PROFESSOR AGWU’S VISION STATEMENT FOR THE FACULTY OF AGRICULTURE
(DEAN 2018 – 2020)
A Faculty that will respond to the academic and welfare needs of staff and students; a centre of excellence in research, innovation and entrepreneurship and where all members of staff will have a sense of belonging, live in peace, harmony and mutual respect all geared towards the upliftment of the University of Nigeria.
What I will do to achieve My Vision for the Faculty
As the Dean of the Faculty, my strategy and actions toward achieving my vision is anchored on four key areas, namely:
- Faculty Administration;
- Teaching, Learning and Research Environment;
- Fund Generation& Management; and
- Infrastructure Development.
- Faculty Administration
In line with my philosophy of openness, team work, and accountability, my aim, as Dean, is to run an inclusive and transparent administration that is people centred, anchored in efficiency, effectiveness and service delivery, especially staff and students welfare, and academic excellence. In order to achieve my aim in terms of faculty administration, I will focus on the following:
Staff and Students Welfare: In line with my vision for the Faculty, I will strive to ensure, at all times, that the welfare of staff and students are given priority. The Faculty will employ dialogue in dealing with issues of staff and students welfare especially to avoid conflicts and thus ensure a peaceful atmosphere in the faculty. Staff training and retraining will also be a priority. I will strive to ensure that a responsible and active student’s body that will be responsive to the welfare of the students is maintained in the faculty. More so, considering that the output of a staff is to a great extent dependent on the welfare in his or her workplace, I will review the existing structure and operations of the Faculty Staff Welfare in order to achieve greater cohesion and enhance the benefits to Faculty members. In fact, the welfare of staff shall be top priority in my administration.
Staff Appraisal: Promotion of academic staff used to be a night mare in the Faculty until Prof. Mbagwu (of blessed memory) became the Dean of the Faculty. From then, subsequent Deans have kept that tradition. Today in the Faculty of Agriculture no staff, no Head of Department, no Professor, and no Dean can delay or stop the promotion of any qualified staff. I salute the courage of our elders who after going through this inhuman treatment decided that those of us coming behind shall not experience such. As Dean of the Faculty I promise to keep that tradition of prompt and proactive promotion of staff so that the labours of our heroes past shall not be in vain. I will make sure that all outstanding cases are concluded in good time. More importantly, we shall continue to encourage our younger colleagues by mentoring them and building their capacity on best practices to achieve academic excellence and rapid growth.
Shared Governance: I will strive to develop the culture of shared governance where all members of staff will have a sense of belonging and install a mechanism for ensuring good governance practices andaccountability in all ourFaculty’s operations.
Farm Operations Department: As Dean of the Faculty, the Farm Operations Unit will be reformed to discharge its functions effectively. The Faculty will pursue the strategy of making sure that our lands are put into use both for crop and animal production. The use of the Faculty tractors and other machinery will be reviewed and transparently managed in order to add value to the Faculty. We will focus on reviving our abandoned projects such as the faculty bakery and garri processing section, among other areas. These will go a long way to reposition our Faculty within the University. The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba more than any other Vice Chancellor in the recent past has done tremendously very well at upgrading our farm infrastructure. I shall work out mechanisms of putting these farm facilities to productive use in a transparent and sustainable manner.
4th Year Farm Work Programme: The 4th year programme is one of the key fulcrum of our B. Agric. Programme which was introduced many years ago to add value to students’ academic and practical experience. Unfortunately, over the years this great idea has not been properly managed. As Dean, I shall pursue strategies aimed at strengthening the programme and making it more innovative to the benefit of the students and ensure that it is transparently done and financially sustainable.
Networks and Networking: The place of networks and networking cannot be over-emphasized in the life of an academic, non-teaching staff, and academic institutions. A special Committee shall be set up to ensure that as many members of the faculty are enlisted in necessary networks. I shall work with available links in the University to ensure that most of our Professors participate in the NUC accreditation.
Grants and Consultancies: Through good mentorship and exposure, some members of the Faculty have developed some modest tacit knowledge in attracting grants and consultancies. These pockets of capabilities shall be pooled together for the benefit of the greater members of the Faculty. We shall encourage donations from our Alumni and other well-meaning individuals from within and outside the country to improve our laboratory facilities.
- Teaching, Learning and Research Environment
As the Dean of the Faculty, I will work and be committed towards enhancing the research and innovation output of the Faculty by carrying out the following:
- Facilitate the dissemination of research grants information to staff and postgraduate students, organize workshops to build the capacity of academic staff and postgraduate students in developing grant winning research proposals, build capacity of our young lectures on how to do scientific writing so as to be able to publish in high impact journal, work out and facilitate research and academic collaborations with universities locally and internationally.
- Mobilize talented academics in the Faculty to develop a proposal geared towards attracting a research centre of excellence to the Faculty.I will equally mobilize more academics to write Faculty based research proposals and source funds from national agencies/ministries and international organizations for prosecuting research projects and other academic activities.
- Considering the need for constant exposure of staff to best practices for re-tooling. As Dean, I shall give time and resources to ensure that staff of the faculty benefit from existing opportunities within and outside the University. Applications for conferences, fellowships and external studies shall be treated promptly.
- Rejuvenate the Faculty based seminar series by making it to be more responsive to policy issues in agricultural sector in the country and by ensuring that experts outside the university especially in government and industry become part of the seminar either as presenters or participants.
- Establishment of linkages and collaborations with universities and institutions overseas and with international organizations will be pursued vigorously.
- Encourage staff to publish articles in peer reviewed journals – incentives must be provided to encourage staff to write and publish articles in peer-reviewed journals. We will ensure that our Agro-Science Journal keep gaining wider recognition and continue to support the growth of the Journal through pursuing vigorously the indexing of the Journal by Thomson Reuters and SCOPUS.
- Funding Generation / Management
The Faculty will play an active role in seeking resources that allow for the implementation of the Faculty’s activities. We shall develop a budget for the administration of the Faculty which conforms to the University practices and shall be responsible for ensuring that the budget is implemented in keeping with the general and specific objectives for which it was meant. I will maintain zero tolerance to financial abuses and transparent financial management in the Faculty.
- ICT Infrastructure / Civil Works
Finally, I will emphasize communications with our stakeholders. Our various constituencies must be continually reminded of our accomplishments and new opportunities. I believe that companies and alumni are eager to be engaged with the Faculty. A strong visibility with key constituents will not only help build support for the Faculty’s programmes, it will help identify issues that should be addressed.
Dean, Faculty of Agriculture
University of Nigeria, Nsukka.