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Why host areas insist on indigenes as vice chancellors, by ex-VC Fajana

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Prof. Sola Fajana

Former Vice Chancellor, Joseph Ayo Babalola University (JABU), Osun State, Prof. Sola Fajana, has listed economic gains and political benefits as likely reasons why host communities insist on indigene as a vice chancellor.

Fajana, in a chat with The Guardian on the incessant clamour for indigene as vice chancellor, said development and economic opportunities that come with establishment of a new university are enormous, and as such, attract interests from different quarters.

He said a pattern has emerged whereby university towns develop rapidly on account of the development-oriented multiplier effects that higher institutions bring to the host communities.

“Insisting on indigene as a qualification for the appointment of a vice chancellor is unfortunately a further development to the desire of most communities to have a tertiary institution placed within their towns or cities. As I have remarked elsewhere, a university is a full economy in microcosm.

“The socio-economic and political transactions that take place between the campus and the host community necessarily drives rapid development for which the host community enjoys the bigger benefits through provision of food, transportation, housing, and other services to the students and staff, especially where the institution is largely non-residential.

“For this reason, some host communities believe that to maximise the foregoing benefits for their communities, such interests are better served when the chief executive is their own son. He is expected to understand their culture, history, development aspirations, challenges and kindred matters of peculiar interest.”

In as much as the communities have their interest at heart, Fajana advised that host communities should be “educated to accept with openness vice chancellors validly appointed by the Senate.


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