A university system should be actively encouraged and expected to pursue excellence in teaching, and the university must support diverse paths to achieving this goal.
Excellence in teaching is the successful engagement of students in learning, experimenting, and achieving their full potential.
To achieve this goal, the university system requires the services of a Vice Chancellor who is innovative with the qualities of excellence, integrity, credibility and hard work to deliver on the mandate.
In looking for this qualities for the revered position of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar, the golden name of an academic AMAZON, Professor Florence Banku Obi, comes in place.
Professor Obi hails from Boki local government area in Cross River State. She began her academic career as an Assistant Lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of Calabar in March 1990 (30 years ago).
Two years after her appointment, with her utmost desire to foster a bold and innovative spirit in faculty teaching and academic excellence, she won a 6-months postgraduate scholarship to Jordan-Hill College of Education, Glasgow, Scotland, under the World University Service (WUS) World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in a keenly contested interview for staff of the Institute of Education. On her return from the United kingdom, she was placed in charge of the WWF/NCF funded schools and Community Education Programmes. She subsequently facilitated the development of the degree programme in Environmental Education of the University, which has since resulted in the establishment of a full-fledged and flourishing Department of Environmental Education. Professor Obi rose through the ranks to become a Professor of Special Needs Education in 2007.
Professor Obi, a committed university Don who encourages students creative work, has served the University of Calabar as Head of Department of Environmental Education and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Education. She is the only two-times back to back elected Dean, faculty of Education, since the history of the University.
As Dean, she pioneered the take-off of 22 affiliate programmes of the Federal College of Education, Obudu, Cross River State and the Federal College of Education, Kastina-Ala, Benue State to the faculty of Education of the University of Calabar. She had also served as the Chairperson of University of Calabar International Demonstration School (formerly called University of Calabar International Secondary School) where she left lasting physical legacies to her credit.
Following her credibility, integrity and commitment to service, she was voted as the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) by the University Senate. As DVC Academics, she was also a member of the University Governing Council, where she brought her wealth of experience to bear in the growth and development of the University.
Interestingly, Professor Obi’s proclivity for scholastic excellence and optimal productivity is further evident in her extensive research, with over 60 publications to her credit in both local and international journals. As a team player and a mentor, she has supervised over 30 postgraduates Diploma Projects, 12 Master’s Degrees Theses and 8 PhD Dissertations and has so far assessed 13 persons for professiorial positions. Remarkably, she was also an External Examiner to the University of Education, Ghana, 2008, 2009 and 2010-2013.
She has held several Administrative Positions/Responsibilities which include Permanent Member of the Senate, University of Calabar since 2007, Member, University Central Accreditation Committee, University of Calabar, 2006-2008, Chairperson, Housing Loan Implementation Committee, University of Calabar, 2011-2015 among others.
She has also served as a Honourable Commissioner, Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development and member of Cross River State Executive Council, 2007.
Professor Obi is a recipient of many Awards/Honours, including the Student Union Government, University of Calabar, “Award as the most student friendly Dean of the Faculty” in 2014. She is well travelled and exposed.
Professor Obi is the best candidate for the position of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar. She will encourage her colleagues to reward creativity, risk-taking, and collaboration, and to foster teaching partnerships as optimal ways to encourage students’ learning and pursuit of creative work and transformative ideas.
She believes that faculties must also teach in innovative ways to engage and educate all students to fosters a spirit of inquiry. At all times, she want students to pursue knowledge and develop intellectual curiosity and acquire a lifelong love of learning and discover how to learn independently; learn to make the world a better place by giving of one’s time and talents and by promoting global education on campus.
The position of the Vice Chancellor of the University of Calabar is not a political position, it shouldn’t be allocated based on zoning formular, rather, competence, excellence and efficient managerial skills of an individual should be given utmost priority.
Professor Obi is eminently qualified. She has a wealth of experience in management and governance for the smooth running of a large University; and as a team player, she will work, interact and relate well with the different players, stakeholders and officers of the University to deliver on the mandate.
The position of Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, has been declared vacant by the Governing Council of the University, they could be no other candidate suitable for this position at this point in time than the celebrity Professor of Special Needs Education, Professor Florence Banku Obi, who has shown excellent skills, commitment and dedication in the discharge of her professional duties.
As a mother of 4, she derived interest in helping the less privilege and giving to charity. She enjoys outdoor exercising and playing indoor games. She loves reading motivational books and listening to Christians music.