The Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) has instituted a N20 million professorial chair as part of its measures to encourage scientific and technological research among academic staff of the institution, calling for separate funding of universities of technology in the country.
The out-going vice chancellor of the institution, Prof Francis Eze said that as special institutions saddled with the responsibility of accelerating the pace of technological and human capital development, lumping these institutions with other universities would retrogressively impede the nation’s march to world technological advancement and innovation.
Eze, a professor of Physics and the 7th substantive vice chancellor of the institution, stated this while briefing newsmen on his stewardship in the past five years while he held sway as chief executive of the university.
He said that apart from introducing so many new courses and securing their approval, his administration had equally attracted a N6 million African Centre of Excellence, in addition to another World Bank Assisted Centre of Excellence estimated at $11 million.
This, according to him, is aside another Centre of Excellence assisted by the Nigeria Content Development and Monitoring Bank.
Furthermore, the university helmsman disclosed that the institution, under his leadership had produced policy documents to enhance administration especially for appraisal and promotion of staff, student’s regulation, sexual harassment and anti plagiarism documents.
“Despite obvious challenges arising from the nation’s economic downturn, we have weathered the storm, introduced so many new courses and also secured their approvals”.
He listed these to include: School of Agricultural Engineering and Engineering Technology, creation of new faculty in Engineering and Engineering technology dubbed, “School of Electrical Systems Engineering and Engineering Technology” with four new Engineering courses.