Unions In Alvan Versity Of Education Rally Behind Deputy VC

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As the quest for the appointment of a vice chancellor of the newly elevated Alvan Ikoku Federal University of Education (AIFUE), Owerri is on, the coalition of four house unions in the institution have appealed to President Bola Tinubu to consider appointing Professor (Mrs) Stella Lemchi as the substantive vice chancellor.

The four house unions comprises of Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union (COEASU) transiting to ASUU, Senior Staff Union in Colleges of Education, Nigeria (SSUCOEN) transiting to SSANU, Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) jointly signed a communique passing a vote of confidence on the acting deputy vice chancellor, Prof. Lemchi to be promoted as the VC

The unions highlighted some of the achievements of Professor  Lemchi at Alvan Ikoku Federal University of Education, Owerri, to include infrastructural Upgrade: such as prioritizing the renovation of hostels, enhancing their ambiance and functionality, deploying the federal government revitalization fund, to change over 200 doors and windows, tiling the floors of the two hostels, rebuilt the toilets completely and installed befitting and safe kitchens for the students.

Also the work included improved water supply in the hostels, complete repainting of the edifice and installation of electrical works, wardrobes and beds.

According to the unions, the acting DVC also initiated the construction of a Professors’ block in the Shell Camp area and increased developments in the campus across River Nworie. She has also fought doggedly to stop further encroachment in the campus across Nworie. Currently, the Lemchi administration is working on plans to fix the ecological problems in the river bank to enable the use of the bridge.

On security enhancement, the unions stated that Prof Lemchi has restructured the security architecture in the university, as well as promoting best practices in recruitment of student security operatives, armed them with adequate equipment and resources for the effective performance, adding that this efforts have significantly reduced security breaches, which was a norm before her appointment.

The unions believe that under her administration, staff welfare has been improved tremendously, including clearing the backlog of staff promotions and conversions which had remained intractable for years.

In addition, they stated that hundreds of non-teaching staff were converted and properly placed, including many who had earned higher qualifications on the job as the conversions and promotions have increased the morale and motivation of the work force.

According to them,  Prof Lemchi has been championing the welfare and proper placement of teaching staff in the transition process, including making appeals to the regulator that lecturers be given grace periods to get the qualifications they need to maintain their positions rather than been abruptly demoted in the university.

On Students’ support programme,  the unions eulogised the acting DVC for establishing measures to combat student harassment and improved the process for NYSC mobilization and certificate issuance.

“Last year 3 batches of students were mobilized for service, a feat unheard of in the institution in nearly a decade. Her focus on students’ welfare includes streamlining clearance procedures, improving academic standards, engaging with parents and guardians and collaborating with the student’s union to speedily solve any challenges.

“On internal revenue generation, she  implemented policies to boost internally generated revenue of the institution. One major plank of this was developing a seamless fee payment portal to close loopholes. She has also revitalised the business ventures in the University like the water factory and bakery.

“The transition process she is currently facilitating is being done smoothly through her proactive and graceful engagement with the NUC and the FME. Recently she received a 37-man team for resource verification of the university programmes from the NUC. Working with the unions, Lemchi has sent a bill to the National Assembly for the codification of the law which established the University,” the unions concluded.