In line with the Vice-Chancellor’s development plan for the university as encapsulated in his 14-point agenda, particularly beaming focus on agenda numbers 1 and 14; the Directorate of Research and External Relations (DRER) was conceptualised and birthed vide a Management decision on Tuesday 5th February, 2019 to merge the erstwhile Linkages and External Relations Unit with the Research arm of Directorate of Academic Planning, Quality Assurance and Research (DAPQAR) to form a broad based and inter-related unit; which, while being the interface between the University and the outside world would also expose academics and by extension the university at large to the world’s best practices, especially in research.
The Directorate therefore stands on two major pivots: (a) Research, which encompasses academic staff as well as students and (b) External Relations which encompasses affiliations, collaborations and building relationships which are beneficial to the University.
To make TASUED conspicuous on the global map of Ivy League, through ground breaking researches and sustainable mutually beneficial collaborations with world leading Ivory Towers.
To expand the frontiers of TASUED by promoting aggressive and active engagement of staff in research and tapping the immense partnership potentials within and outside Nigeria, to promote functional education for all.
Staff members of the Directorate are as follow:
In the beginning
Shortly after the establishment of the Directorate, it was considered necessary to consult with key players and more experienced individuals in similar Directorates, especially in the first generation universities with the hope of learning and consulting with them for guidance. Thus, the DRER Team ably led by the Director, Prof. S. E. Oladipo took a decision at one of the weekly meetings of the unit to put our best foot forward and go out in search of knowledge, information, direction etc with a view to learning first hand, how older universities operate the Research and External Relations units of their universities and achieve great results. This is largely premised on ways of improving the University’s web ranking results, learning the secrets of writing and winning grants and academic/scholarly development of the teaching staff.
Visit to University of Ibadan
First, the team proceeded to University of Ibadan and secondly to Obafemi Awolowo university, Ile-Ife. At the University of Ibadan, The Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnership (RISP), Prof. Olanike Adeyemo, intimated us with what obtains in the premier university in terms of Research and partnership with other institutions within and outside Nigeria. She explained that; because of the importance placed on research and collaboration with other universities and to avoid any form of distraction, the University of Ibadan needed to appoint a Deputy Vice Chancellor to be in charge of Research, Innovation and Strategic Partnership.
Prof. Adeyemo received TASUED team warmly and did not hesitate to provide very cogent pieces of advice for us to move DRER forward. According to her, a clear definition of the vision and mission the Directorate must the given priority in order to provide a clear direction and motivation towards the achievement of the goals; it will also aid monitoring and evaluation. Next to vision and mission statement is dedication/commitment of staff to the realisation of the goals thus set. Next to the above, according to Prof Adeyemo is adequate funding for the Directorate. It goes without saying that many trips will have to be undertaken by staff of the Directorate to initiate talks and possible collaborations with other institutions (locally and internationally), trainings, seminars and workshops will be organised for staff; research will also be conducted all of which will not be possible without adequate funding. Prof Adeyemo did not forget to mention that a measure of autonomy is essential for the smooth running of the Directorate, especially at times when certain urgent decisions are to be made and following the bureaucratic set up may not be in the best interest of the university particularly in terms of the issue(s) at stake upon which a decision is to be made.
In furtherance, the DVC emphasised that the Director has to be in touch with the world, current, sound and innovative. He should be someone who can relate with the present dynamism particularly in Information and Communication Technology (ICT). He should also ensure that his/her workers do not have the civil service mentality, but they should be those who are ready to go the extra mile to achieve set goals. She went on to point out that the Director and by extension, the staff should be ready to think outside the box as the Research Unit is saddled with the duty of seeking for ways to improve and enrich the quality of education for students and even the life of staff so they can operate at their optimum level. Prof Adeyemo agreed that the University has a crop of people who are only there to do their bit without adding anything extra, she advised that teams can be groomed (i.e. teams of people with academic mind-sets who are ready to take on the world). With such teams, a systemic change can be effected which will eventually improve the overall well-being of the entire university community. She informed our team that the University of Ibadan has such teams which are put together and they have transformed into Centres of Excellence. These Centres have been bringing a lot of positive results to the University by winning grants and initiating mutually beneficial collaborationswith organisations worldwide with a view to impact positively on the community and the nation as a whole.
