Tuesday, September 8, 2020

Alex Ekwueme Federal University New DVC (Academics) Vows To Maintain Standard Of Seriousness

The Senate of Alex Ekwueme Federal University Ndufu – Alike, Ebonyi State, overwhelmingly elected the Dean, School of Post-Graduate Studies, Prof Dennis Akoh, new Deputy Chancellor (Academic), at the 62nd Extra-ordinary meeting of Thursday, August 27, 2020, held at the University Convocation Arena. Prof Akoh takes over from Prof Sunday Elom, whose tenure as DVC (Academic), just elapsed.

University PRO, Chris Akubuiro, welcoming new DVC, Prof Dennis Akoh to his office

In a chat with University Public Relations Officer, Prof Akoh said his winning to become DVC was God’s doing stating that he never saw it coming and that the whole process was so peaceful and matured, without influences from any quarters whatsoever, so it became a surprise that he, out of all the professors who are all qualified to occupy the position was chosen. He vowed to get more committed to delivering on his new responsibility and ensure he does not disappoint all those who elected him, the university authorities who have found him worthy of such high position and the confidence and trust so reposed in him.

Prof. Akoh speaking during the chat

Continuing on the election, Prof Akoh reiterated simply that at the risk of not sounding clichéd,”I will say it is God”, pointing out that in the character and policy of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof Chinedum Nwajiuba, politicking and campaigning for such positions are not allowed in the university, as in the cases of political parties and some institutions thereby putting any aspirant at more advantage over others. He revealed that his was a pleasant surprise given that he was already reappointed Dean, SPGS by management, which foreclosed his considering himself available for the position of DVC and also from all the permutations among staff, he was not counted as frontline choice. As he stated in his acceptance speech, he  not the most qualified as every Professor was qualified to be DVC of a university but maintains that it was just divine providence that he was overwhelmingly chosen.

In the course of the discussion, the DVC (Academic) asserted that he has held many academic and administrative positions at Osun State University, prior to his being invited over to AE- FUNAI, for the purpose of starting off the Theatre Arts degree progromme. These positions, apart from membership of committees, include Examination Officer for three sessions, an unlikely record, Head of Department, Sub- Dean of  Faculty for three years, Acting Dean and later Dean of Faculty, Head of one of the six campuses of the university, Director of General Studies, among others, pointing out that his first shocker when he joined AE-FUNAI was his appointment as Head of Fine and Applied Arts, a department that was not his discipline but that at the end of his special assignment there, he was appointed Director of Research and later Dean, SPGS and now DVC. He is also a University Council member. Prof Akoh said that he was invited initially to start a programme which had received the nod of the NUC and that he intended to commence the programme, build capacity,  and recruit strong hands to run the programme, so, he was not looking for position but to teach, build capacity and mentor junior colleaguesc 

Despite his earlier plan, Prof Akoh was caught in the web of serving in various capacities and in most cases, working with the VC, Prof Nwajiuba and in the process, according to him, he realized that “working with a man who is in a hurry to succeed, you must have this energy to work at his pace. I have studied him and worked with him, I am committed to ensuring that this ball set rolling by him, will not be stopped by anybody coming in as VC, otherwise he will have us to contend with”, he vowed. He reiterated his stand that as DVC, Academic, he and other officers will do their best to work with whoever is coming to take over from Prof Nwajiuba as VC, but will not allow the standard to be brought lower.

Prof Akoh further pledged that he will not in any way betray the trust, affirming that his hands will be on deck with other Principal Officers of the university to ensure that the vision is kept afloat and realized. He recounted the numerous commendations the VC and his team have received and keep receiving each time  they are out to represent the university on external conferences, workshops and conventions such as Oil and Gas forum, TETFund and other official engagements and promised to work together with the university authorities to keep such public disposition to the young university alive.

The DVC (Academic) enthused that the greatest thing that has happened to him is working with men and women who have capacity to work and that he has learnt so much from the VC, Prof Nwajiuba’s decisions and actions this while. According to him, “Success is about that focused leadership, which has brought us where we are in the university; using limited resources to accomplish so much tasks”. He added that in the first instance, he could not have successfully worked with the VC if they were on parallel lines. He stressed on his pedigree about focus and conviction on task, and objective, which makes it difficult to make him change his conviction: “I saw a VC that is blessed with wisdom, which makes it possible for him to excel and having gone through proper mentorship right from my tender age, I have the capacity to deliver. Once I accept to do a job, I do not fail and I have no apology for doing what is right. As a child of God, we believe in integrity and I have energy to deliver on my responsibilities as DVC”.

Prof Akoh further averred that it is their responsibility as sitting officers to let any coming VC understand that the administration has to run with the vision as AE-FUNAI is a university on a mission and the wording of the university anthem is enough information and guide. He concluded with these words, “I have intimidating confidence as a man of faith, I believe we are matching ahead to greater heights, and the dream will not die”.

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