Dramatic events have continued to characterise the processes leading to the selection of vice-chancellors in the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, and the Osun State University, Osogbo.
In the Osun State University, a war is on with a camp accusing the university council of making rules that narrowed the contest to only professors in the Pure and Applied Sciences even when the university is a conventional one, Siggy.ng has revealed.
However, following complaints from non-medical associations in Lagos State, the selection committee for the appointment of a substantive vice chancellor for LASU, on Friday made a U-turn on the minimum mandatory requirements for interested applicants from medical fields for the position.
The call for applications for UNIOSUN vice chancellorship opened on July 5; it closed on Monday, July 16, 2021. However, one of the complaints on the process is that criteria established by the university council were deliberately set to exclude prospective candidates in disciplines such as Law, Humanities, Education (Arts) and Social Sciences.
An aggrieved source said the university council, while stating the acceptable qualifications for eligible candidates , ignored scholarly books and book chapters and instead said it would consider only articles published in high impact journals recognised by Thomson Reuters ISI and Web of Science which are both pure and applied science-biased.
The council even set a research benchmark of 800 citations and 15.00 ResearchGate score for candidates. The criteria used for even the incumbent vice-chancellor in 2016 are not the same as the ones set now. The current demand is deliberately made for only professors in the sciences and is above the bar of the criteria being used at Nigeria’s premier university, the University of Ibadan, and even at Harvard University. Anyone can check,” the source, who did not want to be named, told Siggy.ng
The source asked Governor Gboyega Oyetola who is the Visitor to the university to intervene and get the council to “do the right thing as it is done in other conventional universities” before it is too late.
Meanwhile, the LASU selection committee, which had earlier excluded those who possess postgraduate in medical fellowship medical and dental fields from those eligible to run for the office of the vice chancellor, has now accommodated them in a new announcement which it termed an addendum.
According to the new statement titled ‘Re: Internal and External Advertisement For The Position Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University, possession of a postgraduate medical fellowship is an acceptable qualification for candidates wishing to apply for the vacant position of the vice-chancellor of the university and for candidates in the medical and dental professions and supervision of PhD as earlier demanded is also not mandatory.
But all other details as earlier published remain unchanged and applicants now have until Friday, 3rd September, 2021 to apply,” the committee told Siggy.ng.
Before now, the exclusion of holders of a postgraduate medical fellowship from contesting the position on the grounds that fellowship was not equivalent to academic doctorate degrees had generated rumbles among the selection committee members and criticised by professional medical bodies in Lagos State.
The professional bodies, namely, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Lagos State branch; Medical Guild and Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN), Lagos State University TeachingHospital (LASUTH) chapter, had protested the action to the state governor, who is also the visitor to the university, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, asking for his intervention
According to the three bodies, to make it mandatory for Doctors of Medicine who want to apply to have also supervised PhD students was a deliberate attempt to push professors of medicine who are interested in the office out of the race. They argue that postgraduate medical fellowship, which takes up to seven years or more to acquire, is the highest attainable academic status in the medical fields and equivalent to academic doctoral degrees in other fields anywhere in the world.