In terms of the aspect of External Relations, the DVC (RISP) likened it to the Special Partnerships in her own brief and advised that being the image maker and link of the University to the outside world, the directorate should be careful as regards the image projected as it would affect how the world perceives our University. She impressed it on our team that for the Directorate to thrive, a lot of hard work has to be done for there to be a bountiful harvest.
In conclusion, the DVC expressed her readiness to assist in training whenever the need arises and she is invited. The visit was an eye-opener and indeed and ice-breaker to our team.
Visit to Obafemi Awolowo University
Shortly after the visit to University of Ibadan, TASUED team proceeded to Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife where we met Prof Kehinde Taiwo Director of Research and External Linkages. Just like we experienced at U.I. we received a warm welcome from Prof Kehinde and gave us rapt attention. Amazingly, we were treated to the same ‘menu’ that we received at from Prof Adeyemo at U.I. it was as if Prof Kehinde read out to us a manuscript of the things that we were told at U.I. this was further confirmation of the veracity of the nuggets that have been reeled out to us by these academic gurus. Armed with these information, we returned to TASUED poised and determined to put in our best to see the Directorate of Research and External Relations (DRER) fulfill its mandate particularly in the area of impactful research and beneficial sustainable collaborations with ivy leagues across the globe.
Suffice to mention that we attempted meeting with the Director of Research at University of Lagos (UNILAG) Prof Oyibo, but he was not available. However, based on the information we have gathered from the two prominent universities i.e. U.I. and O.A.U. we wasted no time in swinging to action.
With the approval of the Vice Chancellor, three (3) Research Teams constituted, bearing in mind that qquality research holds a pride of place in any modern day University, particularly since it is a veritable tool used to discover, elucidate and evaluate new knowledge, ideas and the technologies essential in driving the future of society and humanity. Research fosters professional excellence, it is also important for delivering outstanding student education and training. Without research, ascertaining the best teaching method may be difficult if not near impossible. Hence, the need for innovative and meaningful research is justified. From the foregoing, it therefore became imperative for TASUED to develop a core research team as part of efforts to reposition her among the best universities in Nigeria and invariably in the world.
The following is the list of members of the Research Teams
|S/N||Team One||Team Two||Team Three|
|1.||Prof. O. Oworu (Team Leader)||Prof. Abosede Ewumi (Team Leader)||Dr. Dele Sogbesan (Team Leader)|
|2.||Dr. C. Williams||Dr. E. Tanitolorun||Dr. T. A. Salako|
|3.||Dr. Dayo Sofadekan||Dr. Babatunde Osiyale||Dr. Yinka Adediran|
|4.||Dr. Femi Adepitan||Dr. Folashade Oderinde||Dr. Falayi|
|5.||Dr. Racheal Akerele||Dr. T. Ayanda||Dr. Kemi Banjoko|
|6.||Dr. Joshua Peleyeju||Dr. Oniyide||Dr. Gbadamosi|
|7.||Dr. Ahmed Adeoye||Dr. Fadairo||Dr. Ibiwunmi Alade|
|8.||Dr. Kehinde Amore||Dr. T. O. Omotayo||Dr. H. I. Adeyanju|
|9.||Mr. Oludeyi||Dr. Awodoyin||Dr. J. W. Owoyele|
The present age which is popularly referred to as the Computer Age, has brought so many changes such that any individual who desires to sustain his/her continued relevance must be abreast of the developments in the world of technology especially computer use and application. Being a technology driven university and in line with the above assertion, the Directorate, in partnership with Digital Bridge Institute, Abuja organized an advance computer training program for 100 selected staff across all cadres. The 5-day training which held between 16th – 20th of September 2019 took participants through the rudiments of computer usage to more advanced functions such as power point presentation, Microsoft excel sheet, internet usage etc.
