Ogundipe Bows out as UNILAG’s VC, Gives Scorecard

Funmi Ogundare

The 12th  substantive Vice Chancellor of University of Lagos, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, yesterday bowed out after completing a five-year tenure.

Ogundipe, who had spent 33 years in the service of the institution, gave his score while briefing journalists at UNILAG’s Senate Chamber with his successor, Prof Folashade Ogunsola and all other management staff and  deans of faculties  in attendance.

He stated that on assumption of office,  his administration set out on a six-point agenda with the acronym ‘UNILAG.’

He  explained what each of the letters meant in detail and with their overall objective to take the university not only to a greater height, but also to prepare it as a university for the future.

He recalled that UNILAG under his watch in the last five years attracted up to N19 billion in research grants from both local and international organisations and also registered more than 64 companies for the students.

“The university is not only committed to academic excellence, but also to problem-solving research, entrepreneurship and community services.

“The University of Lagos, from 2017 till date has recorded significant progress. Not only did we sow seeds, but we also witnessed the fruition of the numerous seeds and the results are there for all eyes to see.

“Today, the University of Lagos has grown in leaps and bounds, management under my watch transcended the threshold we set for ourselves as excellence. Our results speak for us such that even in the eyes of the storm, we kept our peace and so our focus did not shift. We pushed through and today, I can confidently say I am leaving UNILAG a happy man.”

He, however, attributed the successes recorded to God, who he said had been the one guiding his steps and to the management staff, university senate, staff unions, students and other stakeholders including the alumni association for their support and cooperation.

Ogundipe noted that they all worked together as a team, while commending them all for standing firm with him throughout his tenure, and cherished their strong contributions and would externally be grateful to them.

The VC also commended his successor, Prof Folashade Ogunsola, the first female vice-chancellor of the university for solidly standing behind him, particularly during his travail with the last governing council, saying that the period when he was suspended as the vice-chancellor and Ogunsola was appointed to replace him in an acting capacity, many people told her that her time had come.

“But she told them that her time has not yet come and would wait for it and now this is her time. She is now the new Vice-chancellor of this great university and I am happy about this development.”

The outgoing VC revealed that despite the series of industrial actions that rocked the Nigerian University System (NUS) between 2017 and now, the issues were never internal, adding UNILAG enjoyed unprecedented industrial harmony because staff welfare, which were within the capacity of the management, were amicably resolved.

He, however, solicited the cooperation, support and prayers of staff and students for his successor, Prof. Folasade Ogunsola.

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