The Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has charged the newly-constituted Governing Council of the University of Osun to reposition the it for better performance.
The governor made the call in his office during the inauguration of the council in his office on Tuesday.
The seven-man Governing Council has as its chairman a renowned law scholar, Prof. Gabriel Olawoyin.
Other council members are Prof. Akinyinka Omigbodun, Prof. Gabriel Adegboyega, Prof. Obafemi Ajibola, Dr. Abeke Omotosho, Sir Demola Aladekomo and Mr. Remi Olowude.
Aregbesola tasked the new council to unify the university for academic and administrative convenience.
He said the appointment of members of the council should not be construed as a reward or patronage but a call to an arduous task, warning them of the uphill challenges ahead.
He said: “I want a marked difference in philosophy, curriculum, societal relevance and funding for this university.
“There must be a paradigm shift in the philosophy of a university as an elite recruitment centre whose only noticeable value lies in the social etiquette acquired in its campus and certificates brandished by its graduates.
“I want a university that will equip its graduates with specific skills even in unusual areas like the liberal arts, social sciences and the core sciences. This university should be a pathfinder for society.”
The governor averred that the university should be refocused so that it could lead in the search for solution to societal problems by standing above society, passing judgement on it and seeking to change it by first changing itself and through its own excellence impact society.
He noted that his administration would not only continue to give support to the university, but rather improve on it.
He said the task of the council hinges on repositioning the institution for better funding through endowments, income from intellectual outputs like patents and innovative business ideas.
In his response, Olawoyin said the tradition all over the world is that universities are funded by public-spirited individuals, foundations and corporate organisations.
Olawoyin said what would be uppermost priority of the council is how to create an enabling environment that would attract the much needed support for the non-governmental funding of the university in the nearest future.
He said: “It is common knowledge that the great academic institutions of higher learning in the world are largely funded by public-spirited individuals, foundations and corporate organisations attracted to do so by virtue of their belief in the vision, mission, aspiration and direction of such institutions.”