We are glad to report that as a result of the training; a lot of staff have been able to overcome their computer-phobia and can conveniently operate the computer by themselves without necessarily waiting for Computer Operators. This is a giant stride towards the achievement of a computer driven university working environment and has, in turn, reduced the workload on both Secretaries and Computer Operators.
Certificates were awarded to participants at the end of the training and a courtesy visit to the Vice Chancellor by the ADAPTI team which was led by Mrs Talatu.
ADAPTI Training in Pictures.
Director, DRER Participants at the training
TRAINING OF RESEARCH TEAM MEMBERS
In furtherance to the pursuance of the realization of one of the goals of the Directorate, a capacity development workshop/training was organized for the research teams on 1st& 3rd October, 2019. The all-important training was anchored by Prof. Clara Lungi Sosibo, a renowned Professor and grant winner from Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), Cape Town, South Africa.
While on a visit to Nigeria in September, 2019/ briefly stopped by in Tai Solarin University of Education (TASUED) and was introduced to the Vice-Chancellor and the Director by a fellow Scholar on sabbatical at the Home Economics and Hotel Management Department of our university, Dr. Awosika.
During discussions it was agreed that the Visiting Prof, could facilitate a training for members of the Research Team of the University in the rudiments of writing grant wining proposals and report management. This keyed into the Directorate’s plan to conduct training workshops for academic staff especially the research teams to fulfill the mandate of the university which included teaching, research and community service.
A 3-day workshop was quickly organized with the following key points:
At the end of the training members were given assignments to test their grasp of the subject and it is important to note that members did well. Corrections and commendations were made where applicable.
It is worthy of note that further to the training, members have started to apply the knowledge gained to submit proposals to different organisations and we are hopeful that grants will soon begin to role in to TASUED.
Participants at the training/workshop
From left to right: Dr Ekine , The deputy vice chancellor Prof Banjo; Prof Sosibo, The Vice Chancellor Prof Arigbabu, Dr Awosika and Prof Oladipo
Prof Sosibo’s visit to TASUESS
As part of her schedule, Prof. Sosibo visited the Tai Solarn University Secondary School, Igbeba where she interacted with staff and students. At TASUESS, she had the opportunity of seeing some of the inventions and exploits of the students, particularly the young scientists club who displayed the drone, neon signs and other things that they have developed on their own under the supervision of their teachers. Prof Sosibo could not hide her amazement at she saw and she promised a donation of a thousand (R1000) South African Rands to the science. She also promised to facilitate collaboration between TASUESS and some institutions in South Africa.
From left to right Dr. Ekine; Dr. Awosika, Prof. Sosibo, Dr. Sogbesan and Mrs. Olaniyan the school principal.
Prof Sosibo expressing her amazement at the students’ presentations.
Further to the creation of the Directorate and with the new lifeline given to resuscitate research activities on Campus, the TETFund Research Proposal Selection Committee was brought back to life and charged to call for, properly scrutinize and develop research criteria in line with best practices for acceptance.
This was done to ensure that we put our best foot forward so that only the Committee-adjudged best proposals would be submitted.
To this end, a call was made for submission of proposals for both the Institution Based Research (IBR) and the National Research Fund (NRF) categories.
In the words of the Director, the NRF is the ultimate goal but we could start with IBR.
While already scrutinized proposals have been forwarded to TETFund for the IBR category, we are happy say that our Director, leading from the front and by example has scaled the final hurdle in contending for the 2019 National Research Fund (NRF).
The Directorate has also been making frantic effort to get staff prepared for the 2020 call for proposal by intensifying training in that regard.
CO-CREATION HUB (CC Hub) PROJECT
Though the directorate was not actively involved in the project from inception, it is worthy of note that towards the completion of the project (when the Directorate was created) we were able to come in and contributed in no small means to the articulation of plans, content and terms of engagement of the project as well as its management.
In the area of collaboration, we are happy to inform that the Directorate has finally signed an MOU with the University of Georgia, USA. The Collaboration agreement will, in the first instance, commence with the College of Specialised Education (COSPED). However based on a favourable review of the agreement in 2020, it would then extend to the University as a whole.
2019 TETFUND NRF GRANT