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Tension in UI as Senate meets over Ag VC’s tenure 

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University of Ibadan

The University of Ibadan Senate has summoned an emergency meeting for tomorrow. Facts have emerged that the meeting is considering the elongation of acting Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University, Prof. Babatunde Ekanola’s tenure.

However, some Senate members are already kicking against such elongation.

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It would be recalled that Ekanola was appointed on November 30, 2020, for a period of six months, after the crisis erupted over the appointment of a substantive VC for the premier university, following the expiration of the tenure of the immediate past Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Idowu Olayinka on December 1, 2020. 

Ekanola’s six-month tenure will expire on May 31, 2021.

Some say the planned tenure elongation is contrary to the university laws. They want the Senate to appoint another qualified person in an acting capacity.

It was gathered that lobbying for and against the elongation had begun ahead of tomorrow’s Council meeting.
A circular addressed to the Senate by the Council revealed that an acting VC should not spend more than six months in office.

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The Senate Paper No. 6702 read: “Council Decision to Senate: The expiration of the six-month appointment of the acting Vice-Chancellor (December 1, 2020– May 31, 2021) “Following the expiration of the tenure of Prof. I. A. Olayinka as Vice-Chancellor on November 30, 2020, the Governing Council on the recommendation of the Senate of the University appointed Prof. A. B. Ekanola as Acting Vice-Chancellor for a period of six months, effective December 1, 2020.

“In accordance with the extant law stipulated in the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Act of 2003, Section 5, Sub-section (14), which states that “An Acting Vice-Chancellor in all circumstances, shall not be in office for more than six months”, the attention of Council was drawn to the fact that the six-month appointment of Prof. A. B. Ekanola as Acting Vice-Chancellor would expire on Monday, May 31, 2021.

“However, Council at its meeting of May 5, 2021, noted that the process of appointing a substantive Vice-Chancellor could not be concluded, due to the dissolution of the Governing Council…”

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Speaking on the development, a Professor of Development Communication at the University, Ayobami Ojebode, a  Senate member said: “Whether it is going to be extension or replacement,  the Senate has to decide. Senate elected the acting Vice-Chancellor with an overwhelming majority vote in November. That same Senate has the power to extend his tenure by any number of months it deems fit. I foresee a peaceful and cordial atmosphere in the meeting to take the renewal or extension decision”.

The University’s Director of Communications, Mr. Olatunji Oladejo, confirmed that a meeting of the Senate has been slated for Monday. The university‘s spokesperson, however, said he was not aware of the purpose, adding that there was no tension at the premier university. 

He said: “There is no tension anywhere. The Senate will meet on Monday. I do not know what they want to decide on. I am not a member of the Senate. The Senate is the highest academic regulation body in the university. It has the right to regulate its activities”.

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