Georgewill Lists Ways Of Making UniPort More Prosperous

By Humphrey Ogu


Harnessing the resources in the University of Port Harcourt to make the institution more prosperous was the focus of the Inaugural Address of the 9th Vice Chancellor, Professor Owunari Georgewill presented during a Town Hall Meeting at Ebitimi Banigo Auditorium on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.

The 9th Vice Chancellor, whose Address was captioned: “A More Prosperous University of Port Harcourt,” expressed gratitude to God for making his appointment possible. He also thanked everyone who contributed to his emergence as Vice Chancellor, saying: “I profoundly appreciate the Chancellor of our University and the indefatigable Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Senator Andrew Uchendu and his distinguished Council Members.” 

On his mission and vision for the University in the next five years, the Vice Chancellor disclosed his desire to work collectively with Council, Senate, staff and students and other stakeholders to make UniPort to be among the best in the world, top five in Nigeria, top 10 in Africa and among the best 100 in the world, noting that huge funding would be required to be able to actualise the dream.

“I will run an all-inclusive administration that will leverage on the abundant human resources in this University. I will work as a team with Principal Officers, Provost, Deans, Directors, Heads of Department and relevant stakeholders to produce the desired result in the academic, administrative and financial affairs of the University,” he assured the stakeholders.

“Today, I stand before you all to say that, with your collective support from this day onwards, no obstacle will be too high to surmount, no barrier too big to overcome, no burden too heavy to bear and no storm too strong to withstand as we strive to take University of Port Harcourt to lofty heights and make the University more prosperous,” he said.

“The task before us is huge and appears daunting, but not insurmountable. I therefore, with a deep sense of responsibility seek the understanding and cooperation of all of us to come together as we build the UniPort of the future. That glorious future starts now,” the Vice Chancellor noted.

Professor Georgewill stated that his administration would strive to improve teaching and learning, improve all parameters for excellent research and scale up all activities that have direct impact on the University and host communities through admission and employment of duly qualified candidates. 

Appealing to all stakeholders to forgive, and forget past wrongs, Georgewill, who called on his co-contesters for the position of the Vice Chancellor, said: “Let the healing process begin… Let us work together as colleagues with the singular aim of making our University more prosperous. I strongly believe that we shall prosper as UniPort prospers.”

He disclosed that his administration would create an environment that would foster intellectual curiosity, nurture the ability to question and test received wisdom in search for truth, in addition to accommodating divergent views, and foster new knowledge with solutions to human problems. He also promised to support all recommendations on staff matters made to the Governing Council by the last administration, commending his predecessor, Professor Stephen Okodudu, for his role in restoring serenity in the University.

The new Vice Chancellor, who noted that his administration would be gender friendly, listed the appointment of a Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of Research and Development to drive research and innovation, and Deputy Vice Chancellor (Advancement) to handle the University’s resource mobilisation as measures to strengthen and reposition the University.

He also mentioned diversification of Internally-Generated Revenue, setting up of UniPort Auxiliary Business Service, maintenance of robust relationship with all Unions on campus, prioritising of staff welfare and security of lives and property in and around the University Campuses, where staff and students reside, amongst other promises. 

Earlier in his remark, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Senator Andrew Uchendu, who congratulated Professor Georgewill, recounted the journey towards the appointment of the Vice Chancellor. He commended former Vice Chancellors, including the immediate past Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Okodudu for their roles in building the University. He also lauded the Acting Registrar and Secretary to Council, Mrs Joyce Tamuno.

Former Vice Chancellors present at the event included the second Vice Chancellor, Professor Sylvanus Cookey, fifth Vice Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Nimi Briggs, sixth Vice Chancellor, Professor Don Baridam, eight Vice Chancellor, Professor Ndowa Lale and immediate past Acting Vice Chancellor, Professor Okodudu.

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