There was jubilation at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife on Monday as the Governing Council of the institution announced Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede as the 11th vice chancellor of the university.
The Chairman Governing Council, Dr. Yemi Ogunbiyi, made the announcement at a press conference attended by other members of the university and the Acting Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Anthony Elujoba.
Hundreds of workers of the university had thronged the venue of the press conference in anticipation of the announcement and they erupted in jubilation as the chairman of the council announced the name.
Ogunbiyi said the process of selecting the new vice chancellor was transparent and it followed due process.
He stated that a search committee was raised and 22 persons applied for the advertised job.
According to him, one of the applicants who did not have the requisite qualification was dropped.
He said, “The search for the new vice chancellor was transparent. We received about 18 applications and a committee was set up to search for candidates outside. There were 22 applicants in all.
“The candidates were subjected to screening and they were interviewed for three days. I am happy to announce to you that the new vice chancellor is Prof. Eyitope Ogunbodede.”
The chairman Governing Council put a call through to the new vice chancellor, who eventually turned up at the venue amidst jubilation from the workers.
The new vice chancellor thanked the Governing Council for being transparent and for following the due process.
The new VC, who is from the Department of Preventive and Community Dentistry in the Faculty of Dentistry, was born on January 23, 1957 in Owo, Ondo State.
He was appointed professor on October 1, 2000.
The Chairman of of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Mr. Ademola Oketunde, hailed the process which produced the new vice chancellor.
It will be recalled that the tenure of the last substantive vice chancellor of the university, Prof. Bamitale Omole, ended on June 23, 2016 amidst protests from the workers.
The then Governing Council headed by Prof. Roland Ndoma-Egba started a process of selecting Omole’s successor and the then Deputy Vice Chancellor, Prof. Ayobami Salami, emerged the new VC.
Omole was not allowed to hand over to Salami, as the workers continued the protest against Salami.
As a result, the Federal Government immediately suspended the process and dissolved the governing council because of their role in the process.
The university Senate and other senior professors eventually elected Elujoba as the acting vice chancellor.