OAU V C’s Selection Assume New Twist.

…Criteria for VC Selection Spilts Staff

As the struggle for the occupation of the position of Vice Chancellor of Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife hots up; the process for the selection is asumming a new twist.

This is coming even as those already screened and shortlisted by the committee would face interview session between Thursday and Friday April 7 and 8 2016.

Investigation conducted by Independent revealed that major stakeholders in the university disagreed over the selection process used in the selection of the candidates.

While Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSANU) kicked against the new selection procudures set by the Governing Council of the university, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) backed the council saying the new selection procudures proposed by the council is in order and aimed to get the best out of the candidates.

Both NASU and SSANU were tasking the governing council against introducing new selection procudures outside the one already highlighted in the advertisement in the media stressing that all those that applied met the initial conditions stated in the advertisement that there is no need for new criteria by the council in selecting the preferred choice.

The unions maintained that the procudures used in the selecting the outgoing Vice Chancellor five years ago should be uphold and used adding that the action of Governing Council was unconstitutional.

According to them, the governing council’s action was deliberate and irreparable violation of the Statue and Laws for the appointment of a new Vice-chancellor’.

They alleged that the screening conducted by the committee instituted by the Governing Council did not follow the provision of the OAU statutes stressing that it was done to favour a candidate.

Already, the 12 academic professors that signified interest to occupy the position of Vice Chancellor have been pruned down to six by the committee set up by Governing Council, the development which resulted in protest.

Independent reliably gathered that the senate of university on Wednesday set up another two member committee to work a joint selection committee with the one set up by the Governing Council. Those appointed by the senate are Professor Charles Akanbi and Professor Ebun Adejuyigbe.They are expected to work with the existing committee so that an acceptable candidate could emerge.

At the initial stage, Professor Afolabi Akindaunsi, Director of International Office at the Federal University of Technology (FUTA), and Professor Charles Akinyokun had shown interest from outside OAU in the position.

Others who have shown interest from within are the incumbent Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics), Professor Ayobami Taofeek Salami, from the Institute of Ecology and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Sciences; former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences; Professor (Mrs.) Olabisi Aina; former Provost of the College of Health Sciences, Professor Eyitope Ogunbodede, and former Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Professor Yisa Kehinde Yusuf.

Others include former Dean of the Faculty of Education and two-term Chairman of the Committee of Deans, Professor Alao Kayode; former Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, Professor Anthony Enisan Akinlo; former Dean of the Faculty of Environmental Design and Management, Professor Ayo Ajayi and the faculty’s incumbent Dean, Professor Bioye Tajudeen Aluko, among others.

Speaking with Independent on the condition of anonymity, a top member of academic staff argued that the positions of NASU and SSANU would subvert the autonomy of the university in the appointment of Vice-Chancellor as fought for by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

According to him, “the position of both SSANU and NASU is disappointing. They have only succeeded in the misinterpretation the spirit of the OAU statue. It will be very wrong for anyone to wrongly interpret the statue both in spirit and letter.

“The conditions followed during the last screening are not too different from the criteria set now. The only difference is that all the candidates qualified then and not all qualified now.”

Another member of the OAU Senate confided in our correspondent that the process for screening the candidates was transparent.

While speaking he explained that the Governing Council has the autonomy to set criteria for the shortlist of candidates.

He added, “The case here is simple. I think we are intellectuals here. It won’t sound well to start creating internal contradictions in the statue. The position of the statue is clear and has been duly followed. The criteria set are of international standard and are worthy.

“‎The criteria used to shortlist the VC candidates are teaching (5 marks); international exposure (10 marks); publication (10 marks); fund attraction (10 marks); years as professor (5 marks); supervision (5 marks) and referees (5 marks). The awarded score was doubled to obtain the percentage score and a pass mark of 60 per cent pass mark was adopted. You can also see that it is only individuals who are stingy with truth that will say any of the criteria is not necessary.”

“I just hope that those agitating that some candidates should not be screened out are aware of the autonomy fought for by ASUU. Already a bill stating clearly that university should independently appoint their Vice-Chancellor. If that is the case, are those agitating that no one should be screened out saying that the Governing Council should still compile list of candidates and send to Federal Government again? No, that will be against the autonomy contained in ASUU-FG agreement. The FG must respect university autonomy and dragging government into this matter would be the worst illegality.”