Updated on June, 26th, 2015
Upon my appointment as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of the Imo State University by the Visitor to the University, His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha OON, on November, 22nd 2012, I set about putting in place, the relevant governance and administrative infrastructure necessary for the smooth running of the University. To this effect, I demonstrated to the Visitor, the apparent need for the urgent constitution of the Governing Council for the University. Prior to this time, the absence of an inaugurated Governing Council for the University had been a huge impediment to the development of a sustainable and robust governance and administrative framework for the University.
The Visitor, in his usual magnanimity, approved for the appointment of a Governing Council in December, 2012. This Council was inaugurated in January, 2013. With a Governing Council in place, various statutory bodies deemed apposite for the effective administration of the university were set up, and have since then dispensed their duties according to the tenets of the relevant university laws.
The advent of the 7th Governing Council has brought in its wake: the commencement of the process for the ethical and moral rebirth within the university community; and the process for a comprehensive intellectual values re-engineering among staff and students. No doubt, my administration, has made tremendous and appreciable progress in this regard as sound moral, ethical and intellectual values have begun to permeate the institution's environment.
Senate before the advent of my administration had uncertain days of meeting. Under my administration, our university like other Universities, now have definite dates of meeting and a robust calendar for its functions, as each meeting's deliberations is followed up with action sheets.
1) We have worked hard to maintain peace and stability which has helped us to work with academic calendar. We have completed 2 sessions since then, graduated our students and ensured that those that were qualified went for their Youth Service.
2) We have had regular Senate meetings from 39 when we assumed duty to 56 now.
3) We have had Panels try students for examination misconduct and those found guilty were rusticated - our 700 students had been affected.
4) We had also set up Panels on disciplinary matters involving staff. Some have been completed and disposed off while others are on.
5) We have embarked on procurement of pews to ensure that no student stands up to take his lectures and that exam halls are not crowed.
6) In the last 2 years, we have graduated about 150 Medical Doctors from our college of Medicine.
7) Promotion of Staff which posed a great problem at the commencement of this administration has been addressed by following due process and laid down University procedures.
8) As of now the UCAC has almost completed the 2013 and 2014 appraisal. Very soon, A &PC would meet to do its part.
9) We have had one inaugural lecture and the first public lecture in the University
1) Our admission exercises have gone well since last session. Effort was made to accommodate staff interest particularly, as it relates to their children.
2) Today, IMSU is the 7th most subscribed to University in Nigeria, and 1st amongst state and private Universities. We hope that with the structures on ground, JAMB and NUC will soon increase our carrying capacity.
2.0 INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPMENT
Master Plan for the University
In my previous sojourn towards becoming the Vice-Chancellor of this University, I had made the development of a comprehensive master-plan one of the cardinal points of my administration. At that point, a master-plan for the university was lacking.
- I have set in motion the relevant machinery, within the University, towards the development of a master plan. A comprehensive master-plan remains the panacea to the prevalent non-user friendly environment which I met upon my appointment as Acting Vice-Chancellor.
- Towards evolving this master plan, was the bold effort of the Council that persuaded government to declare the Lake Nwaebere campus of the University as the University's permanent site. My administration will work for the actualisation of this policy pronouncement.
Landscaping and Beautification of the Campuses
Whereas the contractors have been engaged to carry out the landscaping of the Orlu campus, efforts are made to ensure that all the land boroughs situated between the Okigwe Road and Ohaozara Street in Owerri become part of the main Owerri campus of the University. Once this is done, a comprehensive landscaping of the entire campus would be carried out to provide such high levels of environmental ambience as is associated with other reputable Universities, both locally and internationally, aimed at stimulating intellectual and research excellence in the University.
Other Basic Infrastructure for the University
In furtherance of the need to upgrade, refurbish and revamp the ailing infrastructure stock within the university's campuses at Lake Nwaebere (Owerri) and Umuna Orlu, LGA, my administration, armed with the excellent support and co-operation of the Pro-chancellor, the entire Governing Council and the Visitor to the university has attracted and in most cases, commenced the development of:
- A 700-seat capacity Terraced Lecture Theatre at the Umuna Orlu LGA campus;
- Sinking of many boreholes under our cluster system arrangement.
- Clearing of all shanties on campus and temporarily relocating them to the Ohazara Road end of the campus.
