By Judex Okoro, Calabar
Prof Florence Banku-Obi has been sworn-in as the 11th substantive Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL).
Prof Obi, who was sworn-in by Sen Nkechi Nwaogu, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of University of Calabar Governing Council at UNICAL International Conference Centre, Calabar on Tuesday, was appointed VC of the institution on Sept 10.
The well-known professor of Special Needs Education in the University of Calabar takes over from Prof Zana Akpagu, whose tenure expired on November 30 after a period of five years.
In her investiture speech, the new Vice-Chancellor promised to enthrone and promote the culture of academic excellence through quality research output, teaching and learning, scholarly publications and visibility as well as the integrity of examination results.
Other areas that would be given due considerations include result processing and handling and the reinforcement of quality assurance mechanism at all spheres down to the departmental level.
According to her, the university is presently having a reputational problem orchestrated by the quest for greed and gratification just as mediocrity, compromise of academic standard, employment, accommodation and admissions racketeering have become the order of the day.
And to fight this menace in the system, the VC said accountability, transparency, truth and courage will be her watchwords, adding that staff motivation for optimum productivity would be also be given priority.
‘As a psychologist, I shall deploy the concept of effective motivation, which connects the personal goals, and needs of the worker to our goals as a University. Besides, I expect attitudinal change and commitment to duty from all categories of staff in terms of commitment to their schedule of duty in appreciation of the new administration disposition to welfare,’ she said.
‘Let it be clear to all, that, this administration will effectively use the carrot and stick approach to increase productivity and I will maintain a cordial working relationship with the various unions on campus.
‘Therefore, I implore the leadership of the various university-based labour unions, while constructively engaging management on genuine issues bothering on their members’ welfare to also make time to counsel their members to desist from unwholesome practices that will pinch administration against staff.’
Earlier in her speech, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of University of Calabar Governing Council at UNICAL, Sen Nkechi Nwaogu, said that her robust engagements with Prof. Banku-Obi after the selection exercise in September further deepen her confidence in the power of her vision, resourcefulness, competence and passion to provide the leadership that will produce a concrete result.
She urged her to develop the institution by providing the needed critical infrastructure for a scholarship, repositioning of the institution with excellence and also cater for the welfare of its teeming staff and students.
‘I am very optimistic that she will succeed considering the weighty responsibility that history has placed on her shoulder as the first female VC of UNICAL after 45 years of its existence,’ she said.
She enjoined members of the university community to support the new VC and her administration by providing the leadership that would deal with the problems at hand.
Dignitaries at the event include Deputy Governor of Cross, Prof Ivara Esu, former Governor of Cross River, Mr Donald Duke, Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly, Mr Eteng Jonah-Williams, and VC’s from various institutions of learning.