Professors jostling to succeed the outgoing Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, whose five-year tenure will end by the end of November, this year, have identified underfunding, infrastructural limitations, problems of welfare, instability in academic calendar, problems of research, technology and electricity issues, as major impediments to the actualisation of full potentials of the 72-year-old premier university in Nigeria.

Each of the candidates, however, promised to aggressively turn the tide to reposition the university to academic leadership in Africa and globally, starting from December 1, 2020, when new vice chancellor would assume office.

They made the disclosure at a community forum organised by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Students’ Union for the 17 vice chancellorship candidates, out which no fewer than 15 of them made presentations at the zoom forum, chaired by former Nigeria’s Ambassador to Philippines, Dr. Yemi Faronbi, on Thursday.

Faronbi, however, enjoined whoever among the 17 candidates that eventually emerged as the 13th Vice Chancellor of the premier university to build on the successes of the past and present for a greater future for the university, saying the winner should not to “abandon yesterday and today” but to consolidate and build on the strength of yesterday and today, adding that the UI should offer fresh hope for Nigeria and that the best of University of Ibadan must be its tomorrow and not her past and “must add value to this institution.”

Those who made presentations include the current Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) in charge of Administration, Kayode Adebowale; immediate past DVC (Academic), Adeyinka Aderinto; former Dean Faculty of Arts, Aderemi Raji-Oyelade; former Provost College of Medicine, Oluwabunmi Olapade-Olaopa; and former Chief Medical Director, University College Hospital, Ibadan, Temitope Alonge; a professor of Neurological Physiotherapy, Kolapo Hamzat;

The former DVC (Academic), Aderinto, promised to make the premier university a solution centre to Nigeria’s problems, adding that Nigeria would be running to UI for solutions to her problems, adding that he would ensure that the university contributes to policy development, debates and engagements.

The DVC (Administration), Adebowale, promised to encourage town and gown and strengthen internally generated revenue of the university, while Raji-Oyelade vowed to pursue proactive welfare system that would discourage industrial strike and engender collaborative re-focusing research for a post-oil economy.

Hamzat also promised that his administration would empower graduates of the university to self-sufficient through technology driven and research intensive programmes, while Alonge as well as others also promised to reinvigorate the university as a world-class and truly international institution, which can compete globally.

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