Uniosun gets Governing Council as Aregbesola promise to upgrade its status

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By; Ishola O. Emmanuel, Oshogbo.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State on Monday inaugurated seven-man Governing Council for Osun State University, Osogbo.
The composition of the council include; Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Alli as chairman, Prof Solomon Akinboye, Dr Abeke Omotoso, Prof Kasali Adegoke, Sir Benjamin Aladekomo, Engineer Tunde Ponle and Prof Charles Abiodun.
The governor while speaking during the inauguration at Government Secretariat, Abeere, said his dream for the state owned university is to become a centre of excellence where students will be trained in culture, learning and character; and where the faculty will provide ideal leadership to the world.
He said his administration has been building a university where the students in particular will have their intellect cultivated to be able to think and find solutions to personal and societal problems.
He said as part of his education reforms, restructuring was to build graduates that will also be equipped with life sustaining skills that will make them independent in society, in contrast with those just brandishing bland certificates as they roam the streets in search of jobs.
The state helmsman said the focus of the state was to enhance and promote education system in such a way that the elementary, secondary and tertiary institutions would be vision-driven and goal-oriented academic environments to all sundry.
He described university education as a “license to greatness”, stressing that the current government has been building a university that will be a solution centre and as well providing leadership in ideas by guiding the society on the path to the future and at critical times.
Acknowledging some of the challenges facing the country most significantly in the areas of food, shelter, healthcare, clothing, transportation, governance and administration, technology and so on, Aregbesola said the university should be in a position of leadership, unraveling mysteries, dispensing myths, charting new paths and solving problems.
He said, “new realities have brought new challenges to society, the government and the university itself just as you are all aware, a calamity befell our nation, such that did not even occur during the civil war”.
“It was a financial tsunami that swept away the finances of the country, stressing that up till the middle of 2013, the distributable pool of the federation account topped N1 trillion, rising to N1.2 trillion occasionally, decrying that, towards the end of 2013, arising from an alleged oil theft and dwindling oil prices, the pool began to shrink.He explained further that the nation’s economy got so bad that the total amount in the federation account pool for April this year, which was shared in May, was a paltry N207 billion, saying the adverse effect has affected governments at all levels as the most prominent of which is the inability of many states to pay salaries and forcing many to reduce expenditure in all sectors.
He charged the newly inaugurated council to see beyond their noses and fashion out how the university would fund itself without passing the burden on the students.
Aregbesola also called on the management of the university not to depend on proprietor’s subvention or putting a heavy burden of tuition on the students, but rather bring about new thinking and new approaches to raising funds for the universities, adding that such could come from endowment chairs, direct funding of programmes, getting philanthropists to fund projects and researches and generating revenue through intellectual property.
“Harvard University in the United States has the largest endowment of $34.6 billion, according to the 2014 figures. This was followed by Yale University with $25.6 billion. Number 10 on the list is University of Michigan with $10 billion. In contrast, no university in Nigeria has $1billion endowment. How do we expect our graduates to compete with their graduates? This is food for thought.”The time has come for us to break from the past. This calls for innovation. We cannot continue to do things in the way of the past and expect changes”, Aregbesola added.
The newly inaugurated Chairman of the Governing Council, Mallam Yusuf Olaolu Alli, who spoke on behalf of his members, assured the state of repositioning the affairs of the university to make it one of the best in Nigeria, Africa and indeed the world at large.
Mallam Alli who is also a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), assured the state of hitting the ground running by placing time, resources and endowments at their disposal to improve the institution.
The legal practitioner also assured of discharging their responsibilities to the best of their ability selflessly and without fear or favour and in the best interest of all.
Acknowledging some of the challenges facing education sector, Mallam Alli said it is obvious that government alone cannot fund education to enviable height; hence, all hands must be on deck to assist the state towards the provision of quality and functional education.
Mallam Alli said it is the responsibility of the council to champion the course by taping from their rich and extensive contacts in the private sector to uplift the university to greater heights.
“We shall always be guided by the philosophy of what is best for the system at all times irrespective of our individual wishes, interest and aspirations”.
“Let me assure you all on behalf of my colleagues that our decisions shall be driven by justice, fairness, equity, humanness and fear of God.
“I know these challenges are not beyond us and I am convinced that given the enabling environment, this is achievable within a record time.
“I wish to assure all the stakeholders in the university that this council will operate with consensus and engage in wide consultations on all issues, as we solicit the cooperation and collaboration of the management, academic and non-academic staff and the students of the university in the arduous task ahead” Ali assured.
Mallam Alli who pledged to render his services free of charge, said “as the Chairman of the Governing Council, I will not draw any of my entitlement for the period of my service in the council”.

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