The authorities of the Osun State University, on Thursday, announced the appointment of a Professor of geo-technical engineering, Afeez Bello, as an acting vice-chancellor, following the controversies surrounding the selection process for the appointment of a substantive vice-chancellor and the expiration of the incumbent’s term of office.
Bello, who until his latest appointment, was the deputy vice-chancellor in charge of administration and development, will resume office as vice chancellor of the institution on 5th of November.
The outgoing vice-chancellor, Labo Popoola, a Professor of forest economics, is expected to leave office on Thursday and return to the University of Ibadan where he is a serving lecturer.
While announcing the appointment on Wednesday, University’s pro-chancellor and chairman of the governing council, Yusuf Alli, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria disclosed that the appointment became imperative following controversy surrounding the selection process.
Alli reaffirmed the commitment of the university management to abide by the verdicts of the court, adding that Bello’s appointment was to avoid a vacuum in the university administration.
The university, in July, published an advertorial announcing vacancy for the position of vice-chancellorship in the university, and listed the criteria to be met by the applicants.
Some of the criteria noted that applicants must, among others, be in possession of a PhD certificate, have a research gate score of 15.0 and 800 citations, must have published, at least, 50 research articles, 20 of which must have been published in what is called high impact journals “as defined by Thomson Reuters ISI and Web of Science.
The advertisement also stated that a minimum of 10 of the research articles must have been published in the high impact journals and must have been published in the past three years, and that applicants must have ability to attract local and international research grants “with evidence of having won and led, at least, 10 local and internationally funded researches.”
Some stakeholders, who was not please by listed criteria, accused the selection committee of having hidden agenda, adding that set criteria are not in line with the institution’s laws and regulations.
Osun State chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in August, held a media briefing in the state capital where its announced the rejection what it described as the dichotomy between PhD certificate and medical fellowship. The body, alongside other Professors, approached a law court to seek intervention.
Following the litigation, the university authorities in September said it had halted the selection process pending the determination of the matter.