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New era begins at UNIZIK as Professor Ikechebelu takes over as acting Vice Chancellor

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BY SUNNY A.  DAVID, AWKA

Professor Joseph Ikechebelu has officially assumed duty as the Acting Vice-Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, following a handover ceremony on Monday, June 3rd, 2024. 

The outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Professor Charles Esimone, handed over the reins of leadership to Prof. Ikechebelu, who is now responsible for overseeing the affairs of the institution. 

The ceremony was attended by members of the University management, Council members, Deans, and Directors, marking the beginning of a new era at UNIZIK.

In his acceptance speech, Prof. Ikechebelu acknowledged the support of Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu, for his attentive response to the needs of Federal Universities in the land while also expressing deep appreciation for the trust bestowed on him by the Chancellor, council members and his predecessors.

He reflected on the immense contributions of Prof. Esimone through his leadership attributes, administrative acumen and landmark achievements orchestrated by the vision of ‘Project 200’. 

Prof. Ikechebelu informed that his previous roles as Head of Department, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Director of Academic Planning and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Administration) were instrumental in preparing him for the new assignment.

The Scholar who outlined his vision for the University which would focus on five short term goals such as Beautifying UNIZIK, Light-up UNIZIK, Excellent UNIZIK, Digitize UNIZIK and Secure UNIZIK, affirmed that they are initiatives aimed at enhancing the University’s ambiance, infrastructure and academic excellence.

The renown fertility expert who majors in the field of Obstetrics and Gynaecology emphasized his approach, drawing inspiration from biblical figures: the heart of David for empathy and dedication to the university community, and the wisdom of Solomon for fair and just leadership.

He called for unity and collaboration among staff and students in achieving the shared goal of making UNIZIK the foremost university in the land.

Prof. Ikechebelu was earlier announced to oversee the office of the Vice-Chancellor as Prof. Charles Esimone’s tenure concluded on June 3, 2024 and the announcement was also ratified at the special Senate meeting held at the University Auditorium on June 3rd, 2024.

Prof. Ikechebelu, being the only Deputy Vice-Chancellor in the institution, was announced in accordance with the NUC’s circular to Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities dated May 28, 2024. The circular, entitled “RE: END OF TENURE OF SOME VICE-CHANCELLORS OF FEDERAL UNIVERSITIES,” directs outgoing Vice-Chancellors to nominate a Deputy Vice-Chancellor, as recommended by their Senate, to temporarily oversee the office of the Vice-Chancellor pending the inauguration of a Governing Council.

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