PROF. KATE OMENUGHA PACESETTING AT OJUKWU UNIVERSITY

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By Fred Chukwuelobe, fnipr

If you read the resume of the acting Vice-Chancellor, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, (COOU), Igbariam, Anambra, Prof. Kate Azuka Omenugha, fnipr, it reads like ‘what else is there to achieve academically.’ Not just that, it contains the exploits of Nigeria’s second female professor of Mass Communications in both public service and professional bodies.

Apart from her intimidating academic accomplishments, which took her to the prestigious Harvard University and other notable institutions of higher learning, Prof. Omenugha has equally bestrode the public service. For more than eight years, she served Anambra State in various capacities and left unblemished. She was Member Anambra State Economic Think-Tank (ANETT)
April 2014 – December 2022, Honourable Commissioner for Education March 2014 – August 2022.

But this piece is not about the academic qualifications of this 59-year-old academic; public servant; member, Ladies Auxiliary, Knight of St. John International (KSJI); Council member, Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR). Instead, it is about her strides at the Ojukwu University where she is currently acting VC.

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I stopped over at the university to pay a one-man courtesy call on the lady of the moment. I did that because, apart from being my professional colleague and somebody whose academic exploits I had admired, students of the university that I spoke to had given testimonies of her six month stewardship in glowing terms, thanking Anambra State Governor, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, CFR, for giving them a university head who has not only been tested in academics, but in university administration and in education management in the broader sense.

The moment I landed at the university and upon inquiry about the location of her office, key points struck me: first was that the students whom I inquired from described the location to me with enthusiasm, and second is that the school environment is wearing a completely new look different from what it was about six months ago. One student after directing me to her office, asked me to “greet mummy for us”. “Why?” I asked. “Since she came, a lot of changes have taken place to our joy. She has stopped lecturers from forcing students to buy their textbooks. The university is more conducive for learning. We love her”, she said to me.

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Before I could locate her office, I noticed that the new main entrance gate leading to the permanent campus is under construction; almost completed, thus giving the university a new look and one befitting of a university named after revered Igbo leader, late Dim Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu (Ikemba Nnewi).

The Administrative block has been remodeled, repainted, and welcoming. More acedemic blocks are being built and they’re befitting of a modern day university. The VC’s looked like a headmaster’s office, an aide told me. “Now, it has completely been transformed”.

Upon entering her office to a warm welcome, I spent time chatting with her. She was gracious and courteous receiving me. I listened to her vision of the university. It is one that is inspiring and it gladdened my heart, not just as an Anambra person, but as one who is associated with this academic juggernaut as a professional colleague and as a member of the Ancient and Noble Order of Knight of St. John International (KSJI).

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Prof. Omenugha told me she had only one ambition as acting VC and if confirmed the substantive Vice Chancellor: to leave her imprints on the university, serving dedicatedly and unblemished. “I just want to make a change and leave legacies for generations yet unborn”, she told me.

I wish her all the best and I have no doubt her choice as VC of the university is the right one, which will move the relatively new citadel of learning to compete effectively with the old ones.

Time will tell.

Fred Chukwuelobe, fnipr.

©COOUNewS 2024!

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