- A Three-floor Seminar Complex for the College of Medicine at the Orlu campus;
- A Two- floor Laboratory complex for Haematology and Pharmacology at the Orlu campus;
- A Cafeteria for staff and students at the Orlu campus; attracted by Hon. Jerry Alagbaoso;
- A 200 million Naira ICT centre, which I had previously attracted to the University in my capacity as the Immediate Past President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), at the Lake Nwaebere Campus;
- The TETFund funded Faculty of Law Building which has been completed and commissioned;
- The N350 million Model Science Laboratory Complex, recently attracted by Council and Management from TETFund.
- The rehabilitation and redevelopment of the former Central Multi-Activity Complex (C-MAC) by Diamond Bank Plc;
- The Owunna Memorial Recreational Park complex, courtesy of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Mazi Clement Owunna.
- Three large lecture halls, courtesy of the Executive Governor of Imo state and Visitor to the University. These lecture halls have attained 65% completion at this time;
- The reconstruction and rehabilitation of the University Library complex.
- The redevelopment of the SIWES building.
- The rehabilitation and refurbishing of the Large Lecture Hall, the Coomasie Complex for the Department of Theatre Arts and the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Dean's building.
- We reroofed the Bursary, Registry and the Anatomy and Physiology blocks and made them now conducive for teaching and learning. The morgue in the Anatomy tank has at least 12 cadavers there.
- As a way of addressing the Law Accreditation, we got the Law Block completed and equipped, rebuilt and expanded the old Law Library and built a new Moot Court. They are all properly equipped.
- We have renovated one of the Faculty of Education Blocks and provided a workshop for Department of Agricultural Engineering.
- We attracted a Bus from ABC Transport for practical on Automobile and Mechanical Engineering.
- Completion of Nursing School Auditorium and Hostel at Umuna Orlu L.G.A
- A Cafeteria at Umuna attracted from TETFund by Hon, Jerry Alagbaoso.
- Pharmacology and Haematology Laboratory under construction.
- 3 Storey Seminar Block - completed and now furnished.
- A 750 seat capacity Lecture Theatre with a basement that can accommodate 300 persons at Umuna Campus - reached 70% completion.
- My administration secured the release of N350m (Three Hundred and Fifty Million Naira) for the completion of the Lecture Auditorium and Hostel Complex for the School of Nursing which is also situated at the Orlu Campus, from His Excellency, Owelle Rochas Okorocha OON.
- Part of this fund is being used to refurbish, complete/equip some of the abandoned buildings at the IMSUTH, Orlu.
In the last 2 years through the instrumentality of Council and Management, the following projects/grants have been received from TETFund. They include:
- The N350 million Model Science Laboratory Complex - under construction.
- NI00 million TETFund Special Intervention with which we furnished Law classrooms, procured executive tables, white boards and buses and Hilux Vans.
- NI.2 billion TETFund Special Intervention for the building of Hostel and its furnishing. - Attracted by Chief Patrick Chidolue.
- N500 million TETFund Special Intervention for equipment and furniture in our laboratories, studios and workshops; Attracted by Mazi Dr. Ijeoma Arodiogbu.
- N 100 million TETFund Special Intervention for procurement of teaching materials and equipment - Trans Afrique.
- N1.5 million TETFund Special Intervention for the construction and furnishing of our Senate Building - From the Honourable Minister of State for Education Prof. V. Onwuliri
- N1 billion TETFund Special Intervention for the construction of a Lecture Theatre, procurement of 500 Lecture Theatre chairs and procurement of some vehicles. - Attracted by Alhaji Issa.
- N1 billion TETFund Special Intervention for the construction of another Lecture Theatre, and provision of equipment and facilities at NI00 million each for four Faculties. - Attracted by Alhaji Issa.
- We renovated the SIWES block and the Centre for Igbo Studies and equipped them.
- The N 150 million Owunna Park built and donated to the University by Owunna Memorial Foundation.
- Purchase of Vehicles: Through diligent management of resources and the intervention from TETFund, we have been able to procure vehicle for some of our Deans, Directors and Heads of Units. Over 28 new vehicles - including buses, cars and Hilux Vans.
Contracts have now been awarded and work has started under the TETFund Normal Intervention (2011- 2013) and the Federal Government Needs Intervention for:
1. The Faculty of Science Complex
2. The University Main Library
3. The Faculty of Business Administration
4. Postgraduate Building
5. A Modern Medical Centre.
- Installation of an injection substation that hooked the University to the national grid via a 33KV l lines.
- Reactivation of all generators at Orlu and Lake Nwaebere campuses of the University. With these, we ensure eight hours supply of power daily at each of the campuses.
