No prej­u­dice on staff re­cruit­ment – VC Dutsin-Ma

Daily Trust - - EDUCATION -

You are the pi­o­neer VC of this univer­sity, what are your sig­nif­i­cant achieve­ments? We started aca­demic ac­tiv­i­ties in the 2011/2012 aca­demic year and be­fore tak­ing over the lead­er­ship of the univer­sity, I had goals that I wanted to achieve. The first was to lay a foun­da­tion of a world class univer­sity that is driven by tech­nol­ogy. The sec­ond goal is to pro­mote ex­cel­lence and to en­sure that in what­ever we do, there is eq­uity, jus­tice and fair­ness. And with few months to go from now, I can look back and say that I have been able to meet this ob­jec­tives. The univer­sity was among the nine that were es­tab­lished and the first to grad­u­ate stu­dents. We are also ranked num­ber one among the new univer­si­ties. In fact, the world rank­ing of univer­si­ties has placed this univer­sity as the 14th best univer­sity in Nige­ria. So, we have es­tab­lished a world class univer­sity and we have trained and de­vel­oped our staff with­out depend­ing on any con­sul­tant. Our ser­vices are tech­nol­ogy driven and ser­vice de­liv­ery is very ef­fi­cient be­cause we are the only univer­sity that re­leases ex­ams re­sults in two weeks. Stu­dents do reg­is­tra­tion online, pro­cess­ing of ex­ams re­sults is com­puter based while bur­sary and li­brary ser­vices are online.

The aca­demic pro­grammes we of­fer here in­clude arts, so­cial sciences, man­age­ment sciences, sciences, ed­u­ca­tion and agri­cul­ture. We are pre­par­ing to start en­gi­neer­ing and tech­nol­ogy pro­grammes next year. In specifics, we have English Lan­guage, history, science ed­u­ca­tion, phys­i­cal and health ed­u­ca­tion, an­i­mal and soil sciences, crops and crop pro­tec­tion, fish­ery, po­lit­i­cal science, so­ci­ol­ogy, eco­nom­ics, ac­count­ing etc. All the pro­grammes were ac­cred­ited by the Na­tional Univer­si­ties Com­mis­sion (NUC) and our stu­dents that have grad­u­ated have no prob­lem of mo­bi­liza­tion to NYSC.

The aca­demic briefs of the univer­si­ties have out­lined when the var­i­ous pro­grammes will start and we have just fin­ished with the first phase and go­ing to the sec­ond phase, that is why we are bring­ing in en­gi­neer­ing and tech­nol­ogy cour­ses. In this phase, law will come on board; in fact the Coun­cil and Se­nate have ap­proved the es­tab­lish­ment of these fac­ul­ties. In the third phase, we are go­ing to have en­vi­ron­men­tal sciences, medicine and other key cour­ses.

How have you been able to get the re­quired num­ber of aca­demic staff to meet the de­mand of NUC?

Get­ting aca­demic staff is chal­leng­ing to most new univer­si­ties in­clud­ing old Pro­fes­sor James O. Ay­atse is the pi­o­neer Vice Chan­cel­lor of the Fed­eral Univer­sity Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State. He ex­plains in this in­ter­view how the in­sti­tu­tion faced prob­lems of at­tract­ing and re­tain­ing se­nior lec­tur­ers. He also gives de­tails on the al­le­ga­tions of em­ploy­ment bias made against him by var­i­ous in­ter­est groups in state. univer­si­ties be­cause some of their ca­reers, we did not have any the old hands were mov­ing to prob­lem. The sec­ond chal­lenge newer places. We faced that has been the lay­ing of nec­es­sary chal­lenge, es­pe­cially at the se­nior in­fra­struc­ture to be able to or pro­fes­so­rial cadre and what run aca­demic pro­grammes. we did to be able to meet NUC Again, we faced staff hous­ing ac­cred­i­ta­tion was to at­tract some chal­lenges as well as short­age se­nior aca­demics to come on one of schools where staff will send year sab­bat­i­cal leave as al­lowed their chil­dren to. Many have by the sys­tem and oth­ers to come re­fused to work with us be­cause as vis­it­ing lec­tur­ers. NUC al­lows of these prob­lems es­pe­cially at four of such staff per pro­gramme the stan­dard they want. and that was enough con­sid­er­ing Now, pe­ti­tions arise when what we al­ready had on ground. peo­ple think that their

In terms of phys­i­cal fa­cil­i­ties, ex­pec­ta­tions are not met and you the chal­lenge is that we are find them in public in­sti­tu­tions still at the take- off cam­pus, like ours. It will in­ter­est you to there­fore the fa­cil­i­ties here know that 56 per cent of the staff are not ex­cel­lent that is why here are from the North-West we have full ac­cred­i­ta­tion for re­gion and 45.5 per cent are some pro­grammes and in­terim from Katsina State. Benue State, ac­cred­i­ta­tion for oth­ers. We are where I come from, has only 12 con­fi­dent that be­fore the end per cent and so, when peo­ple of the ses­sion, we’d move to com­plain about marginal­iza­tion the per­ma­nent site and when I will re­ally won­der be­cause this the ac­cred­i­ta­tion team comes is a fed­eral in­sti­tu­tion and one in two years, we will have full state alone is con­tribut­ing over ac­cred­i­ta­tion. We did well in the 40 per cent. May be some­body ar­eas of staffing and cur­ricu­lum ap­plied and was not em­ployed but had chal­lenges in phys­i­cal and there­fore he can au­thor a struc­ture. pe­ti­tion.

