By Okon Bassey
No fewer than 240 lecturers in the University of Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, have been promoted to the professorial cadre between 2015 and 2020, the out-going, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Enefiok Essien, has said.
Essien disclosed this yesterday while briefing journalists during an end-of-tenure press conference in Uyo, explaining that the number is comprised of associate professors and professors.
The vice chancellor noted that his tenure witnessed an improvement in the academic fortunes of the school as 30 out of the 76 inaugural lectures in the school since 1991 were hosted in his time.
According to him, the rating of the university improved to 13 from just being in the top 30 universities in Nigeria.
He said the backlog of promotions for non-teaching staff as far back as 2011 was cleared by his administration, just as academic staff members were regularly promoted, staff with higher qualifications converted to their appropriate ranks, as well as regularised the employment of stagnated staff of the university staff school.
He said the introduction of electronic voting system for the Students’ Union Government (SUG) elections, where the students voted from the comfort of their rooms, thereby erasing the issue of discontent among students during their executive transition, was introduced by his administration.
Essien insisted that his tenure operated an open-door policy for students; ran a yearly convocation ceremony such that students could get their certificates afterwards, stating that 153 students expelled from the university in November 2015 before he became the vice chancellor were reinstated in 2016 during his administration after showing remorse.
Some other achievements included peace on campus, staff and students welfare, maintenance of academic culture, creation of new academic programmes, departments and centres, massive physical and infrastructural developments among others, he added.
“Academic staff members too have had regular promotions except this year that the appointments and promotion committee could not meet due to the COVID-19 lockdown/closure and the ASUU strike, which has still not yet been called off,” Essien said.