Western Delta University Oghara gets a new vice chancellor. He is Professor Augustine Ikelegbe, the fourth Vice chancellor appointed after the expiration of the administration of the incumbent, Professor (Mrs.) O.C. Okobiah. Until his ascension to the position of the Vice Chancellor on 2nd August, 2021, he was the Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Benin, Benin City. He was introduced to the university community by the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council, Emeritus Professor Andrew Onokerhoraye, who commended and thanked the staff for their resilience due to the challenges they have been passing through overtime. He gave the staff hope, that all will be well soon. Present at the event were the Dean of Postgraduate School, Dean of the Colleges, the Dean of Students Affairs, Directors, Heads of Departments, both academic and non-academic staff and the students.
At the end his introduction, the Vice Chancellor took turn to address the gathering. Excerpt:
INAUGURAL SPEECH AT THE OCCASION OF MY INTRODUCTION TO STAFF AS VICE CHANCELLOR OF WESTERN DELTA UNIVERSITY BY THE PRO-CHANCELLOR AND CHAIRMAN OF GOVERNING COUNCIL, EMERITUS PROFESSOR ANDREW ONOKERHORAYE
Pro-Chancellor & Chairman of Governing Council,
Members of Council,
Registrar, Bursar and Librarian
Deans & Directors of Facilities/Colleges/Institutes/Centres
Members of Senate
Heads of Departments,
All Staff of WDU,
Friends of WDU,
I want to appreciate the Proprietor of the University, His Excellency, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council, Emeritus Professor Andrew Onokerhoraye, OON, and the distinguished members of the Governing Council, for finding me worthy and for reposing confidence in me to mount the saddle as the Vice Chancellor of this great university.
I have to appreciate the wonderful, resilient, hardworking and committed academics and staff of WDU. It is wonderful to meet with you for the first time. This is evidently the beginning of a tenurial journey and will meet so many more times, in the course of jointly managing this great university.
I have come to lead a process that would transform WDU into a centre of academic and research excellence; a centre of quality academic programmes; a research and intellectually active university; a viable, quality and visible institution; an institution of progressive growth in annual enrolment and total student population; a university that is self-sustaining; a university that would be in public limelight for quality, excellence, credibility, integrity and good image and reputation.
I look forward to a university that is expansive and growing, a university of new programmes and courses, and a university that would generate enough to be self-sustaining.
My vision is that of renowned university that ranks among the best at the regional and national levels; that has comparative advantage and competitive edge among other private universities; and that makes significant contributions to the development of quality human resources through high quality graduands that excel at national and global levels.
I am sure that we know that a private university is different from the public university in many ways. The later runs on government subventions, and can afford grandiose and profligate expenditures. The former runs in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) and handouts. One is built by vast government funds but the other is built by proprietor’s efforts. The public university is for public service, but the private university is a business. The staffing and work are different too. For one, it is the typical public sector work attitudes. For the other, much mere hard-work, discipline and commitment is required. I am purging myself of the public university mentality, and would adopt and institute the efficiency, lean expenditure, commitment, discipline and control that are prevalent in the private sector, I expect you to have done so.
I have come to join you to provide leadership in this onerous task of moving WDU forward to where we want her to be. With the goodwill and support of the Proprietor, the Pro-Chancellor and the Governing Council, Principal Officers and all staff, the vision can be achieved.
It would require comprehensive study and analysis, reorientation and perhaps re-structuring, or just re-orientation and re-ordering. Ideas would have to be generated, harvested and applied. There may be need for innovations, transformation and changes in the way things are done.
It would take hard work, determination, commitment, sacrifices, energy and passion to achieve our vision for WDU. For any people or group that cooperate and join efforts to achieve a dream or goal, that dream is possible as the Tower of Babel demonstrated.
I have come to lead and serve, not as a sole authority, though the bulk and responsibility for actions would stop at my table. I intend to lead through collective and inclusive governance and open, exemplary and transparent management. I intend to work with you, through teams and committees to build a dynamic platform for driving the process of growth, self-sustenance and progress.
I have come to renew hope and confidence. I have faith that we will get there. Barack Obama popularly declared that “Yes, we can”. We can together move this university to great and lofty heights.
May God grant us the grace, favour, strength and wisdom to achieve our vision for WDU.
Once again, I have to thank the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council for taking out his precious time to be with us. I pray that his labour of love and sacrifice for WDU would yield greater dividends. We can understand his commitment because he is a great mentor, academic, university administrator and distinguished researcher.
I want to thank all former vice chancellors and members of management and indeed all staff of WDU for the work that has been done and the progress achieved. It is now our turn to move WDU to greater heights.
I thank you all. God bless you.
Professor Augustine Ikelegbe