The controversy lingering in the premier Rivers State University of Science and Technology, RSUST, Nkpolu Oroworukwo, Port Harcourt, over who to appoint as the next Vice Chancellor of the institution after the expiration of the tenure of the present VC, Professor Barineme Beke Fakae, this August, has finally been laid to rest as Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi the governor of Rivers State has re-appointed the incumbent V.C as new Acting Vice Chancellor of the institution.
It would be recalled that Professor Fakae was confirmed the vice chancellor of the RSUST by Rt. Hon. Amaechi on 1st August 2008 in his first tenure, and was given the mandate to rescue the university from its state of utter neglect and near collapse as well as to bring it to a world class standard where it would be able to meet the challenges of the 21st century and compete favourably with other renown university.
Few months after his appointment, there were criticisms within the university environment, the senate and other academic and non academic bodies of the institution against his appointment as VC of the institution, emphasizing that professor Fakae was unqualified to be the VC. There reason was that he has not got ten years experience as professor, as the criteria for the appointment of a vice chancellor in any university demanded.
They also accused him of introducing policies in the university without consulting them. The Rivers State House of Assembly intervened in the matter through the Education Committee of the RSHA headed by Hon. Paul Ngo, the lawmaker representing Abua/Odual constituency, but the matter remained unresolved.
Few months ago the university authority conducted screening exercise for the vice chancellor position among five candidates who were vying for it. Professor Lele from Eleme, Prof Bernard Onuegbu, former Rivers State commissioner for Agriculture, Prof. Chris Enyinda, Prof. Ahiaku of Onelga and the incumbent vice chancellor Prof. Barineme Fakae, contested, with Prof. Lele taking the first position while Fakae took the fifth position.
However, during an “Academic Day Programme organized by the RSUST Student Union Government, SUG, as Parent Week Programme at the UST Amphitheatre, Mr. Godswill Amadi the SUG president, announced the reappointment of Prof. Fakae as the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University.
According to him, the appointment was an opportunity to sustain the infrastructural development recorded in the first tenure of Fakae. He appealed to him to focus more on Academic performance and welfare of staff of the institution to move the university management forward.
Mr. Amadi further advised the students of the institution to be law abiding and take their programme serious.
When The Newswriter contacted Mr. Desmond Wosu, the Public Relations Officer of the institution on phone, he confirmed the appointment of the incumbent.
Meanwhile, the faculty of management of the institution has emergesd the winner of the quiz competition organized by the SUG to mark the student week activities while faculty of Technical Science Education and Environment science faculties took second and third positions respectively.
The highlight of the programme was the presentation of prizes to winners of the quiz competition, other students, as well as a lecturer presented by Mr. Nworgwu Ikechi, “Self Development, A Catalyst For National Development,” among others. ####
Emeka Jilly Ejiowhor