On Friday, 11th September, 2020, The University of Calabar, UNICAL, announced Prof. Florence Banku Obi as it’s 11th Vice-Chancellor and first female to occupy the position after 45 years since it’s inception.
Announcing the result on Friday in Calabar, Sen. Nkechi Nwaogu, Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Unical Governing Council, said the process of the selection was transparent.
Nwaogu said that the Council assured the 13 contestants for the position of a transparent, fair and just selection process.
She explained that they used the guidelines set up by the Federal Ministry of Education on the conduct of interview for the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor.
Her words: “At the end of the day, we had a brand new first female VC of the University in the last 45 years. The interview was transparent and some of the contestants are part of our council.
“What I expect of her is to look at what the outgoing VC has done because governance is a continues process. She should invite all those who contested with her and build teamwork.
“No one person can execute the programmes without the integration of other erudite administrators that presented their CVs yesterday.
“She should be an integrative agent and I expect her to look inward on the areas of internally generated revenue and pluck the areas.
“She needs to motivate staff and students of the school and as an erudite Professor and a mother, I know that she will bring all these to bear,” she said.
She congratulated Prof. Banku-Obi and wished her the best in her tenure.
On her part, Prof. Banku-Obi, said she was elated and happy, adding that she returned all the glory to God.
“I am very happy today, I just received my appointment letter from the 12th Council as the 11th VC elect effective from Dec. 1, 2020.
“It was a free and fair contest and I am happy about it. The University of Calabar should expect an inclusive administration from me,” she said.
Prof. Banku-Obi will be taking over from Prof. Zana Akpagu whose tenure end on Nov. 30, 2020.
Professor Obi hails from Boki local government area in Cross River State. She began her academic career as an Assistant Lecturer at the Institute of Education, the 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 the 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 Obi rose through the ranks to become a Professor of Special Needs Education in 2007.
Professor Obi, a committed university Don who encourages students creative work, has served the University of Calabar as Head of Department of Environmental Education and Deputy Dean, Faculty of Education.
She is the only two-times back to back elected Dean, Faculty of Education, since the history of the University.
She has also served as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academics) and also as a member of the University Governing Council.
She has over 60 publications to her credit in both local and international journals.