The new substantive Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University of Calabar, (UniCal), Prof Florence Banku-Obi, has been sworn in to head the institution.
Profsessor Banku-Obi is the first female and 11th substantive Vice Chancellor after 45 years of its establishment.
Speaking shortly after her investiture, Tuesday, the new VC restated her commitment to the enthronement of a culture of academic excellence and pledged to ensure quality research output, good teaching, learning atmosphere, integrity of examination result as well as the reinforcement of quality assurance mechanism at all spheres, including the departmental level.
During her tenure, she said, accountability, transparency, truth and courage would be a priority, and gave assurance that her tenure would also witness staff motivation for optimum productivity.
“As a psychologist, I shall deploy the concept of effective motivation, which connects the personal goals, and needs of the worker to our goals as a University. I expect attitudinal change from all categories of staff in terms of commitment to their schedule of duty in appreciation of the new administration disposition to welfare.
“Let it be clear to all, that this administration will effectively use the carrot and stick approach to increase productivity and I will maintain a cordial working relationship with the various unions on campus.
“Therefore, I implore the leadership of the various university-based labour unions, while constructively engaging management on genuine issues bothering on their members welfare to also make time to counsel their members to desist from unwholesome practices that will pinch administration against staff,” she said.
In her remarks, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of University of Calabar Governing Council, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, said her robust engagements with Prof. Banku-Obi after the selection exercise in September further deepened her confidence in the power of her vision, resourcefulness, competence and passion to provide the leadership that would produce concrete result.
“I am very optimistic that she will succeed, and to succeed, your support is pivotal, without which moving the University will only remain a mirage. I am conscious of the weighty responsibility that history has placed on her shoulder as the first female VC of Unical affer 45 years of its existence.
“Prof. Obi is ready to bring all that God endowed her in scholarship, mortherliness, entrepreneurial, advocacy and pragmatic leadership for the growth of the University. To be on the right side of history, we must rise to the duty of committing ourselves to the task of building the University by playing whatever role is expected of us with seriousness and honesty,” she said.
Sen Nwaogu charged members of the University community to encourage and support the new VC and her administration to provide the leadership that would deal with the problems at hand.
Present at the occasion to witness Banku-Obi’s investiture were the deputy governor of Cross River state Prof. Ivara Esu, former governor of Cross River state Mr Donald Duke, Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly Mr Eteng Jonah-Williams, VCs from other institutions as well as a mammoth crowd of friends, well wishers and members of the university community.