- With presentation made to Council on the need for linking the two campuses to the national grid as a way of not only ensuring more regular power supply, but also of cutting costs, and with the subsequent approval by Council, the two campuses have within the past two years been linked to the national grid.
Environmental Health and Sanitation
Our University campuses have rapid growing grasses that tend to make the campuses look bushy despite the efforts of the workers. My administration, to ensure high sanitation standards and health, embarked on:
(a) Provision of mowing machines.
(b) Regular evacuation of wastes and regular fumigation of the campuses.
(c) Demolition of illegal structures and relocation of people doing businesses on campuses, to better stores and malls.
(d) Provision of storm water drainages particularly around the borrow pit at Orlu, which erosion was turning into a threat for the buildings and campus users.
Construction of Hostels for the Students
To address this, my administration has done the following:
(a) Got the State government to fund the completion of the 74 bedroom Nursing Students Hostel at Orlu.
(b) Got the NDDC to commission its 174 bedroom hostel at the Lake Nwaebere campus. On the day of commissioning, I requested on behalf of the University, that NDDC provides the University with an internal link road between the campus and the hostel and a cafeteria for students use. This was unanimously approved by the Board at the site. Work on the internal link road has started, while efforts are being made on the cafeteria issue.
(c) Council has also initiated actions to get Felmore Construction Co. Nig. Limited to complete the students' hostel it signed agreement with University to build. My administration will, working with Council, ensure that the project is successfully completed.
(d) Management has had much discussion with some private developers and bankers who are interested in providing hostel facilities on BOT basis.
(e) Council within the period approved the purchase of 12 new vehicles for the University. These have been bought and distributed to faculties, units and departments with the most pressing need. I shall work with Council to provide transportation for other Deans, Directors and units in need.
ACADEMIC STANDARDS, STAFF TRAINING/RETRAINING
As a foremost academic and a trade unionist, I do understand the need for the maintenance of high standards within the university community. I do understand the essence of the proper incentivisation of the staff, particularly through regular payment of salaries and prompt sponsorship of staff and students to international and national conferences, workshops, and seminars. My administration has successfully, in the past 2 years,
(a) In collaboration with the TETFund research fund, sponsored over sixteen (16) members of staff for MSc and PhD programmes at both international and local universities. This is considered a necessary step towards the development of a virile and robust University.
(b) Have been able to employ sixteen (16) consultants at the College of Medicine, Orlu.
(c) Sponsored over fifty (50) staff academic and non-academic to various conferences.
(d) Employed about 140 new staff [academic] without increasing the wage bills.
ACCREDITATION OF PROGRAMMES
The accreditation of all courses on offer within the university is the priority of any serious thinking administration, mine not being an exception. Regrettably, most of the courses offered in this university have failed to meet the criteria for full accreditation by the relevant bodies.
- To this effect, my administration has spent a greater part of the past year carrying out an audit of such courses as well as documenting the requirements upon which the accreditation could be accorded.
- In line with the information emanating from such audits, the administration has vigorously pursued the timely completion of the Faculty of Law building to enable us re-present the faculty for accreditation in early 2015. This would enable us admit the best and brightest law students into our revered citadel of learning come 2014/2015 session.
- Under my leadership, the Centre for Igbo Studies has commenced operations. The centre which is intended to boost the propagation of Igbo culture, tradition and language among the younger generation has been applauded severally across the nation by traditional rulers, scholars, and interested parties alike. It has also received unprecedented support and sponsorship from such quarters.
- In the past one year, this university has received a 60-seater coach donation from one of the transport giants in the country- ABC Transport Company - for use by the Mechanical Automotive Engineering department.
INTERNAL REVENUE GENERATION
It has always been my candid opinion that universities should, to a great extent, be self-sustaining, financially.
I have always reiterated my plan to lay a solid foundation, upon the expiration of my tenure, which would ensure that the university would be able to generate a bulk of the entire resources for its operations through research outlets, endowments, alumni organisations, and partnerships/linkages with national and international organisations over a fifteen (15) year period.
