As the battle for the position of Vice Chancellorship in the University of Calabar thickens, Primetimevoice authoritatively gathered that the aspirants for the plum job has swollen from the initial nine (9) to fifteen (15) with five (5) applying from other universities outside the University of Calabar Community.
In a media forum with Prof Florence Banku Obi, a high ranking Professor of 13 years who is the foremost candidate for the Vice Chancellor in the University of Calabar. She present an intimidating credentials which include but not limited to being former, Deputy-Vice Chancellor (Academic): 2 tenure Dean and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Education, Deputy Director, CES and former Head of Department of Environmental Education with over 60 publications to her credit in both local and peer-review journals of high repute.
Being a team player and mentor with a wide range of academic experience, she has supervised over 30 post graduate Diploma projects, 12 Master's Degree Theses and 8 Ph.D Dissertations and has so far assessed 13 persons for Professorial positions.
Having served the University for over 3 decades (30 years), Obi has been external examiner assesor and visiting Professor (including Erasmus Mundus lecturer) to several universities within and outside Nigeria. A computer savvy and digitally driven, she enjoys networking with several online academic communities to advance the frontiers of knowledge especially on topical issues such as contemporary pedagogical methods, skills acquisition entrepreneurship and inclusive education.
She was, Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development and member of the Cross River State Executive Council; pioneer Member of the Cross River State Carnival Commission; and Country Coordinator; European Union, funded Erasmus Mundus Kite 2 Programme where she attracted £995million as grant for capacity building across the entire Nigerian universities with University of Calabar being the biggest beneficiary.
University of Calabar community attested to Prof. Obi's indefatigable inclination to quality in all fronts during her inaugural lecture on 26 February, 2020. She stands extremely as the University Don who has fought persistently, without fear of favour, against all shades of vices on campus.
She is one of the lecturers in UniCal, who has never succumbed to the unwarrantable pressure of sorting, victimization, and unjust treatment of students and colleagues among others. In fact, Prof. Obi is one lecturer who will go out of her way to assist and fight for students who are victimized.
To buttress her person, Prof. Obi had this to say in her inaugural lecture text: "In this era where the average Nigerian think that all lecturers are corrupt and live off their students, I pride myself as one of the many lecturers who has never been sorted directly or indirectly by the thousands of students I have taught in the past 30 years".
The likes of Prof. Obi is a discipline and thorough bred academic in the University of Calabar are rear. Suffice that with Prof. Obi, as the Vice Chancellor, the prevailing sex for marks grades and other forms of sexual harassment especially female students, and other fraudulent academic practices in the University of Calabar shall go into extinction.
In terms of academic quality assurance, there is no doubt that Prof. Obi is the only candidate in the 45 years old UniCal who has been privileged to serve as member of the Board of the National Universities Commission (NUC) which is the supervisory body of Nigerian Universities. While on the Board of NUC, she was Member, Quality Assurance Committee (QAC); Member, University Development Committee (UDC), and Member Finance and General Purpose Committee (F&GPC).
The experience gathered in her four years stay on the NUC board ably prepared her to efficiently and effectively provide first class leadership as Vice Chancellor. It is also worth mentioning that NUC's major quality assurance exercises in the Nigerian University System (NUS) are Institutional Accreditation, Programme Accreditation and Resource Verification.
Available record shows that Prof. Obi is leading in the frequency of participation in Programme Accreditation and Resource Verification across a wide range of Federal, State, Private Universities and Affiliated Institutions since 2008, till date. She remain the only scholar in UniCal who participated in the only/maiden Institutional Accreditation exercise in the Nigerian University System which took place in 2011.
In addition, to the foregoing, she has taken part as panel member in the drafting of Benchmark Minimum Academic Standards (BMAS) for some programmes in Nigerian Universities.
In the light of the foregoing, there is no gainsaying that the name 'Professor Florence Obi' is synonymous to quality University education. Her commitment as always, to extant quality assurance policies of NUC has so far birthed the establishment of the Department of Environmental Education, Special Education, Education and Social Science, Education Arts, Education Science, and Guidance and Counselling in the Faculty of Education and 22 NUC-approved affiliation programmes in the Federal College of Education Obudu, Cross River State and the College of Education, Kastina-Ala, Benue State, all to the credit of the University.
Penchant for quality should also be a major consideration in selecting the next Vice Chancellor of UniCal. The time to take the University to unprecedented greater heights is now. For quality University education in UniCal, give it to Professor Florence Banku Obi, the Czar of quality Education.
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