The investiture ceremony witnessed by family and friends of the new Vice-Chancellor also had in attendance the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Alfred Achebe and founder of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Fola Adeola.
In her speech, Prof. Ogunsola said the investiture is unique as it coincides with the 60th anniversary of the University and also being the first female Vice-Chancellor of the institution.
She said in the last 60 years, the University has distinguished itself by the excellent caliber of its students, alumni and staff, and its impact on National Development.
” In those 60 years, the University successfully nurtured over 200,000 graduates who have made indelible impact across all spheres of life, locally and globally.
“Significant as these impacts are, technological innovations are challenging universities to achieve even more in a few years, what it took them, in the past, decades to achieve.”
She added that as the world moves rapidly into the 4th industrial revolution, there has been a marked acceleration in the rate at which knowledge is generated and rendered obsolete.
According to her, there has also been an upsurge in disruptive technologies with a convergence of the physical, biological, and digital worlds. “Navigating this space requires adaptation and reorientation of our thinking to create a future-ready workforce that is intellectually nimble, creative, problem solving, collaborative, and globally and locally impactful.
“Achieving all these requires innovative and visionary leadership that is committed to inspiring and preparing staff and students for this rapidly unfolding future.
“It was for this reason I put myself forward as Vice Chancellor. I am not unmindful, however, of the weaknesses and threats to our endeavours as a university which include inadequate funding, aging infrastructure, inadequate ICT infrastructure, high costs of public utilities services especially electricity and the constant disruptions to the academic calendar.
“I have therefore committed myself to working with the governing council, staff, students, alumni, and all friends of our university not only to overcome our present challenges but to create the University that can prepare us for the rapidly changing future.
“My tenure is coming at an exciting time when Nigerian universities are being given the freedom by the National Universities commission (NUC) to develop courses with their own distinct flavour through the recently released CCMAS. (Core-curriculum minimum academic standards) which replaced the very restrictive basic minimum academic standards. We, through our Senate, intend to use this to achieve the goal of developing work ready and entrepreneurial students,” she stated.
Speaking at the investiture ceremony, the Deputy Executive Secretary, National Universities Commission (NUC), Dr. Chris Maiyaki, who represented the Visitor to UNILAG, said the process of performance evaluation has left much to be desired in our universities.
His words: “There is a gradual erosion of order in assessments and promotions at all levels. The intellectual space has shrunken to the extent that there is a subversion of the age-long and most cherished tradition and prestige of the academia.
“It is no longer news that some among the professors have questionable credentials. You must out of necessity, ensure that the reward system is based on hard work and academic credibility/influence, and not solely on belonginess to trite formations designed to gain prebendal footholds.”
The government further observed that leadership capacities have drifted in the direction of ability to dominate university politics and mobilise ethnoreligious sentiments.
On the issues of funding and resource mobilisation, Maiyaki said the fundamental error is often to think that money is the problem always and that all problems are solvable with more money in the system.
Said he: “Truth must be told that although there is a recognition that funding is a problem, the dynamics axes of academic freedom, creativity and innovation have shrunken so much in the universities to the extent that they have diminished compromised their capacities to meet their obligations to the nation, communities and students alike.”
He said Prof. Ogunsola has joined the league of female vice-chancellors in the NUC, having emerged as the first female VC of UNILAG, 60 years after its establishment.
He stated that NUC would encourage female participation and women empowerment in university affairs.
In his speech, the Pro-Chancellor and chairman Governing Council of UNILAG, Dr. Olanrewaju Tejuoso, said the council made good selection and acknowledged that many qualified candidates applied for the VC job.
Tejuoso said Prof. Ogunsola investiture is an indication that UNILAG is set to move to the next level and would witness growth in academic development.