Upon assumption of duty, it was discovered that the Faculty of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine had been focusing more on the theoretical aspect rather than the practical aspect of its mandate. To put the faculty on a sound footing and to ensure that it serves not only as an institute for the propagation of knowledge, but also as a major income earner for the University, my administration has been able to:
- Increase the number of birds in the poultry section to such an extent that the poultry presently sells eggs and broilers to the University community and members of the general public as well;
- Increase the number of pigs in the piggery, triple-fold. As a result, products of the University piggery are now in the open market;
- Establish eight (8) fish ponds stocked with at least two thousand, four hundred fingerlings. The deplorable state of the University's fishponds was brought to the fore during the last accreditation exercise in the faculty. During this time, an individual's fish pond was presented to enable successful accreditation. It is expected that within the shortest possible time, these fish ponds would prove to be major income earners for the University as well as attract substantial investment;
- Develop paddocks for cows;
- Procure goats and rabbits in the university farms. It is instructive to note that prior to my appointment as Acting Vice-Chancellor, there was no livestock for use by those students and staff in the Animal Science Department. With the recent acquisition of livestock, it is hoped that all rabbits required for experiments by departments in the sciences and agricultural sciences shall be provided from our farms in the nearest future.
- Resuscitate our moribund feed mill on campus. This feed mill had remained neglected by previous administrations over the past decade. My administration has salvaged the feed mill and it is performing at optimal capacity presently. Upon the realisation of the place of such a feed mill in the drive for improved income generation, I shall remain committed to the continued expansion of this feed mill in the future, thus making the products available to the general public for purchase7 | Page
Information Communication Technology (ICT)
Through my leverage as Immediate Past President of ASUU, I have attracted the assistance of TETFUND in the development of a 248 computer-capacity ICT Centre to make IMSU a CBT Centre, with Edu-Tech studios, Video Conferencing Centre, and subsequently, position, in such a manner that it assumes its top-ranking in ICT and general web presence.
With respect to the inherited challenges, we have provided support to the ICT Director and his team which has led to the execution of several ICT oriented projects, namely:
a) Management Information Administration: The establishment of an ICT Directorate which has effectively:
- Retrieved our lCT from vendors, Socket Works and Zellence. Today we have a standard e-library not only in the main but in some departmental libraries.
- Updated the ICT policy of the University to reflect a more comprehensive ICT posture, especially as it concerns giving direction in the area of communication through the reactivation of Wi-Fi systems, creating a bulk SMS system for Senate Affairs and Registry, re-invigorating periodic updates of the IMSU website, Commencement of the redesign and deployment of the New IMSU portal, hyperlinking of unit and payment portals, to the main portal.
- Collaborated in the development of a main situation report on the ICT sector and recommendations sent to the University's Governing Council for necessary action;
- Taken delivery of the deployment of e-learning facilities at the NITDA laboratory,
- Collapsed and transferred systems from Diamond Bank ICT centre to the NITDA Hall;
- Installation of furniture and network gear in the NITDA Hall;
- Reformulated the Computer Training Academy (CTA) Handbook; redesigned of programmes for the CTA, incorporated computer-based programmes for the departments of Mass Communication, Theatre Arts, and Library and Information science;
- Appointed Departmental Coordinators to oversee the various ICT sectors for enhanced operations and greater productivity;
- Commenced the digitisation of video resources at the IMSUTH library in Orlu;
- Animated the e-administration services in the University through the ICT centre;
- Acquired equipment for, and subsequently commenced in-house complete digitisation of University documents, beginning from the Vice-Chancellor's office.
b) Network and Online Services
- With the unalloyed support and leadership of the Pro-Chancellor, the Governing Council approved and acquired a 10mbps Visafone broadband for the University to link us to the backbone of the submarine 1cable. This 10mbps spectrum will enable us accomplish: an enhanced provision of campus-wide wifi services as eight masts and several radio peripherals have now been installed by the ICT directorate at the Lake Nwaebere and Orlu campuses; link up for video conferencing and audio streaming; and also to allow us take advantage of the massive online resources being offered to the University by the NUC, NgREN and other educational services.
- We have acquired the two (2) offshore dedicated servers for our online processes;
- The university website has been redesigned and we have initiated the process of populating the neighbourhood portals.
- The ICT directorate has, for the first time, by itself, deployed the PostUTME, PGS, Pre-Degree and ICEP portals for online registrations. It has also been able to utilise in-house resources in the conduct of such online registration exercises thus increasing the Returns on Investment (ROI) and making huge savings for the university.
- The ICT Units has conducted the PostUTME in both paper-based and CBT formats the first university in the South East to do so, in-house.
