From Emmanuel Adeyemi, Lokoja
The Vice Chancellor of the Federal University, Lokoja, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi, has said he did not make the presentation of inaugural lectures a criteria for the attainment of the rank of Professor at the university.
The Vice Chancellor was reacting to recent news reports in which he was quoted as having said during the 3rd inagural lecture that delivering an inaugural lecture would henceforth be considered as a prerequisite for the award of Professorship.
But in a rejoinder made available to our correspondent in Lokoja, the VC said the attainment of Professorial rank, either by appointment or promotion, is subject to both internal and external assessment, and that presentation of Inaugural Lecture has never been a condition.
The rejoinder reads:
‘For the avoidance of doubt, the Vice Chancellor’s remarks at the 3rd Inaugural Lecture was a clear reference in the demonstration of such elevated thoughts as he emphasised:
‘That the intellectual value of the inaugural lecture as a time honoured academic tradition.
‘That the inaugural lecture would be institutionalised in the university as a regular and calendarised event.
‘That every Professor should take up the challenge of presenting their inaugural lectures, which would subsequently be a criterion for appointments into offices in the university
‘Perhaps, it is the aspect of the Vice Chancellor’s remarks in respect of appointments into offices that the reporter equated with promotion to the rank of Professor.
‘What the reporter and the medium should know is that, in universities, there are certain offices that only Professors can occupy, and that the Vice Chancellor only made the presentation of Inaugural Lecture a condition for appointments into those offices.
‘His noble intention is to use the appointments to encourage Professors in the University to fulfill the cherished academic tradition.’
The rejoinder also noted that it is only academics who have attained the full rank of Professor that are qualified to deliver Inaugural Lectures
‘And it is therefore illogical and unthinkable to consider the delivery of Inaugural Lectures a criterion for attainment of Professional rank – rather, it is the attainment of the full rank of Professor that qualifies academics for the delivery of the lecture.
‘We would like to state that the Vice Chancellor has practically spent his entire adult life teaching and conducting research at the university level, attained the full rank of Professor in 2005 and delivered his Inaugural Lecture in 2009.
‘lt is therefore illogical, baffling and insulting to suggest or insinuate that such a vastly experienced academic could ever come close to making such unthinkable pronouncement.
‘We have to stress once more that the intention and actions of the Vice are, and will be, to institute the Inaugural Lecture series at FUL as one of the avenues to showcase the scholarly engagements and outputs of the University Professors,’ it added.
The statement urged the general public to disregard the earlier report.