The current management team of The Polytechnic Ibadan led by Prof Kazeem Adekunle Adebiyi were appointed 26th March, 2019 for a 5-year tenure which ends in March 2024. This is without prejudice to the powers of the Visitor or the Governing Council to direct a terminal leave within the last 3 months of the tenure. Questions have been asked about the ideal candidate to lead the institution, going forward.
Established in August 1970, The Polytechnic Ibadan is a foremost institution of higher learning with a rich history, standing almost at par with Universities in terms of quality of scholarship during her early days. Once reputed as the best state Polytechnic in the country, the institution was ranked in 2017 as the 4th best Polytechnic in Nigeria, a ranking which included Federal, State and Privately owned Polytechnics. Today, the institution ranks 23rd in the country, and the 8th best state-owned Polytechnic. Therefore, the next management of the institution have a responsibility to turn the fortunes of the institution around for better.
Much has been said about the need for the next Rector to understand how the Polytechnic system works, particularly The Polytechnic Ibadan which has her unique culture and peculiarities. This will enable him/her hit the ground running upon appointment, taking necessary steps to reposition the institution to take her rightful place in the comity of tertiary institutions in Nigeria and Africa.
In terms of academic requirements, the candidate must hold have attained the highest academic degree (Ph.D or equivalent) from a reputable institution. S/he should have rubbed shoulders with the top echelon of the academic community within and beyond the shores of the country and must have proven academic prowess in terms of quality paper presentations and publishing in reputable journals of international standard.
Asides the academic requirements, the ideal candidate for Rector must not not be new to academic leadership management within the Nigerian Polytechnic system. In specific terms, s/he must have served in positions like Head of Department, Dean and/or Director of Academic Centres and displayed unquestionable capacity and administrative acumen needed to move the institution forward. S/he must be a good listener who has the capacity to effectively manage the staff and students of the institution, and command the respect of all stakeholders.
Conclusively, the ideal candidate for Rector must be innovative to be able to position the institution for relevance in this fast changing world. S/he must be have the courage to take necessary but tough decisions to improve the fortunes of the institution. The candidate must have the capacity and network to mobilize necessary internal and external support to improve the fortunes of the institution.
As the state of the head determines the health of the body, the capacity of the next Rector would no doubt determine the fortunes of the institution in the coming years. The onus now lies with the Visitor, Governor Seyi Makinde to do the needful, and give the institution a well-read, exposed, innovative and well connected Rector, so that the institution can regain her pride of place.
Odunola Adelabu is a graduate of Accountancy, The Polytechnic Ibadan