Posted by Boniface Okoro, Umuahia | 11 December 2015 | 6,730 times
Out-going Vice Chanellor of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Prof. Hilary Edeoga, says he is leaving the university a happy man because of the landmark achievements his adminitration recorded.
At a veledictory pre-convocation press briefing held Wednesday at the institution’s Conference Room, Edeoga told newsmen that what gives him great joy was the infratsructural transformation of the enitre school and particularly, that of the classrooms while he was pained that he could not realise the take-off of the College of Medicine cureently under construction.
“My best projects are the the infrastructure in the classrooms,” Edeoga said while responding to a question on projects he executed that impress him most.
He said he provided world class laboratory and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platforms for teaching and learning while ensuring regular power supply and development of human resource, including lecturers.
“When I came on board, the university had less than100 Ph.D holders, today, we have more than 400 Ph.D lecturers. When I came on board, the university had less than 50 professors, but today we have more than 100. Academic programmes have been enhanced and expanded. Before I came on board, we had less than 35 Departments, but today we can boast of more than 50,” he said. He added that the student population has grown from 8,000 to about 30,000.
The Vice Chancellor beat his chest for bringing MOUAU from obscurity to international limelight as the school was now collaborating with many universities abroad, insisting that he has expanded the agric varsity beyond the expectations of the founding fathers.
He said: “I have expanded the university beyond the expectations of even the founding fathers because they were just thinking that this is a university where you should not even be thinking of more than 500 students at a time.
“That was why before I came on board, the admission quota of the university was just about 1, 500 but today, my quota stands at 4,500 students. This was a university of about 8,000 students, but today, MOUAU can boast of about 30,000 students. This means that there must be a corresponding increase in staff and infrastructure. When I came, lecturers were writing on chalk board, I stopped it and we moved from marker to Electronic White Board
“The university has expanded and you can now see the after effect of such expansion in the neighbouring communities in the form of improved economic activities. We are now doing a multi-purpose complex where we can now be doing our Senate meetings because the Senate chambers was built for not more than 50 members, but now, there are more than 100 members.
“All internal roads in the univerwity have been asphalted, I have built 10 hostels and six additional ones are being constructed, College of Medicine is under construction, and that is a Univeristy of Agriculture which nobody ever expected to indulge in a programme in Medicine. Law programme is in the pipline. We are working to change the law establishing the university and by the time we change it, we will have many more programmes and more students would be admitted,” he said.
The university, he noted, was the most stable in the South East, attributing the industrial harmony that has been the hallmark of his administration to taking issues concerning students seriously and creating an environment which ensured cordial working relationship with the staff and management.
He, however, attributed the raging dispute between him and a faction of the Academic Staff Union of Universities to his resolve to fight corruption and advised his successor to ensure that he defined his job “from day one.”
He said he was not a proponent of tenure expansion or amending that law regulating appointment of Vice Chancellors to allow for two terms, arguing that “five years was enough for any Vice Chancellor to achieve what he wants to achieve.”
But he advised that anyone to be so appointed should have good knowledge of the institution he or she is to lead.
“I performed well because I know the challenges of MOUAU. Let's start putting round pegs in round holes. Five years is more than enough for those who know the terrain,” he said.
Principal officers of the institution, including the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dominic Okpara, were present during the briefing.
During the convocation, the 7th since the establishment of MOUAU, 4,790 would graduate from the school, while a former governor of Enugu State, Dr. Okwesilieze Nwodo, would be among those to honoured with an honorary doctorate degree.
•Photo shows Prof Edeoga (L) with Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof Dominc Okpara.
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