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NUL tightens administration screws

Seabata Mahao

National University of Lesotho (NUL) has strengthened its administration staff after unveiling the new Vice Chancellor Professor Isaac Olusola Fajana from Nigeria.

Fajana who has been lauded for many academic accolades and administration accomplishments has sworn to place the university on international charts with splendid quality of graduates.

The workaholic who assumes the position as the 10th Vice Chancellor substitutes the Court of Appeal Judge President, Associate Professor Kananelo Mosito who acted in the office after Professor Nqosa Mahao jumped ship at the institution to pursue a career in active politics.      

“My vision and mission is to ensure that the NUL becomes a unique brand and is ranked among the first 50 universities in Africa and among the first 500 globally. To make NUL an institution of international distinction through the high quality of its graduates, the global relevance of its curricula, the uniqueness of adopted pedagogies, relevant development-oriented researches and innovations, and community service,” Fajana said.

He said he is going to give priority to the projects which will be identified through a careful process of community-wide study and the results validated with management and Council, with efforts made to provide more students hostel and student centres. The sporting arena is expected to receive a big boost with the hosting of the African Union Sport Council (AUSC) Games 2020 set for this December.

He continued that NUL shall provide innovation and policy services of distinction to Africa and the world, in a secure and peaceful environment driven by integrity, diversity, dignity, productivity and commitment, competitiveness, and prudence, core values that the African people delightfully relish and promote. He assured that NUL shall contribute to the GDP of Lesotho by promoting educational tourism for youths from other climes.

“To create an enabling environment for the enhanced implementation of this vision,  we shall pursue a communication-driven peace strategy which requires that all conflicts are handled effectively at the preventable stage and open cases can be settled amicably without wasting scarce university funds on litigation. The peace strategy will apply in all relationships with staff, trade unions, students, and the host communities,” he said.

Fajana was a full professor of Labour Economics and Human Resource Management at the University of Lagos, where he has worked for about four decades. He also facilitated at the University of Lagos Business School and is associated with the Business School Netherlands based in South Africa.

He is a certified Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) Trainer of the International Training Centre (ILO) Turin, Italy and Geneva, was educated also at the University of Sussex, Brighton, UK. He also received professional training at Harvard University, Boston, George Meany Centre, in Maryland, United States, and Gordon Institute of Business Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Fajana holds B.Sc Economics (Ife, 1981), M.Sc (Lagos, 1985), Ph.D. (Lagos, 1991) both in industrial relations and personnel management. He has professional fellowships of the Chartered Institute of Personnel Management (FCIPM), the Academy of Management Nigeria (FAMN), the Nigerian Institute of Management (FNIM) and the Institute of Entrepreneurs (FIoE).

He is a Council Member of the Nigerian Labour and Employment Relations Association and member of the Executive Committee of the International Labour and Employment Relations Association based at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) in Geneva. He is a member of the Emerald Literati in the United Kingdom.

He continued that there is a strong need to strengthen the ICT infrastructure as a strategic response to the new normal of online pedagogy, with invigorated efforts implemented to garner support from all the stakeholders of the university.

“Capital and recurrent grants from government continues to account for a huge proportion of the funding of African universities. We shall avail government a policy aimed at funding education from contributions of users at the demand side. Internally generated revenue will be further sourced aside from the NUL current investments in real estate.

“Academic Staff must be adequate in number and quality.  The efforts of NUL to increase the proportion of staff with a PhD, the professorial group will be strengthened and opportunities for studies abroad will be explored. Extra pay for professors and lecturers will be pursued and we shall strive to get industry to fund research,” said Fajana.

He stated that there has to be peace within the host communities where the university campuses are presently located, which will enquire equity, fairness and justice in the running of the university.  Appropriate media strategy to engage adequate multi-directional communication of developments in the university to all its relevant audiences.

“Improved income and livelihood of staff would increase motivation and morale, trust and engagement, higher levels of productivity, and reduced turnover. Moreover, organisational reputation adds more value to the NUL brand, thus increasing the attraction and retention of high calibre staff.

Meanwhile, Mosito who has taken the role of Pro Vice Chancellor stated that he is relieved that NUL has finally found a Vice Chancellor to take over the ship to greatness. He further explained that for over a year he was executing the assignment task given to him in the office of the vice chancellor to his full capabilities.

Mosito indicated that, Professor Fajana has jointly or singly supervised over 140 masters’ theses and 11 Doctors of Philosophy. Also he received an award from the National Universities Commission in 2012 for co-supervising the best thesis in 2009 in the field of administration throughout the Nigerian university system. And he has authored/co-authored over 150 scholarly publications in his academic and professional discipline. He is well-cited on Google Scholar, Research Gate, Academia, among others

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