Professor Florence Obi Emerges First Female Vice-Chancellor Of University Of Calabar (UNICAL)

Professor Florence Obi has emerged the first female Vice-Chancellor of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) in its 45-year-old history.

Professor Florence Obi of the Faculty of Education is to succeed Professor Zana Akpagu, whose tenure would elapse on November 30 [2020].

The choice of Professor Florence Obi was announced on the 11th of September 2020 by the 12th Governing Council of the university as the 11th Vice Chancellor-elect at the UNICAL Hotel in Calabar after emerging winner out of 13 contestants.

Professor Obi, who spoke to newsmen shortly after receiving her letter of employment, said the contest was free and fair and promised to run an inclusive administration.

The incoming VC, who served as Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic), said:

“I am happy that I have just been given my employment letter from the 12th Council as the Vice Chancellor-elect and the 11th substantive Vice-Chancellor effective from December 1, this year.”

Speaking after the selection process, Chairman of the Council and Pro-Chancellor, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu, stated:

“We assured the university community we were going to be transparent, open, fair, and just. There is a guideline from the Federal Ministry of Education on how to conduct an interview for the appointment and there are so many parameters we had to look into and that is exactly what we did.”

She urged Professor Obi to build on the foundation laid by the outgoing vice-chancellor, noting that governance should be a continuous process.

One of the candidates, Professor Joseph Asor, while reacting to the outcome, said:

“We lost. Professor Florence Obi won. I came third. I have congratulated her. May God give her the strength and wisdom to pilot the affairs of our university. I thank you all for the support.”

 

PROFILE: PROFESSOR FLORENCE OBI

She is married with 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

ACADEMIC TIMELINE

St. Bridget’s Primary School, Ogep Osokom, Boki, Cross River State, F.S.LC. 1969

St. Thomas’s Teachers Training College, Ogoja; Cross River State, T.C. 11 1983

University of Jos, Jos Nigeria; B.Ed(Hons) Special Education, 1988; M.Ed. Special Education, 1990

Jordan Hill College of Education, Glasgow-Scotland; PGCEE, 1993

University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria; Ph.D Psychology of Education, 2002

ACADEMIC CAREER

She began her academic career as an Assistant Lecturer at the Institute of Education, University of Calabar in March 1990 (30 years ago).

Two years after her appointment, with her utmost desire to foster a bold and innovative spirit in faculty teaching and academic excellence, she won a 6-months postgraduate scholarship to Jordan-Hill College of Education, Glasgow, Scotland, under the World University Service (WUS) World-Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the Nigerian Conservation Foundation (NCF) in a keenly contested interview for staff of the Institute of Education.

On her return from the United kingdom, she was placed in charge of the WWF/NCF funded schools and Community Education Programmes.

She subsequently facilitated the development of the degree programme in Environmental Education of the University, which has since resulted in the establishment of a full-fledged and flourishing Department of Environmental Education.

Professor Florence Banku obi later rose to become a Professor of Special Needs Education in 2007.

POSITIONS HELD

Permanent Member of the Senate, University of Calabar since 2007.

Member, University Central Accreditation Committee, University of Calabar, 2006-2008.

Chairperson, Housing Loan Implementation Committee, University of Calabar, 2011-2015.

As Dean, she pioneered the take-off of 22 affiliate programmes of the Federal College of Education, Obudu, Cross River State and the Federal College of Education, Kastina-Ala, Benue State to the faculty of Education of the University of Calabar.

Professor Florence Banku Obi had also served as the Chairperson of University of Calabar International Demonstration School (formerly called University of Calabar International Secondary School) where she left lasting physical legacies to her credit.

Following her credibility, integrity and commitment to service, she was voted as the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics) by the University Senate.

As DVC Academics, she was also a member of the University Governing Council, where she brought her wealth of experience to bear in the growth and development of the University.

Professor Florence served as honourable commissioner, ministry of women affairs and social development and member of cross River State executive council in 2007.

AWARDS

Professor Obi is a recipient of many Awards/Honours, including the Student Union Government, University of Calabar, “Award as the most student friendly Dean of the Faculty” in 2014.

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