬† The infrastructural development¬† included the construction of the Medical Library
, Biochemistry and Pharmacology and ¬†Medical Students Hostel, School of Postgraduate Studies Faculty of Education, ¬†Entrepreneurship Centre, Faculty of Agricultural Science, Students Centre
buildings, renewal of ageing buildings; donations of 2,233 volumes of books in literary, medicine and law disciplines, 3 new tractors, greenhouse and state -of ‚Äďthe ‚Äďart soil testing laboratory and Engineering workshop equipment; resuscitation and expansion of the scope of the Part-Time degree programmes; and the on-going construction of 2kms of Campus internal road network by Ekiti State Government through Ado-Ekiti and Irepodun/Ifelodun Local Governments
Examples of some of the private sector partnerships include partnering with leading organizations like Google to help lay the foundation for a robust Information Communication technology infrastructure that would improve learning and Communication especially amongst students; working with Vegefresh Company to develop a University commercial farm and help build internal capacity around agriculture and food production, and with a number of Property Developers to build on-campus students hostels.¬† All of these are in our desire to build sound academic culture and camaraderie.¬† It is noteworthy that, last year was the
the first in the history of the University to get an allocation from Federal Government to the amount of N1.05billion as Special Universities Revitalization Programme based on the Needs assessment; and first time to receive a capital grant (N300million) from Ekiti State Government and also an increase of N50million in State monthly subvention to the University; and recovers of ‚ÄúMissing‚ÄĚ N196m University Money.
We¬† also recorded some feats of academic excellence ‚Äď the University recorded accreditation of 45 academic programmes by the National¬† Universities Commission (NUC) and accreditation of Accounting¬† Programme¬† by ICAN;¬† substantial leap in¬† our webometric ranking (from 79th
position among Nigerian Universities and 198th
in Africa) and our Law graduates ranking the best at the final Bar Part II examinations of all 35 Universities in Nigeria that presented students to the Law school.¬† A five year strategic plan is under way to build a vibrant academic culture characterized by world class academic community.¬† The University has established linkages with top notch universities
including Federal University of Santa Maria , Brazil, University of Kwazulu Natal South Africa, Texas Southern University¬† Houston, Texas, United States, University of Wollongong , Australia and University of Nottingham, United Kingdom.¬† A number of new globally relevant programmes/Units will come on board, including Distance learning, Architecture, theater and Media Arts, Gender and development Studies, Institute of peace and conflicts.¬† We have invested in staff welfare through staff promotions, conversions and re-grading and capacity building (local and foreign staff trainings).¬† To make our University more socially engaged, plans are afoot to establish a War Museum in Okemesi Ekiti and Demonstration farms in each Senatorial of Ekiti State.
¬†Expectations for 2014
For 2014, we hope to build on and surpass successes by the Grace of God.¬† First, the University Senate has approved a reviewed academic calendar for the 2012/2013 session accommodating the new students admitted through the 2013/2014 JAMB admission exercise to join the on-gong¬† 2012/2013 session on January 6, 2014.
Our focus in the next one year will be in the following areas of strategic development:
(i) establish EKSU as a leader in e-learning, paperless administration and excellent ICT infrastructure;
(ii) to be a socially engaged University to be able to contribute to solving the most challenging socio-
economic, cultural, and technical problems of Ekiti State and boost the state‚Äôs¬† fortunes.
(iii) to be research-driven University that will be distinguished by high quality impactful¬† research of world-class benchmarks and in globally relevant niche areas of Renewable Energy, Food Security, Biotechnology, and peace and Conflict Studies;.
(iv) carry out a comprehensive review of all of our academic programme curricula to enhance the global competitiveness and employability of our graduates.
(v) residential University with on-campus Housing Estate for Staff and hostels for students;
(vi) more aggressive human capital development, especially in training and re-training (both local and
foreign) of our staff to be globally competitive and well equipped with the knowledge and skills for self actualization and
(vii)¬† Diversity IGR sources.
The prolonged strike of 2013 imposed heavy ¬†financial burden on the University because salaries and emoluments of both academic and non-academic staff, amounting to about N2billion, were duly paid during the period of the strike but regrettably without generating internal revenue which accounts for one third of our salaries and emoluments and almost one-half of our overall recurrent expenditure.¬† Even though the University needs to recover in terms of leveraging Internally Generated revenue mark,s renewed efforts are being made now at transiting the situation by establishing a roadmap to financial recovery, which includes the following.
(a)¬†¬† Restructuring the hitherto dysfunctional Advancement Office with new Board membership of philanthropists for fund raising:
(b)¬†¬† EKSU Ventures to set up business eg Bottled water, Block making, Guesthouses and Event Centre, Petrol Station, Bakery, etc with shares possibly sold to staff;
(c)¬†¬† EKSU Consultancy Services;
(d)¬†¬† Establishment of Commercial Farm through PPP initiative; and,
(e)¬†¬† Reinstatement and expansion of the scope of PTP
In spite of the daunting financial challenges confronting the University, Management shall continue to
Give due attention to staff and student welfare and ensure that our working environment is safe and congenial to effective teaching and productive scholarship to sustain peace and industrial harmony.
Distinguished colleagues, I want to leave you with a plea to continue to conduct the business of the
University with promptness, timeliness, finesse and greater obligatory commitment that is devoid of rumour mongering, rancor and bickering.¬† Nothing other than this can portray us as leaders of the academic enterprise with the capacity to drive the University into the attainment of its lofty ideals.
Thank you for listening and my best wishes for a happy and prosperous New Year.
Prof. Partick Oladipo Aina
Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti
Tuesday, 7th JANUARY, 2014