Professor Florence Banku Obi, a former Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Administration, University of Calabar, and former Commissioner for Women Affairs in Cross River State has emerged the first female Vice-Chancellor-elect of the University of Calabar, (UNICAL) Cross River State. Therefore breaking the 45 years jinx of the institution.
The Pro-Chancellor and Chairman, UNICAL Governing Council, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu announced the emergence of Florence Obi on Friday.
This was reportedly after a screening process that was held at the UNICAL Hotel Conference Centre and lasted for about ten hours.
A total of 13 aspirants which included Professor Joseph Asor, Professor Offiong E. Offiong, and Professor Andem Ayara were reportedly screened.
After five years in office, the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Professor Zana Akpagu, whose administration was tagged as one of the best in the history of the institution would be handing over to Professor Florence Obi later in November as the 11th Vice-Chancellor of the university.
Congratulating the new Vice-Chancellor, Senator Nkechi Nwaogu described her as “an astute educational icon”. Adding that her emergence “is a victory for the women.”
Explaining how she emerged, Nwaogu said: “You can see the tranquility in this governing council. What we assured the university community is that we were going to be transparent, open, fair, and just.
“There is a guideline from the Ministry of Education as to how to conduct an interview for the appointment of a Vice-Chancellor. There are so many parameters we had to look into and that is exactly what we did.”
In response to her emergence, the new Vice-Chancellor, Professor Florence Obi promised to run an inclusive administration.
“I’m happy and return all the glory to God. I have just received my appointment letter from the 12th Council as Vice Chancellor-elect. The process was free and fair, and I promise to run an inclusive administration.” She said
Professor Florence Banku Obi, the former Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) has been a Professor of Special Needs Education for 13 years. She would be making a record as she becomes the first-ever female Vice-Chancellor of the university since it was established in 1975.
She began her academic life at St Bridget’s Primary School, Ogep Osokom, Boki, Cross River State, where she graduated with First School Leaving Certificate in 1969. She preceded St Thomas’s Teachers Training College, Ogoja; Cross River State, and graduated with Teacher Training II Certificate in 1983. She thereafter had B.Ed.(Hons) Special Education in 1988 and M.Ed. Special Education in 1990 from the University of Jos, Jos Nigeria respectively. She also attended Jordan Hill College of Education, Glasgow-Scotland; where she bagged PGCEE in 1993 before she had Ph.D. in Psychology of Education from the University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria in 2002. She began her academic career as an Assistant Lecturer in the university. She is married with 4 children and 6 grandchildren.