Chukwuocha Promises To Move Science Faculty To New Level By Mercy Adeniji

Newly-appointed Dean, Professor Ephraim Chukwuocha, has promised to take the Faculty of Science to greater heights during his tenure. Professor Chukwuocha took over from Professor Gordian Obute, who recently ended his two-year tenure in office.

Exchanging views with a UniPort News Correspondent in his office on Tuesday, August 28, 2018, Professor Chukwuocha recalled that before contesting the election, he initiated programmes that would help move the Faculty to the next level to reflect its diversity and position in the University. “I looked at the way things had been done over the years and felt that I could make a modest contribution that would drive the Faculty in a different direction. Of course, I don't intend to do this on my own. I hope to mobilise my colleagues to bring about innovations that would position the Faculty of Science on a firm footing. “I am aware that this is not going to be an easy task in a resource-poor environment, but with discipline, focus and self-motivation, we can take the Faculty to the next level of academic and infrastructural excellence which is the desire of everybody. The Faculty of Science is the largest in the University of Port Harcourt with more than 11,000 students and over forty Professors,” he revealed.

The new Dean identified poor electricity and water supply as major challenges facing the Faculty. “For instance, the conveniences could not be put to use because of lack of water supply. I promised myself that as soon as I assume office, I will ensure that there is constant power supply between 10.00am and 2.00pm every day to enable us pump water and work in a conducive atmosphere.  We are a research-driven Faculty that requires functional facilities to give of our best. For us to position our Faculty as a true centre of research, we must think of how to partner the industry and other stakeholders to capitalise our research findings,” the new Dean told our Correspondent.

Professor Chukwuocha promised to consolidate on the success of his predecessor to accomplish the onerous task ahead of him. “The University is blessed to be located within a vast hydrocarbon industry that we can leverage on to become a centre of academic excellence. We hope to make the Faculty more relevant to these industries by organising seminars and workshops, and even mount short courses that would be relevant to them and generate revenue for us. First, we must convince these companies of our installed capacity to attract their sponsorship and help the Faculty run better,” he said.

The new Dean praised Professor Obute on his accomplishments in office, promising to build on his success. “We hope to set up a Faculty Research and Development Committee to be chaired by a senior academic who is conversant with the oil and gas industry to link us to the many opportunities accruable from such a linkage. “The idea is to get industry people to make input in our research focus and also help in exposing their staff to current research trends. We hope to lead in such a manner that would encourage our colleagues to contribute meaningfully to lifting the Faculty to the next level,” he disclosed.

 We will encourage each Department to set up a team that would coordinate research efforts that can be harmonised at the faculty level to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure high-impact results. We also hope to initiate regular interactions with our students to appraise them of our policy direction and also receive input from them as a way of giving them a sense of belonging,” Professor Chukwuocha promised.

The new Dean commended Management of the University and members of the Faculty for the support he has received so far, appealing for the provision of more office space to motivate staff to greater productivity.


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