‘’UNIVERSITY IS A PLACE FOR INFORMED DEBATES, IDEA GENERATION’’, SAYS FUNAI VC
The Vice Chancellor of Federal University Ndufu Alike Ikwo (FUNAI), Ebonyi State, Professor Chinedum Nwajiuba has reiterated his irrevocable commitment towards making the institution a world class University by ensuring that culture of idea generation, originality and informed debates among staff was entrenched, adding that without punctuality, total commitment to duty and decency, the University cannot take its proper position in the society.
The Vice Chancellor who spoke during a leadership and Service Delivery workshop organized by the University as part of its effort in building the capacities of staff, said many really need to grasp the concept of a ’University’ because ‘’University is not just a space’’ as erroneously thought by many, but ‘’an assemblage of scholars’’ geared towards thinking out of the box to solve problems confronting society.
He decried the dearth of excellence and integrity among staff of many Nigerian Universities, noting that irresponsible relationships among some lecturers and students was largely responsible for the waning value of the University as a place where the society looks up to for direction.
Recalling how the lecturers of his days were viewed with reverence and awe because of their excellent knowledge and unquestionable integrity, and the special place they occupied in the society, Professor Nwajiuba queried: ‘’How did we now get to the level where a lecturer sells books to students in his office and writes their names as a continuous assessment? How exactly did we get to the level of becoming booksellers?”
‘’How did we now get to the level where our female students are prostitutes in our Universities? I remember in my undergraduate days, before you talk to female students, you must first of all muster courage and organise yourself very well. How did we get to the level where female staff fight over men in the offices?”
The Vice Chancellor recalled with nostalgia what informed his decision to become an academic, stating that it was informed by how lecturers conducted and carried themselves in those good old days. “They were very decent and were highly respected anywhere they found themselves. In fact merely going through their offices with their names on their doors was just enough motivation to be a lecturer”, he stated.
Professor Nwajiuba further stated that at the heart of University culture were originality, idea generation and debate, noting that there was no certainty of knowledge and advised staff to always strive to plant trees that others would eat from.
Delivery a lecture on effective service delivery, the head, SERVICOM Unit of the University, Miss Nneka Ifeobu said service failure was when a customer is not satisfied with services rendered to him/her and employed to be efficient in discharging their responsibilities. She added that the SERVICOM Unit has the mandate to ensure strict compliance of staff to sound ethics in workplace.
Ms Ifeobu urged staff of the University to take their duties seriously by coming to work regularly and on time, noting that absenteeism, lateness to work and other elements of service failures were unethical, and so punishable.
Speaking on Service and Service Delivery, Dr. (Mrs) B. N Okezie , urged staff of the University to always exhibit high sense of courtesy in handling students, admonishing them to always consider their conscience in the discharge of their duties for effective service delivery.
She harped on the need for staff to always consider God and the consequences of their actions in dealing with students and other customers of the University.
On his part, Professor Michael Ugwu Onuu called on members of staff to show high level of commitment to duty as true leaders irrespective of their levels, urging them to emulate the passion, dedication and doggedness of the Vice Chancellor in pursuing the vision of the University.
Highlighting the qualities of good leaders, the Professor of Physics said high performing leaders were those who persevere, who are always persistent and highly focused towards the achievement of their organizational goals and added that: ‘’leadership is not condition specifics.’’ Hence one shouldn’t wait for perfect condition before carrying out assigned duties but should make good use of available time and resources to achieve optimum results.
The Workshop was the first phase of many capacity building programmes to be organized for the senior staff of the University geared towards enhancing their job performance and productivity.