What is your view on fund­ing Katsina has more than its fair and the re­cent gov­ern­ment share of staff dis­tri­bu­tion and de­ci­sion to adopt Sin­gle the lion’s share go to Dutsin-Ma Trea­sury Ac­count (TSA)? lo­cal gov­ern­ment area fol­lowed

When the univer­si­ties by Katsina lo­cal gov­ern­ment. were es­tab­lished, the fed­eral In fact, there are some lo­cal gov­ern­ment ap­proved the take­off gov­ern­ment ar­eas that have grants of N1.5 bil­lion for each very lit­tle rep­re­sen­ta­tion and we through the Ter­tiary Ed­u­ca­tion are try­ing to ad­dress that. We Trust Fund (TETFund). We are work­ing with the Fed­eral didn’t have chal­lenges in Char­ac­ter Com­mis­sion on that. ac­cess­ing the funds be­cause I have a file in my of­fice for we were able to put our pa­per pe­ti­tions and I have even been work to­gether in good time. in­vited to the Na­tional Assem­bly Gov­ern­ment also ap­proved over em­ploy­ments. Many peo­ple N2 bil­lion for the projects at apol­o­gized to me when they the per­ma­nent sites and the saw the sta­tis­tics. In fact, many projects are be­ing han­dled by the peo­ple were at­tack­ing me on min­istry of ed­u­ca­tion to­gether why the univer­sity em­ployed with the NUC. The con­tracts more peo­ple from Katsina State were awarded in Abuja and the and yet, the Katsina peo­ple con­trac­tors were paid there. We were writ­ing pe­ti­tions against would have ex­pected the projects me. Some of the pe­ti­tions are to be de­liv­ered now. They were from Dutsin-Ma and the staff sup­posed to be de­liv­ered in 2013 em­ployed from Dutsin-Ma in but there were chal­lenges and the state univer­sity are not up to they could not be handed over. those we em­ployed.

On the is­sue of TSA in Some lawyers from Dutsin-Ma which gov­ern­ment di­rected all lo­cal gov­ern­ment area took agen­cies to com­ply, at the end me to court over al­le­ga­tion of of the dead­line on Septem­ber re­cruit­ment bias. They said 15, all our funds were swept to ma­jor­ity of the staff were from Cen­tral Bank of Nige­ria (CBN). Benue State where I come In terms of how easy it will be from. The sta­tis­tics of staff they for us to func­tion, it is early to at­tached to the af­fi­davit showed com­ment be­cause the pol­icy is that Katsina has 46 per cent of at the level of im­ple­men­ta­tion staff and Benue has 12 per cent. and chal­lenges have not even That case had been thrown out. un­folded. The de­tails of how we are go­ing to use the monies have not been re­leased to us. They are still do­ing some tech­ni­cal work and all we de­sire is that it should be ex­pe­dited so that we can get the funds be­cause with­out those funds, a lot of ac­tiv­i­ties will be grounded. We can’t even buy diesel to run our gen­er­a­tors but I be­lieve the pol­icy is for the good of the na­tion.

We thought univer­si­ties are not rev­enue gen­er­at­ing cen­ters and should be ex­empted; we don’t charge tu­ition fee; the money we get from stu­dents is third party money. In fact in smaller univer­si­ties like ours, there is no econ­omy of scales, so you have to look for funds else­where to be able to de­liver ser­vices. It is some­thing that is done in de­vel­oped na­tions and I be­lieve if we have the struc­ture to do it, it will be good for the coun­try.

There was a pe­ti­tion re­cently about marginal­iza­tion in the re­cruit­ment ex­er­cises con­ducted by the univer­sity...

As a new univer­sity, we had a lot of chal­lenges but the com­plaints about em­ploy­ment were not se­ri­ous chal­lenges. The most dif­fi­cult chal­lenge was at­tract­ing peo­ple es­pe­cially at the se­nior cadre to come and work in Dutsin-Ma. A lot of peo­ple con­sider it a hard place to re­lo­cate to. Staff that had been es­tab­lished in some places for some years found it dif­fi­cult to come but for peo­ple start­ing

Pro­fes­sor Ay­atse

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