Professor Ikonne’s two Years of Resounding Achievements as VC, ABSU.
On Friday 15th December 2017, Osonsu, a socio-cultural association of Abia State University staff of Ngwa origin, honours a distinguished Professor of Optometry, a consumate academic and an astute administrator, Professor Uche E. Ikonne, the Vice-chancellor of Abia State University (ABSU). Osonsu is rolling out the drums for Professor Ikonne not merely because he is the first Vice-chancellor of Ngwa extraction, but more importantly because he has recorded unprecedented landmark achievements in two years. He is indeed living out the promise he made to the University community on assumption of office.
It should be recalled that Professor Ikonne espoused his vision and mission or the philosophy of his administration in a well-crafted piece titled My Mandate: Our Story Must Change. He promised to change the story of Abia State University (ABSU) for the better. He clearly outlined the specific goals of his administration as well as the steps that would taken to realize them. These include: strengthening and reinvigorating the administrative organs of the university for responsive, transparent and efficient service delivery; institutionalizing a healthy and vibrant academic environment for teaching and learning, research and community service and by so doing, enhance the national and international reputation and ranking of ABSU.
Professor Uche Ikonne has matched words with action. He has in two years bequeathed the University with a robust and functional website with the automation of key services in the admission and registration of students, issuance of certificates and transcripts, etc. Students register their courses online. Lecturers download class lists and release results online. Parents and guardians can now access the results of their wards and pay their fees from the comfort of their homes, etc.
Academic programmes of ABSU have improved in quality as they have been fully accredited by the National Universities Commission (NUC) and other other regulatory professional bodies. The Vice-chancellor has ensured the restoration of full accreditation status and increase in quota for Medicine and Surgery through significant assistance from our academic oriented Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu.
Academic programmes have also increased in scope to include Mechanical Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computer Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Surveying and Geo-Informatics as well as Public Health. To equip ABSU graduates with adequate skills and competencies for societal relevance and global competitiveness, entrepreneurial studies has been made a compulsory course of study. It is designed to enable each student to acquire both entrepreneurial and vocational skills so as to become job creators, not job seekers, on graduation. In the same vein, unprecedented number of senior academics of the University, especially of the professorial rank, is now being engaged in the National Universities Commission (NUC) accreditation exercises.
The capacity of the University library has tripled from 2000 to 6000 books. The research output of the University has also increased in number and quality with over 38 research projects (the highest for any university in Nigeria) approved and funded by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund). This has rekindled the spirit of research and ensured that inaugural lecture delivery by professors is now a norm, unlike in the past when it was rare. The administrative organs and institutions of the University have been reinvigorated as Senate now sits regularly, likewise faculty and departmental board, including committee meetings. Professor Ikonne has uncompromisingly made the welfare of staff and students a first line duty. Deans of faculties have received brand new official vehicles from our trail-blazing and education-friendly Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu. Staff salaries are paid and promotions released promptly. In return, students are bracing up in character and learning, while members of staff are working hard to ensure efficient and prompt service delivery.
Massive infrastructural development is taking place coupled with requisite social and economic amenities. The Faculty of Law has relocated to its permanent site with ultramodern hostels and lecture theatres at Umuahia. The Senate building has been renovated and modernized. Roads and dilapidated hostels and classroom blocks are not left out as they are equally being renovated. The uncompleted ALGON hostel abandoned since 2002 has been completed. An ultramodern brand new 65KVA power generating set has been procured and the University connected to the national grid to ensure regular power supply.
The great strides made by the Professor Ikonne led administration cannnot be fully captured here. They cut across every facet of teaching and learning, research and community service, as well as human, social and infrastructural growth and development. These innovations and landmark achievements have resulted in tremendous improvement in the external perception, international reputation and national ranking of the University from the 93rd position in 2015 to 53rd position in 2017, with a promise of better results in future.
Osonsu heartily congratulates and celebrates Distinguished Professor Uche Ikonne for these resounding successes and wishes him more giant strides in the years ahead. More importantly, Osonsu profoundly thanks the man behind the mirror, the aka nkpoturu nkwa ya ekwuwa, our indefatigable, staff and student-friendly Governor, a distinguished and consumate academic, Dr. Okezie Victor Chibuikem Ikpeazu for his unparalleled and passionate support and assistance to the Vice-chancellor and the University.
— with Abia Legacy.