By; AYO OJEDOKUN, Lagos
The late American President, Abraham Lincoln, in his reservoir of wisdom, had once said: “In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s life in your years.”
The saying of this eminent lawyer and political icon can aptly describe the coming of Prof. Samuel Bandele as the second Vice-Chancellor (VC) of Anchor University, a faith-based institution owned by the Deeper Life Bible Church.
To be specific, Bandele took over from the pioneer VC, Prof. Joseph Afolayan, just barely two years ago. And as a first-timer on the campus, you will know that the school is currently breathing and bubbling with life.
There is a re-assurance of the renaissance of hope that gives credence to a better future, which is visible even for the cynic on-looker to see and feel. This exactly is the feeling that pervades the entire environment right now.
Without exaggeration, you will know that Anchor University is alive, kicking and rearing to go, under the watchful eye of this eminent scholar.
It will be recalled that Prof. Bandele met the school at its lowest ebb, gasping for ‘life’ and survival; the kind of situation every young enterprise or business venture will naturally go through at the period of ‘gestation’.
His vision to turn the school around was so infectious that the entire workforce was caught in the web of these noble initiatives.
He said unequivocally that his vision was anchored on three pillars: Enrolment, Enrichment, Engagement.
But this esoteric professor of Mathematics driven by uncommon vision suddenly pulled the string that turned the situation around.
Having meticulously run through the school programmes, he immediately realised that the institution did not have sellable programmes that would drive students for enrolment. He, therefore, vigorously with his team, pursued the accreditation of some professional courses.
As God will have it, the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) gave the school the nod to start some professional courses like Nursing Science (Nsc), B.Sc Architecture, and BMLS (Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science), while the school management is at the advanced stage of rounding off its Law programme accreditation.
This marked the turning point in the admission drive of the school. And it was clearly evident in the school’s admission the next academic session, when no fewer than 500
students matriculated for the first time in the annals, since its inception in 2016.
In the ongoing admission exercise, this session, students’ patronage for admission is unprecedented.
It is worthy of mention that the school has embarked on PostGraduate Studies programmes (PGD, M.Sc, MBA and PhD) degrees in Computer Science, Microbiology and Business Administration.
It is also on record that under Prof. Bandele’s leadership, Anchor University has enjoyed a considerable measure of media publicity.
This is also a pointer to his administrative ingenuity, which saw the need to oil the media and publicity department of the school for effective performance.
As of today, the cafeteria has undergone a radical upgrade to a very high level, comparable with any of its cadre in Nigerian universities.
Also, the supermarket has been upgraded to serve both the staff and the students on the campus.
Honestly, it will be difficult to exhaust the list of achievements of this great administrator just in a write-up of this nature.
Therefore, it is not surprising that both the academic and non-academic staff unanimously agreed that the coming of Prof. Bandele to the school has been of tremendous blessing.
Aside from his efforts to reposition the school, the general consensus among the staff is that the VC does not joke about their welfare.
“He is God-sent to the school. Since he assumed office as the new Vice-Chancellor, Anchor University has made tremendous progress.
“Aside from this, he does not joke about the staff’s welfare. He has the heart of Christ; always ready to provide solutions whenever a staff is a challenge.
He is very proactive in nature,” some staff revealed.
It would be recalled that Prof. Bandele graduated from the University of Benin with a First Class Honours degree in Mathematics Education in 1983; bagged his master’s and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Ibadan, and became a professor in 2001..
As of today, the VC is a member of not less than 11 professional bodies within and outside Nigeria.
At different times, he held various administrative positions such as; head of department, dean, and acting director.
The climax of his administrative responsibilities was as a vice-chancellor at the University of Science and Technology, Ifaki-Ekiti; University of Education, Ikere-Ekiti; and Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti.
Bandele has served and is still serving in different arms of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry. Until his appointment, he was both the State Coordinator of the Deeper Life Campus Fellowship for Ekiti State, and the Zonal Coordinator for the South-West.
Bandele was a member of the Implementation Committee of Anchor University, and a member of the Board of Trustees of AUL, until his appointment as the substantive vice chancellor.