My vision for Federal University of Health Sciences, Ila-Orangun — Pioneer VC

Professor Akeem Olawale Lasisi, a Professor of Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, and former Chief Medical Director, LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, is the pioneer vice chancellor of the newly established Federal University of Health Sciences, Ila-Orangun, Osun State. In this interview, he spoke to MODUPE GEORGE about his leadership experiences, vision for the institution as well as its uniqueness, Excerpts.
Tell us about your new appointment at the Federal University of Health Sciences, IlaOrangun, Osun State
I left the University of Ibadan and I took up this appointment as the vice chancellor of Federal University of Health Sciences, Ila- Orangun, in February 2022. The university was created by the Federal Government in 2021, but the principal officers were announced in 2022. We took our letters on February 18, 2022 or thereabouts. Since then, we have resumed in the university and there have been quite a number of events leading up to the resumption of students.

You are a professor of medicine and even a surgeon. How do you intend to cope with administrative work?
I am a Professor of Medicine, precisely, a Professor of Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery. I major in the Middle Ear Surgery and Hearing Genetics. However, your function as a professor of surgery involves running clinics where you meet nurses, medical records and all sorts of people. You also do ward rounds. It’s not just that you go to the theatre; you also go to accidents and emergency wards. Basically as a professor, what you are doing is research and publication as well as accessing grants. That itself will get you across to a lot of diverse groups of people. You meet people in the community, like I have a study now, where we have been to virtually all the average towns and major cities in the South-West and North-Central of Nigeria. As researchers, we go to various towns; meet people, speak to deaf people and we take their DNAs. You meet diverse kinds of people, which I think is the best for this kind of engagement. By your calling, training and experience as a professor, you already have substantial experience in the running of academic institutions. I have been asked to run a university before and I have been in the university basically since I entered the medicine school in 1984. I’ve always been around the university. Also, as a professor, you have run through the ladder as a lecturer, senior lecturer and a professor. This would have given you the opportunity also to serve on several committees within the university and you would have served in professional academic associations. I have the fellowship of the West African College of Surgeons and we have credit centres. So, you know how centres and departments are supposed to be run. These are the experiences you want to put to bear in your position as a VC of a university. Although, let me say, it is not as easy as one thinks, particularly because this is a new university; so, basically what I have been doing in the last one year is trying to set up the name of the university itself in CBN, trying to open an account for the university, which is what an average professor wouldn’t have done.

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