The Senate of the Federal University Lokoja (FUL), which is the highest decision-making body on academic matters in the University, held its last meeting of the year in grand style as distinguished Senators gathered in their colourful attires to end the academic year in convivial atmosphere giving praises to God almighty for an eventful year. The special Senate session, held on 19th December 2023 and 80th in the series of meetings, was superintended by the Vice-Chancellor, Professor Olayemi Akinwumi who is also the Chairman of Senate.
Delivering his welcome address entitled “2023: AN ACTION-PACKED YEAR FOR FUL,” the Vice-Chancellor mince no words in expressing his heartfelt gratitude to God for a successful academic year and to all members of Senate for their unwavering dedication and commitment to the progress and growth of the University. He acknowledged their tireless efforts that have paved the way for FUL to thrive as a center of academic excellence renowned for fostering knowledge, innovation, and social transformation.
Professor Akinwumi expressed optimism that the outcomes of the meeting would shape the future of the University and position it on the path of greatness. “Today's meeting is indeed special, as it signifies the spirit of collaboration and unity that we hold dear at the Federal University Lokoja. We are here to deliberate on matters of utmost importance that will shape the course of our University's future. This assembly serves as a testament to our collective pursuit of progress and our shared vision of building a brighter tomorrow for all,” the VC revealed.
Among several issues addressed in his speech, the Vice-Chancellor specifically pointed out the need for Deans of Faculties to update their vision plans for the year 2024, saying that the documents would serve as a roadmap for their collective aspirations and goals that would guide the administration towards a future of continued success and achievement. He further directed that the Deans should submit the revised versions of their action plans to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Abdullahi Emmanuel Bala for compilation and processing to the Principal Officers Committee (POC) as the University steps into a new year.
The Senate Chairman also announced that new guidelines for the assessment and promotion of academic staff as directed by the National Universities Commission (NUC) have been prepared and would be presented at the meeting for deliberation. He said: “In our pursuit of excellence, it is imperative that we adapt to evolving standards. Therefore, I am pleased to inform you that a new set of guidelines for assessment in the promotion process of Academic Staff is being proposed and it will be presented to the Council for approval. This comprehensive guideline aims to refine our evaluation criteria, ensuring that promotions are awarded based on merit and in alignment with the evolving landscape of academia.”
Speaking on the recent announcement made by the Federal Government on the exemption of tertiary institutions from the controversial Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), the VC described the move as a welcome development for Nigerian Universities. He noted, with utmost delight, that the exemption signifies a positive development for both staff members and the University at large by allowing greater autonomy and flexibility in managing financial and personnel matters.
Giving a rundown on some of the recent happenings in the University, the Vice-Chancellor, commended the last two Inaugural Lecturers from the Faculty of Science, Professor Benjamin Mopah Dauda and Professor Ahmed Tajudeen, 15th and 16th respectively, for delivering scintillating and insightful inaugural lectures that showcased the wealth of knowledge and expertise within the University and contributed significantly to its academic standing. He also reminded Professors who were yet to deliver theirs to take cues from these successes and present themselves for their inaugural lectures. “As we celebrate these accomplishments, I would like to encourage members who are yet to deliver their inaugural lectures to take inspiration from their colleagues and contribute to this enriching tradition. Your insights and research are essential in shaping the academic discourse and advancing our institution,” the VC encouraged.
Similarly, he commended members of Senate for their cooperation and support during the just concluded 6th and 7th Combined Convocation Ceremony of the University, stressing that the resounding success recorded during the epoch-making event was due to their collective efforts. He noted that their dedication and support played a pivotal role in the seamless execution of the Convocation, marking a memorable chapter in the history of the fast-growing Institution.
Furthermore, the Vice-Chancellor reported with joy the successful conduct of the years 2022 and 2023 promotion exercise to eligible members of staff and announced the promotion of Dr. Inyokwe Sunday Otinche, an Associate Professor from the Department of Public Administration, to the rank of full Professor, following the positive responses received from the external assessment of his publications.
Commenting on the successful conduct of the accreditation and re-accreditation exercise where about 43 programmes from different Faculties and Departments were presented to the 32 Panels from the NUC, the VC thanked Senators for working tirelessly in ensuring the success of the all-important exercise and expressed optimism that the University would receive positive outcomes. Also, on the successful conduct of the 2021/2022 and 2022/2023 second semester examinations for the three (3) batches (A, B, and C) consecutively, Professor Akinwumi praised the Senators for their dogged commitment and cooperation towards ensuring the integrity of the process while urging them to sustain the effort.
In conclusion, the Vice-Chancellor restated with all sense of responsibility: “As we approach the close of this outgoing year, I wish to express my sincere appreciation for your cooperation, dedication, and unwavering support. Your collective efforts have been instrumental to the achievements and successes we have celebrated together. Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, I thank you and I wish you all Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year in advance.”
Among other agenda discussed at the meeting, the Senate considered and approved the academic calendar for the 2023/2024 session (Check it out here), examinations results, and dates of resumption for both new and returning students - 7th January 2024 and 15th January 2024, respectively. The Vice-Chancellor also directed that staff, except those on essential services, proceed on holiday break beginning from the 20th of December 2023. The meeting adjourned with words of prayers for the University as members proceeded to the reception venue to unwind and feast together to wrap up the action-packed year. See more pictures here