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ICOMAA News

Invocation Ceremony Provost Olayinka Olusola Omigbodun

Aug 03, 2020

REMARKS BY THE VICE-CHANCELLOR UNIVERSITY OF IBADAN AT THE INVOCATION CEREMONY AT THE ASSUMPTION OF OFFICE OF THE 12TH PROVOST OF THE COLLEGE OF MEDICINE

From 9:45 hours till 9:54 hours on Monday 3rd August 2020 at the Boardroom of the College

My Lord, the Rev'd Canon A. A. Adebayo, Vicar of the Anglican Church of the Messiah and his amiable wife

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration), Professor Kayode Adebowale, mni

The Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), Prof Adebola Ekanola

The Provost, Professor Olayinka Olusola Omigbodun, FAS and her darling husband, Prof Akinyinka Omigbodun, FAS, himself a former Provost of the College

The Chief Medical Director of the University College Hospital, Professor Jesse Otegbayo

The Dean of Basic Medical Sciences, Prof S. B. Olaleye, who was re-elected unopposed for a second term (perhaps because comes from a one-party Faculty)

The Dean of Clinical Sciences, Professor Mayowa Owolabi, who is starting a second term after a keenly contested election

The new Dean of Public Health, Prof G.R.E.E. Ana

The new Dean of Dentistry, Prof Juliana Taiwo

The Chaplain, Christ’s Chapel, University College Hospital, Ibadan, and Pioneer Director of the Institute for Cardiovascular Diseases, UI, The Rev’d Canon Professor S. I. Omokhodion

Our icon, the first female Professor in the Nigerian University System and aunt of the celebrant, our Mama, Professor Adetowun Ogunsheye, D.Litt (Ibadan, honoris causa), Alumna 1948, the first Female Professor and the first Female Dean of Education in Nigeria

All the Principal Officers of the College

All Deans, Directors and Heads of Departments

The President, Ibadan College of Medicine Alumni Association (ICOMAA) Worldwide, and Head of Physiotherapy, Professor Fatai Adeniyi

The Emeritus President of ICOMAA Worldwide and Chairman of UI Ventures Ltd, Dr Abib Olamitoye

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen

It is a pleasure for me to be here at the invocation ceremony to usher in the reign of the 12th Provost of our College of Medicine and the first female to occupy that position, Professor Olayinka Olusola Omigbodun, Fellow, Nigerian Academy of Science. She is a woman of many firsts. As we all know she brings into this new position the distinction of being the first female Professor of Psychiatry in Nigeria.

I imagine that Prof Olayinka Omigbodun must have spent at least the last four years in preparing for this position that she is assuming effectively from today as the Provost. She contested the post four years ago but she was unable to garner enough votes to see here through. I remember running into her soon after that her failed bid to be Provost. She asked me why I did not sympathise with her for the electoral loss she suffered. I merely uttered some incomprehensible murmurs in the form of an apology. As we say quite often, God’s time is the best. Consequently, we are very happy that her own time has now come and we celebrate with her and her family on the occasion of this invocation ceremony.

I have in the past few years worked closely with Professor Olayinka Omigbodun during her stint as Head of Psychiatry and the Director of the Centre of Excellence for Child & Adolescent Mental Health (CCAMH). Everyone who has spoken here this morning has talked about her passion for excellence and hard work. I am vey optimistic that this will be of immense help to her in this very difficult POST-COVID era characterised by dwindling financial resources.

Two institutions are reputed, by their nature, to be among the most conservative in the world, for which reason they have survived over the ages. These are the Church and the University. As a result, we at the University of Ibadan subscribe to keeping our muchcherished tradition. I remember a discussion I had with a colleague, the immediate past Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon, Accra, Ghana. He said to me that during his tenure some staff of his University requested him to install approve a redesign of ‘The Great Hall’ in order to accommodate air conditioning units. He retorted that he was not ready to change the tradition of Legon since all the Vice-Chancellors before him had maintained that same culture. At Ibadan, headship of the various academic such as Provosts, Deans, Directors and Heads of Departments change hands on 1st August. Unfortunately it has been almost impossible to keep this tradition this year on account of the national strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which started on 9th March 2020, first as a two-week warning strike and from 23rd March 2020 till date as a total, indefinite and comprehensive strike.

I have had numerous occasions to explain to whoever cares to listen that I am not interested in who becomes the Provost, Dean, Director or Head of Department, except that of the Department of Geology, where I have a say. There are enough rules and guidelines in our books to take care of the process of appointing a new helmsman. Anything to the contrary would be arbitrary and make the Vice-Chancellor a monster by hand-picking colleagues which is not a sustainable model in our very liberal environment.

We thank God for divine wisdom and the inner strength which have made it possible for the new Provost College of Medicine, Dean of Basic Medical Sciences, Dean of Clinical Sciences, Dean of Public Health and Dean of Dentistry (in the College of Medicine), as well as the Dean of the Social Sciences, Dean of Law and Dean of Economics and Management Sciences to resume two days ago, although today is their first working day. The past four months have been to me extremely traumatic, in trying to think of ways of getting round the problem and ensuring a smooth transition. Nonetheless, we are delighted that about 70 of our colleagues have either been freshly appointed or re-appointed. I wish all of them a successful tenure.

Once again, I congratulate our new Provost Professor Olayinka Olusola Omigbodun. I wish you a successful tenure, Madam.

Thank you for listening.

Idowu Olayinka

Vice-Chancellor

University of Ibadan

Monday, 3rd August 2020