Still on top of news stories in Obafemi Awolowo University campus is the ongoing jostling for the soon-to-be vacant seats of the Vice Chancellor and the Deputy Vice Chancellors of the institution. Professor Bamitale Omole is expected to bow out of office on June 23, 2016.
In a bid to educate the OAU community especially the student population, OAU Peeps News Agency finds it imperative to state the position of the constitution as regards selection of the Deputy Vice Chancellors.
The principal law governing the selection and appointment of Deputy Vice Chancellors in Nigerian Universities is the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act, No 11 of 1993. This Law was amended by the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) Amendment Act, 2003. The cumulative effect of these laws on the appointment of Deputy Vice-Chancellors is summarized as follows.
DEPUTY VICE- CHANCELLORS
1.There shall be for the University such number of Deputy Vice Chancellors as the Council may, from time to time deem necessary for the proper administration of the University.
2. Where a vacancy occurs in the post of Deputy Vice-Chancellor, the Vice Chancellor shall forward to the Senate a list of two candidates for each post of Deputy Vice Chancellor that is vacant.
3. The Senate shall select for each vacant post one candidate from each list forwarded to it under subsection (2) of this section and forward his name to the Council for confirmation.
4. A Deputy Vice Chancellor shall –
(a) assist the Vice Chancellor in the performance of his functions:
(b) act in the place of the Vice Chancellor when the post of Vice Chancellor is vacant or if the Vice Chancellor is, for any reason, absent or unable to perform his functions as Vice Chancellor and
(c) Perform such other functions as the Vice Chancellor or the Council may, from time to time, assign to him.
5. A Deputy Vice Chancellor –
(a) shall hold office for a period of two years beginning from the effective date of his appointment and on such terms and conditions as may be specified in his letter of appointment; and
(b) may be re-appointed for one further period of two years and no more.
The above provision of the law gives no room for the appointment of Acting Deputy Vice Chancellors, or Special Assistants to Vice Chancellors. The sole responsibility for the appointment of Deputy Vice Chancellors lies with the Senate of University. A Vice Chancellor who appoints Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellors, or Special Assistants will be acting in contravention of the (Universities Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1993.
University senates should live up to their responsibilities in ensuring that Vice Chancellors do not exceed powers given to them by law or usurp powers given to other organs in their Universities. Should University Senates fail to ensure that Vice Chancellors act within the powers given to them, they would be creating imperial Vice Chancellors.
Like in the provision for the appointment of Vice Chancellors, the law of the appointment of Deputy Vice Chancellors, allows for participation by members of the University Community, through its Senate.