UI VC: I Thank You All… Let’s Be Brothers And Sisters Again

The new Vice Chancellor of the University Of Ibadan, Professor Kayode Oyebode Adebowale, FAS, mni, in his inaugural speech, has thanked the University community, especially ‘the exalted Senate’ as he puts it, for their support during the seventeen months ‘battle’ that eventually led to his emergence as the 13th VC of the premiere Institution.

 

“…First, it is my first address to and meeting with the exalted Senate of our common Heritage, the University of Ibadan since I won the race for the Vice Chancellorship and assumed office a week ago. Second, given the nature of the processes that led to my emergence as the 13th Vice Chancellor, this is more than an ordinary Senate meeting with a usual business: rather it is an important opportunity for me to pay the debt of gratitude I owe Senate. Seventeen months ago, we began a rather simple process that should have lasted a few weeks. A whirlwind of interests snatched the process from the hands of the University and before our very eyes, acrimony, division, and worse tendencies set in. The few weeks became months, and the months exceeded a year. In this process, thrice you, Senate of the University of Ibadan spoke loudly, clearly and consistently. In the end, Senate had its way. This is honour done not to me; it is service rendered not to me; it is duty discharged not to me, Kayode Adebowale. Who am I? Rather it is honour, service and duty done, rendered and discharged to our common Heritage, the University of Ibadan…”

Prof. Adebowale, who lauded the achievements of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, also thanked him for his contributions to his success story.

He said, “I acknowledge the contributions of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Professor Abel Idowu Olayinka, under whom I served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration)”

 

The new VC also appreciated members of Senate who opposed him saying it is just a race of competition adding that, competition cannot be without opposition.

“My gratitude goes to all members of Senate – whether they supported or opposed my attempt at being Vice Chancellor: everyone deserves commendation. What is a race if not competition? And what is competition if without opposition? In fact, opposition and dissent are core elements of what defines us human…”

He again appreciated all the other stakeholders in the University community for standing by him during the ‘protracted succession crisis’ that trailed his appointment as the 13th Vice-Chancellor of the school.

“I shall be failing in my duty if I do not express the gratitude of all the stakeholders in the University of Ibadan Project- Academic Staff, Non-Academic Staff, students, alumni, Friends of UI – to the decisive role played by Senate of the University of Ibadan in the unfortunate situation that led to the protracted succession crisis that trailed the appointment of the 13th Vice-Chancellor over the past 18 months…”

 

He reiterated his commitment to sustain the legacy of the founding fathers of the great Institution, while also calling on all to join hands with him to make UI greater by putting all that has happened behind.

“We have to collectively put all that had happened while the crisis lasted where it belonged i.e. behind us. Together with this Senate as the highest academic body in our great institution, and with my humble self as the servant leader and Chairman of Senate, it is now time to move the University of Ibadan to a yet unprecedented level as a postgraduate and research university. This is the least expected of us in justifying the confidence reposed in us by the founding fathers of this citadel of learning. A Vice Chancellor is expected to provide leadership and direction that will enhance academic output in terms of teaching, learning and research, evolve and execute institutional strategic plans, manage budget, and evaluate institutional performances to optimize impact.”

 

“Therefore, it is my firm belief that we all meant well for the University; it is my strong conviction that we are all sisters and brothers; and it is my un-equivocal declaration today that politics has ended, and friendship, collegiality and service have returned. In the past seventeen months, toes were stepped upon; anger burnt and insults flew in the air, most especially online, with consuming zeal from outsiders who do not even share in the bonds that unite us as U and I. It is time we rested all those; it is time we forgave one another; it is time we mended the broken fences and calmed the frayed nerves.”

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