28th Pre-convocation: MAU VC, Prof Tukur Reels Out Achievements Of 5-year Stewardship

  • Says despite COVID-19, strikes, financial challenges, college records impressive mileage

The outgoing vice chancellor of Modibbo Adama University, (MAU), Professor Abdullahi Tukur has given a report card of his five year stewardship saying that despite the inherent challenges which hobbled his administration including the incursion of COVID-19 pandemic, incessant strikes and dearth of funds, the school has recorded impressive mileage.

Tukur who made the disclosure during the 28th pre-convocation press briefing on Tuesday said his most outstanding achievement as V.C is the conversion of the university from a specialized institution to a conventional one adding that had he failed to do that, the university would have collapsed due to the dwindling number of admissions.

The professor who disclosed that he did not regret championing the conversion of the university to a conventional one added that, the effort was the only life line that saved the university from eternal collapse.

“Colleagues, gentlemen of the press, this is my last convocation as the Vice Chancellor of this university and it is not only logically appropriate but morally necessary that we reflect on commitment we made should we be granted the opportunity to serve in the position of Vice Chancellor.

“As such let me use this opportunity to reflect on the mission and vision we set out for this Institution. In my application for the position of Vice Chancellor I unequivocally posited that:

“The vision and mission of the university to be a world class University of Science and Technology through excellence in teaching, learning, and research must be revisited by all stakeholders with a view to repositioning the university to address emerging challenges.

“I unambiguously postulated that our effort will be targeted at unifying the university’s community around a refined vision and purpose, ensure that the university is responsive to the changing role technology in education and research, optimize the efficient use of resources and strive to achieve financial stability.

“It should be remembered that I took over the affairs of the university in June, 2019: three years after the delisting of all courses in the then School of Management and information Technology (SMIT) and students admission dwindling to all time low.

“Thus, to ensure that the university not only survives but also remains relevant to local and regional challenges as captured in our Vision and Mission Statement, we strategically and systematically embarked on a rebranding drive that saw to the successful conversion of the university from a forced narrow path to its current conventional broad- based status. That seemingly impossible feat was achieved in less than two years of our coming on board. With this feat, we were able to direct our focus on key components of the university,” he said.

He said his administration adopted a governance, leadership and administrative style which enabled value addition, restored lost programs, established directorate of ICT which unified all ICT components of the university, improved welfare of staff and students, improved physical facilities and formed partnerships and linkages with various national and international organizations.

“We committed ourselves to adopting a governance, leadership and administrative style that will be enabling and value adding; through transparency and financial discipline, with fairness and equity in dealing with all issues in the university. Thus, we have been able to build and entrench a prudent financial management system, rationing and deploying resources judiciously. Universities have never been so financially challenged as in the last four years: Covid-19 and ASUU strike led to nine months lockdown in 2020 and the eight months long ASUU strike in 2022 almost paralyzed the university but for sound financial management, patience and perseverance on the part of staff and students.

“Our pledge under this component of the university system was to strive to restore lost programmes (School of Management and Information Technology), introduce new ones (Medical Sciences), diversify the Open and Distance Learning Mode and provide functional Entrepreneurial Training Centre.

“We are not only happy but proud of our strides under this target mission. With the ‘return’ of SMIT as Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, we have fully recovered all hitherto delisted programmes and those that were lost due to denied accreditation (Banking and Finance, Building, and Civil Engineering). We have also added to the Faculty of Social and Management Sciences, Political Science and Sociology.

“Medical Sciences has been established with fully developed pre-clinical site significant structures in the Clinical Site adjoining the Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital (MAUTH) along with a one billion Naira Pediatric Centre of Excellence within the MAUTH. Three sets of MBBS students have already been matriculated and we are at the verge of bringing on board Nursing Programme: staff are on ground and the NUC already invited to give the go ahead for commencement.

“The Faculty of Law is another welcome addition, with three departments ready to receive the National Universities Commission on Resource Verification visit to pave way for admissions. The Law Faculty complex is certainly a beauty to behold.

