The Vice Chancellor of the University of Jos, Professor Tanko Ishaya has highlighted some of the challenges the University is going through but expressed optimism that with perseverance, they would be conquered and the institution would become a centre of excellence and a place of pride for all.
He spoke on Thursday in Jos while giving an account of his second year of stewardship as the 10th substantive Vice Chancellor of the University.
The VC also disclosed that despite the challenges, the institution has a promising and bright future as he noted, “… We came on board with a clear vision of nurturing a world-class institution for academic excellence and innovation with local, national and global impact… We promise to operate on a core principle of purpose, process and people that should be guided by the core values of transparency, accountability and integrity adhering to the University Act and Statuses.
“We count it as a great privilege to be at the helm of affairs of this great institution. As such, we will be unrelenting, and deliberate in carrying out our duties and responsibilities to the latter… We believe that building a collegial environment in the University is the fundamental requirement of excellence since every system’s success depends on the strength of the people…
“In the course of piloting the affairs of the University, we have had our periods of pains and gains. The following are some of the challenges that we are confronted with: Paucity of funds, absence of the Governing Council, precarious security situation around the University and the porosity of our borders. Lack of budgetary allocation for recruitment.
“We cannot over-emphasize the importance of finances in virtually all aspects of our lives. Running an institution like UniJos requires a solid source of finances. UniJos from its inception was never fortunate to have been given a takeoff grant. This means that from the get-go, we have been disadvantaged. Our infrastructural deficits are largely predicated on this anomaly. Assed to that, we are unable to actualize and/or maximize our IGR potential because of the precarious security situation in Jos and its environs.
“The instrument that governs the University clearly states that there should be a body that is saddled with the responsibility of handling our policy matters. The absence of this all-important organ of the University greatly affects our operations. So many things that require the Council to preside over have been left in limbo. A typical example is the promotion cases of some members of our workforce.”
He added, “The location of our campuses has placed us in a precarious situation. Whenever there is a security breach, we suffer one form of challenge or the other. We are also battling with issues of land encroachment on our borders. These issues have continued to pose a serious threat to our territorial integrity as an institution and we are in dire need of intervention to surmount these security challenges.
“For over five years now, we have not been able to carry out recruitment exercises to fill vacant positions. We have lost many of our members of staff through retirements, change of jobs and deaths. Some of these positions require that we recruit to avoid any gaps. During accreditation exercises, these vacancies count against us. Our inability to recruit and have the requisite staff mix in our respective Units, Departments, and Faculties does a lot of harm to our accreditation and resource verification exercises…”