Advancement Centres are Critical to Survival of Universities, Says VC
The survival of universities has been linked to the efficiency of their advancement centres.
The Vice Chancellor, Professor Ozo-Mekuri Ndimele said this at the opening of a capacity building workshop organized by the University Advancement Centre, at the Postgraduate school of the institution.
While noting the global trend in dwindling funds from governments to universities, the VC disclosed that he set up the advancement centre on his assumption of office because of its relevance to the survival of every university.
He asserted that the workshop was organised in order to maximise all the areas the school has comparative advantage over its contemporaries, as well as the need to look inwards for alternative sources of wealth creation to drive the system.
Describing the alumni as a great asset any university could rely on in its development programmes, he however, lamented that such potential source of funding has not been adequately harvested in the university.
Enumerating some giant strides his administration has achieved towards repositioning the university for global visibility, among which is the establishment of the institute for professional studies, the postgraduate school, and the largest fish farm in Rivers State, Professor Ndimele assured that first batch of Doctor of Philosophy students of the graduate school would graduate next year.
He said it was a deliberate policy of the university to ensure that students who are serious with their studies graduate within their stipulated time of study in accordance with global best practices in graduate programmes.
He also disclosed that the university is targeting two million naira monthly income from its fish farm and other investments it has set up to boost internally generated revenue.
He urged the centre to explore all legitimate avenues to attract funds to the university, including training the university staff on how to make genuine money instead of involving in academic fraud.
Noting that the centre has enormous responsibility to create wealth for the university and members of staff, the VC assured the commitment of management to support the office.
Meanwhile, a member of the university governing council, Professor Victor Omuaro has urged the centre to ensure donor fertility through judicious use of whatever funds it would get in order to attract public confidence.
He also enjoined members of staff to embark on researches that would yield positive impart on the society in order to attract more funding.
In his vote of thanks, the Director of the centre, Professor Lysias Gilbert while commending the VC for his vision in establishing the directorate and the support from the management, also pledged the commitment of the centre to the advancement of the university.
He said the training was for the pioneer staff of the centre and few other staff of the university to enable kick-off, but assured that there would be another workshop for every staff of the university since the task of rebranding, marketing and raising funds for the institution is not limited to the centre alone.