“Similarly, we have been able to achieve our target in repositioning the open and distance learning mode by expanding the range of programmes offered and relocating the CDL from the Mai Borno Estate in Yola town to the main compus land. A befitting complex have been purpose-built, equipped and fully furnished using monies of the CDL itself and will be commissioned on 29 May 2024. We make bold to say that the CDL complex is the most comprehensive and customized structure on campus today! Thankfully, last week, we received the result of Re-Validation Assessment of the ODL Mode Programmes undertaken by the NUC, 14 to 17th June 2023. Approval was granted for the running of all of our seven ODL programmes.

“With the active support of the University Senate, we have been able to reorganize all our sub degree programmes and the Sandwich degree mode under one umbrella: thus, the Centre for Academic Resources and Training (CART).

“The above listed efforts and successes have significantly contributed in consistently driving up the numbers of students admitted regularly: from an average of 1500 to 2000 in previous years before the for conversion to this year’s record high figure, 3579 admitted students who recently matriculated the 2023/2024 academic session.

“Our promise to deploy effective campus wide internet and library services were substantially realized through the established Directorate of ICT that have successfully unified previously standing on their own, all the ICT components of the University. This has eased up the difficulties experienced with structure and coordination as well as drive up efficiency in service delivery. We have significantly improved the University Library and rendered unflinching support to with the adequate physical and E-resources to other Faculties and Departmental Libraries facilitate and enhance learning improved tiles and holding and regular subscription to data bases (EBSCOHost, Proquest, Research life, IEEE have ensured smooth accreditation. The College of Medical Sciences and Faculty of Law Libraries have been completed, furnished and being stocked.

” We have always made the welfare of our staff and students a priority through continuously providing conducive work and learning environment. Similarly, we acknowledge and reward hard work and exceptional performance by both staff and students even as wrong or anti institutional behaviours are sanctioned with offenders dealt with accordingly

“Staff development, training and promotions which are essential for career advancement had always been a priority; we have ensured that both Academic and Non-Academic staff were trained, while promotions, upgrades and change of cadre were given due and adequate consideration. In summary, we have ensured the ascension of 58 Professors and 40 Associate Professors among many others in the lower cadres and across professional fields in the University The cultivable lands within the university have never been so effectively used to the benefit of our staff. With the full repair of our tractors, ploughed fields allocated to staff for a fee and the harvest from the university farms sold to staff (as palliatives), through various cooperatives, with a relaxed payment regime.

“We also maintained an open communication and feedback system for both our staff and students, I have had course to write open letters to students informing them of developments in the system. We regularly move round students’ hostels and classrooms to interact and elicit feedback from the students. The students’ handbook, like many other policy documents within the system, was reviewed to ease punishments associated with examination administration while strengthening the Guidance and Counseling unit to play more active role in changing both staff and students’ behaviors. Unfortunately, a number of staff had to be demoted and the appointment of others terminated for various infractions. Several students have also been rusticated or dismissed as degrees and certificates are awarded to only those found worthy both in character and learning. On the whole, we have been fair and just to all manner of people, firm and consistent in the application of operational rules and guidelines.

“We have constantly made sure that our physical structures are in good shape by renovating and maintaining the structure for functionality and aesthetics.

“As encapsulated in our vision and mission to devote capital budgets towards developing Medical Sciences Infrastructure and associated needs, the College for Medical Sciences has a completely equipped and functional administrative block, two lecture theatres, laboratories, college library. male and female hostel as well many other facilities dedicated for smooth running of the College. We boldly say that few, if any, colleges of medical sciences started on such a strong footing.

“Similarly, and as earlier mentioned, the Centre for Distance Learning Complex and faculty of Law administrative block have been completed, fully furnished and beautifully landscaped. Equally, the Faculty of Education block of offices, the College of Medical Sciences clinical site administrative block and the Pediatrics Centre of Excellence Complex have all been completed, equipped, furnished and put to use.

“In our effort to beautify the campus, we have entrenched the culture of tree planting within and around our university. Specifically, we have planted trees lining up roads leading to the administrative block, the Postgraduate School building and the Computer Based Test (CBT) Centre among other designated points. We also encourage our students to take ownership of the trees and their immediate environment,” Tukur said.

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