- There has also been a deployment of fixed wireless CUG Enterprise Solution phone/modem/radio systems, hence ensuring that for the first time, offices can have permanent phone numbers, and staff would not have to use their personal phones for the conduct of official business. The phone modems would also allow staff to be online real-time. This has brought about enhanced efficiency and improved communication channels between members of staff.
c) IMSU FM Studio Project:
- We have redesigned and transformed the Diamond Bank centre into a viable broadcast studio. It is now configured for the production of music and sound;
- We have acquired a National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) licence;
- We have procured and installed the digital broadcast equipment for the commencement of the station;
- The studio is about to commence test broadcast transmission, and is now positioned to provide the much needed practical training for Mass Communication, Theatre Arts and Information Science departments, respectively.
d) University Data Digitisation: Equipment and Staffing:
- The ICT directorate has procured three servers, fully configured them for the storage and retrieval of vital university data. Casual staff members have been retained to work in the digitisation projects. They are presently being assisted by members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) and other persons on IT.
- Regarding data digitisation, we have made rapid progress through the effective conduct of the Post UTME registration exercise, and the registration of the Postgraduate School, ICEP and Pre-Degree Admissions processes. Through these processes, we have acquired databases of our candidates as they enter the system.
- We have also received digital copies of all admission records for the 2012/2013 admission process from the office of the admissions director and have scanned them, logging them onto our system alongside similar data from the previous year.
- The ICT directorate, under my leadership has also sent out data-input forms and templates to the faculties, units and departments as a way of obtaining information from them, and to facilitate the deployment of their web-portals and modules, as well as ID cards.
- On the back-end process, data acquisition has commenced from the office of the vice chancellor where all closed files have been scanned and digitised from 2010.
- My administration has acquired and are presently deploying two hundred (200) computer systems in the main library of the Lake Nwaebere Campus and the Orlu Campus Library along with two (2) network servers to host the e-books and modules which we plan to install in them;
- We have installed a computerised library cataloguing software for the library system; as well as a KOHA-based Online Public Access Catalogue [OPAC] system.
- We have also commenced the acquisition of data for the virtual library system, by downloading online resources and e-books for deployment in our e-library networks;
- We have initiated the process of converting training modules from the IMSUTH VHS tape stock into DVD formats-to be deployed in the newly acquired one hundred (100) computer systems for the Orlu Medical College library;
- Furthermore, management under my leadership has been able to secure funds from TETFUND for the refurbishment and renovation of the Main library to conform to international standards.
The alumni community has remained a vital source of funding for several universities both within and outside Nigeria.
To this effect, my administration has initiated moves to encourage the setting up of an IMSU Alumni office and database within the University campus at Owerri. This would allow for the accuracies of information about graduates of the university who are spread across the globe and allow us to gain access to them.
The Alumni Association recently donated a battery of high-speed scanners to assist in the digitization of University documents and online transcript processing.
Medical Centre and Services
Prior to my assumption of office, the University Medical Centre had turned into a shadow of its old self. Medical examinations, tests and x-rays for our newly admitted students were outsourced to external vendors. Our students turned to private clinics within the Owerri metropolis for their medical needs.
Within the past year, I have embarked upon measures necessary for the resuscitation of the medical centre. It is my belief that within the next one year, all tests and medical examinations for our new intakes as well as old members of the University community would be conducted at the Medical Centre with the attendant revenue accruing directly to the university.
In catering for this eventuality, we have started building a new clinic with an increased number of bed spaces, to engage more doctors, nurses and other paramedicals.
- The Imo State University hosted the Medical Games in which medical students from 18 higher institutions in the country participated in the 15th biennial Nigerian Medical Students Association (NiMSA) Games tagged: "Imo 2014." When the medal chart was unveiled, IMSU topped the list with 61 points and got 11 gold, four silver and five bronze medals.
- Also the IMSU Debating Union has recorded these summary achievements: -
Champions, Nigeria Nationals in 2011; Finalists, Nigeria Nationals 2013, (there was none held in 2012); 3rd Place Team, ANUDC Finals 2013; Best Adjudicators, Nigeria Nationals 2013; Chair of Panels on various occasions at Nationals 2013.
At Africa level, the following: Broke 2 teams (out of 4) at Pan African Union Debating Championships [PAUDC] 2013; Quarterfinalists at PAUDC 2013; Top 5 Nigerian Best Speakers at PAUDC 2013; Chair of Panels on some occasions at PAUDC 2013; 3rd Place Team, Ghana Tertiary Debating Championship (GTDC); 3rd Best Debater, GTDC; Champion, Public Speaking Challenge, GTDC; Best Public Speaker, UNILAG 2015.
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