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OAU New VC Resumes, Seeks Cooperation from Workers, Students

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Message from the Vice Chancellor, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-ife, Nigeria

The Dawn of a New Era

Dear colleagues, students and other stakeholders in the Great Ife Project, it gives me great joy

to welcome you to the dawn of a new era as I assume office today (24th June, 2016) as the new

Vice Chancellor of this University. I am not unmindful of the humongous challenges of my new

responsibility as the 11th Vice Chancellor of this great institution, especially within the context

of our experience of the most recent past. We cannot lose sight of the fact that it is a very trying

period of our enviable history. Nonetheless, the work of moving our university to the next level

must be done, as I pledged to do prior to my appointment. Let me make a clarion call on all

stakeholders, including all staff, our alumni, friends, benefactors as well as all and sundry to join

hands with this new administration which has pledged to be firm, just, equitable and

independent in running the affairs of our institution. If there are groups or individuals with any

concern, this administration is ever ready to engage such constructively in a round-table so as to

amicably resolve matters, instead of resorting to any self-help that may lead to disruptions and

disturbances to members of the community. Let us all remember that this is our common

heritage and whatever we do to promote, nurture, sabotage or destroy it will be documented

for posterity.

Our university, as an enviable citadel of learning thrives on hybridization and cross-fertilization

of ideas. In Ife, there is always and always will be space to think, express our views both in

words and enlightened actions or else, we are not worthy of our name as a university. OAU is

therefore, a freedom land where intellectualism must drive our differences and harmonise our

energies for the sole purpose of enriching our students- the only reason for the existence of this

university community. This is no doubt, a noble time of courage, discipline and daring vision.

However, our community cannot sacrifice two dynamics of freedom and academic progress:

truth and discipline. It was Plato who said to Aristotle, “You are my friend but truth is my greater

friend.” In a time when tertiary institutions like ours are competing with the ever-increasing but

much newer universities, we must as a community shun untruth and embrace our

opportunities. On the other hand indiscipline is neither a friend of truth nor progress. This is the

time we must celebrate our values, uphold our principles and stick to our laws.

I know the time has come for a constant dialogue between the leadership and the community

about our common interest and I shall practice that. I wish to assure everyone that yesterday is

gone, and a new dawn is here! This is a University with great potentials that we must all agree to

properly harness for the good of all.

I once again pledge to work for the greater good of our great citadel of learning, and making the

legitimate welfare of all stakeholders a priority. The time-tested committee system of the

university shall be upheld and the administration shall adopt an open door policy where anyone

with any valuable contribution shall be welcomed.

I hereby appeal to all and sundry to join hands with me in a bid to move this institution to higher

grounds. I envision this administration as the bridge between our past that we cherish and the

future that we admire. As encapsulated in my Vision Statement, I am aware that history beckons

on me as the new Vice-Chancellor not only to be able to sustain the gains of the past, but to also

be able to capacitize the system for innovative strides at the onset of a new ‘decade’ in the

annals of the governance of the University. It is now my responsibility for the next 5 years to be

a catalyst for change by demonstrating a genuine commitment to academic renaissance, re-

invigorating the learning environment, staff and students’ welfare, networking and consensus

building within the system. I must hasten to add that all these laudable objectives can only be

achievable if we all join hands together to move our beloved institution forward. It is my strong

desire and hope that this new dawn will be remembered for progress, academic breakthroughs

and our citizen’s great welfare. This requires that all hands must be on the deck and I, on my

part, hereby extend my hand of friendship and reconciliation to everyone. I am determined to

embrace this opportunity for service with singularity of purpose, majesty of the spirit and

fidelity of intention. Individually we can make a difference but together we can make an impact.

God bless you.

Professor Ayobami Salami

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