Two years Professor Egwunyenga at DELSU – Opinion – The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News
Professor Andy Egwunyenga, Vice Chancellor of Delta State University Abraka, Nigeria, is without a doubt one of the best prepared Nigerians for such high office.
Even as a child he was outstanding among his peers, and as he grew up from different parts of the country, he picked up different cultural traits from different peoples, giving him a broad national view that discourages ethnocentrism.
He also evolved by exposing himself to various aspects of administration, as director of the Institute of Science Laboratory Technology (ISLT), membership in government and international organizations, chairman of ASUU DELSU and later as rector of Delta State Polytechnic Ogwashi-Uku, that he turned around within a short time.
This background has been a huge asset to him as he respects people based on their intrinsic qualities and not because of their origins. In addition, as a member of the DELSU staff, he has been familiar with the staff for around 30 years, as he addresses almost every DELSU senator by name during the Senate meetings. He is also familiar with the university environment and its problems, which enables him to formulate workable solutions to the problems that “plague” the university and its host communities.
Given the above scenario, it was not surprising that he took off as Vice Chancellor two years ago (December 1, 2019). Its six-point program of building an effective and motivated workforce, seeking innovation through ICT, strengthening faculties and units, emphasizing student well-being, improving the revenue base and applying a new approach to university administration and leadership have resulted in a compass for its administration.
In fact, what was said above effectively and practically summarized the roadmap that he designed for himself as the helmsman at DELSU. He recognized the central importance of the university’s staff structure and the well-being of the students, which are the primary reasons for establishing a university. First and foremost, he eased tension at the university by clearing up many cases of injustice towards staff and students through the establishment of bodies that dealt thoroughly and expeditiously with such issues and gave so many justice and the feeling of being part of the system to be.
His belief in the board system is well established as an effective means of university administration. A university is by definition universal and houses the highest staff possible. But in an effort to personalize college management, many administrators are pushing them into the background, depriving the system of the quality staff it needs to handle its affairs.
Professor Egwunyenga believes that every employee is useful and that by working together much could be achieved in healthy competition among them that promotes high productivity. His use of seniority and competence in appointing employees to various positions is generally welcomed as employee satisfaction has improved significantly. He has also reactivated the Dean’s Office, which provides excellent advice to the University Senate on crucial issues.
As a thoroughbred academic, Egwunyenga emphasized the need to be innovative and seize the opportunities of the ICT revolution from the start of his tenure. He has ordered that all employees should be registered with Google Scholar in order to improve the visibility of the university, as knowledge must be shared in order to be useful. Such a step made the university more visible and also upgraded the university ranking. Currently, the university ranks 31st among Nigerian universities and 8th among state universities.
Embedded in his promise to develop a new approach in university administration is a transparent and prudent handling of scarce resources, especially at universities with, at best, fragile funding. When he took office, he noticed the deficit in a research position and decided to do something about it – look inward! He encouraged non-teaching staff with the appropriate qualifications who were interested in teaching to submit a conversion application. All candidates have been properly screened and those found worthy have been converted to academic staff. Afterwards, an orientation program was organized for them together with the newly hired employees, which for the first time comprised 65 in total at the university.
Without a doubt, the most difficult time for Egwunyenga’s management team was the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has shaken the world to its foundations. In fact, most educational institutions stood for a long time to close. Some even lost a year of study. But Egwunyenga saw it as a challenge and grabbed the bull by the horns. He tapped from his digital “arsenal” and summoned the enterprising ICT directorate of the university and asked them to develop a digital platform to meaningfully interact with the students during the lockdown and even beyond. One such challenge led to the DELSU Learning and Management Systems (DLMS), which made distance learning easier at the time. The university survived without disrupting its academic calendar for 2019/2020.
Since we are in a global village, according to Mcluhan, the activities and achievements of the Egwunyenga administration are public knowledge and many have continued to applaud it. In fact, it has received a flurry of awards and positive mentions over the past two years. One of these awards came from the Parliament of the African Union (ASOP), which gave him the prestigious Pan African Prize of Excellence for his “ perseverance and results-oriented administration, which culminated in the university’s recent repositioning in less than two years to assume responsibility as Vice Chancellor . ” The Association of Vice Chancellors of Nigerian Universities was impressed by DELSU and its managing director for ” your contribution to the development of the Eagle scan software for plagiarism detection, ” writes DELSU News, the official, all shine, all color magazine of the University. Satisfied with the activities and behavior of Egwunyenga, a non-governmental organization, Global Hope and Justice Inc. awarded him an award for excellence as “Champion of Empowerment and Disability Inclusion in Nigeria”.
The mainstream media in Nigeria continue to appreciate the contributions of the renowned Abraka scholar. On July 10, 2021, Sunday quoted Vanguard Egwunyenga in his special section with the tag “ Outstanding Vice-Chancellors Series ”. The newspapers described him as a ” visionary champion of a modern citadel ” and praised him for his innovations, projects, the well-being of employees and students, the improvement of the university rankings, among others
Just days after the Sunday Vanguard Publication, The Guardian, in its “ Special Focus on Most Inspirational Personalities in Nigeria, ” described Egwunyenga as an “ resourceful scholar who puts visions into action at DELSU. ” Most recently, specifically on November 11th, 2021, the Delta State Chapter of the Association of Community Newspapers Publishers also awarded him an award for his outstanding contribution to academic and infrastructural development, including in the university community.
Since the reward for hard work is more work, Egwunyenga, who gives the DELSU an enlightened and committed leadership, has promised himself that he will continue to do his best for the university until his last day in office. His promise to lead, inspire and advance DELSU in all matters remains his guiding principle.
Prof. Nwanne is director of ceremonies, information and public relations at DELSU.