Hope for stability in academic calendar in the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, rises at the weekend as new management led by distinguished Professor of Food Chemistry, Michael Olufisayo Ologunde, took over the mantle of leadership, promising to tackle all challenges that have militated against growth of the institution.
Delivering his inauguration speech at the occasion where Dr. Kayode Ogunleye and Mr. Abayomi Okediji were also sworn in as Registrar and Bursar, respectively, the new Vice-Chancellor said his team will further pursue the realization of the vision of the founding fathers of LAUTECH towards excelling as a world-class institution in the training of self-employable and self-reliant individuals in the technological and allied disciplines and therefore spearhead the much-desired industrialization of the Nigerian economy.
According to him, My mission as Vice-Chancellor at this point in time, therefore, is to steer the University towards its goal of producing the pool of digitally empowered, technology-savvy individuals who will be capable of spearheading a gradual shift of the national economy from manufacturing towards the information-based service industry, in tune with the demands of the 21st-century global knowledge economy. We hope to work towards the realization of the vision, mission and goals of LAUTECH through a number of strategies.
We shall embark on a mission of peace building and later-on; seek to consolidate on virtues of a world-class university.
Our belief is that no meaningful learning, teaching, research or development can take place in a state of industrial disharmony and incessant strikes occasioning long closures or disruption of academic activities. We have already started dialoging with the staff labour unions resulting in mitigation of the effects of a recent nationwide strike. We shall continue in this stride and introduce other confidence-building initiatives with relevant stakeholders.
We will improve holdings in the library, equip laboratories; place a high premium on quality teaching and learning processes, qualitative research and intellectual creativity, while indolence and vices will attract sanctions. We will ensure cordial working relationships between Management and the Governing Council.
We shall work out measures aimed at ensuring a sustainable financial base for the University through fundraising strategies and prudent fund management. All over the world, finance is one of the critical challenges facing universities in the 21st Century. We shall work within the framework of the strategic plan to diversify and maximize the income streams of the University by (i) re-packaging current fundraising strategies through launching of Capital Campaigns to raise aSpecial Intervention Endowment. These campaigns will target grants and donations from specially courted and invited financial institutions, private organizations, foundations, wealthy individuals and external donors; (ii) investing the proceeds from capital campaigns on revenue-generating ventures; (iii) boosting internally generated revenue through expansion in scope and reach of consultancy services, and earnings from in-plant-training workshops, professional degrees and bequest; and (iv) creation of the Advancement Office to identify potential donours and sponsors, and manage relationships with these and other targeted constituencies, and the Alumni for longer term support in cash and kind.
We shall implement the financial policies of the University Council and ensure that the Universitys resources are used in ways that will most effectively advance the approved vision, mission and strategic plan of the University. I will be very prudent and transparent with fund management.
We are not satisfied with the present security set up especially as we have found the many security lapses to be unsettling, the most recent being the lock-up of the entire campus by students last November (2018), we shall therefore be overhauling the existing security arrangement. This administration will have zero tolerance for student indiscipline. Proven cases of violation of rules and regulation will be met with appropriate sanctions.Towards this end a more comprehensive security system will be designed and implemented.
We will take additional steps to guarantee the sanctity of our examinations as this will ensure the quality of our students and hence enhance our reputation and standing among our contemporary institutions of learning.
While explaining that the Strategic Plan of the University will be re-appraised, and operationalized, Ologunde said his team shall demonstrate commitment to implementation of the strategic plan through its operationalization on quarterly and yearly bases, to facilitate the preparation of annual budget estimates. The preparation of such estimates is important in carefully planning the financial affairs of the University to achieve financial success. I will demonstrate personal integrity in the management of funds, and managerial competence and astuteness in the deployment of financial, human and material resources in the context of the Universitys strategic plan.Accountability as a sine-qua-non requirement for retaining donor confidence and continued funding will be emphasized.
He added that there would be greater commitment to human capacity development. A well-articulated staff development programme will be instituted comprising a regime of training locally and overseas, for academic and senior technical staff. Training and re-training of all categories of staff through workshops, seminars, and retreats.
Stating that priority would be given to improved welfare of staff members and students, especially with respect to housing and accommodation, he promised to include student representatives on some Boards/ Committees (such as the Welfare Board, Transportation Committee, Ceremonial Committee and Students Disciplinary Committee), he hinted that the administration shall also introduce a Work-Study Programme for students. The new administration recognizes the need to stimulate and encourage excellence, devotion, sacrifice, loyalty and commitment to the overall vision of the University by outstanding members of staff. A Committee will be set up to determine the types of award, manner of remuneration and source of funds.
We shall create a culture of celebrating high achievers among our staff members through annual award of honors for best teacher, most published faculty/year, most cited author, most published paper in international journal, professor with most grant award, etc.
He concluded that efforts shall be devoted towards the introduction of participatory community programmes and other initiatives to enhance Gown and Town interactions.
We shall bring together and unite all stakeholders for the benefit of the University. An atmosphere that will enable free and independent contribution to the development of the University will be created.
A LAUTECH/OGBOMOSO and LAUTECH/OSOGBO community partnerships will be established to further strengthen this cooperation.