The evil of politicisation of the appointment of Vice Chancellors in Nigerian Universities has been linked to the decay inherent in the larger society finding it’s way into the educational sector thus destroying the ivory towers if care is not taken.
This warning was given by a former Vice Chancellor, of the University of Lagos and the current Pro-Chancellor, of Tai solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Ogun State, Prof.Rahman Bello during the commemorative program held in honour of the erstwhile Vice Chancellor, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Prof. Ganiyu Olatunji Olatunde by the Academic Staff Union of Universities(ASUU), Olabisi Onabanjo University ,Ago Iwoye Branch.
Prof Bello noted that one of the major challenges confronting the University system in the nation presently is the issue of ethnicity, indigeneity and political influence on the choice and selection of the Vice Chancellor, warning that the dangerous trend is capable of eroding the values inherent in the University system.
He also listed the issue of funding as another albatross hanging on the neck of Vice Chancellors and the University system in Nigeria.
“The funding pattern for Universities have been recalibrated in the last decade such that rather than moving towards financial autonomy, the Universities, particularly the Federal Government controlled ones, have now been infused into the core Civil Service with grevious consequences”, he further added.
He further chastised some members of Governing Councils for what he termed as intrusiveness or sometimes high-handedness in running the affairs of these Universities, therefore, leading to crisis.
On criteria required for a successful Vice Chancellor, the one-time Vice Chancellor, University of Lagos opined that such a person must be an experienced academic and researcher, who commands respect from his peers, must not be controversial and finally must have administrative acumen, nonpartisan; incorruptible and a goal-oriented person.
In his remarks at the occasion, the Pro Chancellor and Chairman, Governing Council,Olabisi Onabanjo University, Prof. Toyin Ashiru commended the former Vice Chancellor, Prof. Olatunde for turning the image of the University around for the better and completing abandon projects in the Campus.
Prof Ashiru,while speaking further,noted that it was abnormal for the Academic Staff Union of Universities to celebrate a Vice-Chancellor and that whatever good he had done to garner this respect and accolades from ASUU surely must have been wonderful.
Guests at the event included the Vice Chancellor, Tai Solarin University of Education, Ijagun, Prof Oluwole Banjo, the Acting Registrar of the institution, Mr. Dapo Oke, the National President ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the immediate past ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi and a host of others.