YOUNG NIGERIAN WRITERS DRUM SUPPORT FOR REMI RAJI OYELADE AS NEXT UI VC
The Society of Young Nigerian Writers (SYNW) has drummed up support for Professor Aderemi Raji-Oyelade, a candidate who is also in the race for the office of the 13th Vice Chancellor, University of Ibadan as the outgoing Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Idowu Olayinka, who is the 12th Vice-Chancellor of the institution, is expected to complete his five-year tenure on December 1st, 2020.
In a press statement issued and signed by the National President of the Society, Wole Adedoyin in Ibadan the capital of Oyo State.
It would be recalled that Prof. Raji-Oyelade was inducted as a fellow of ANA at the 38th International Annual Convention of the Association which was held in Enugu from October 31 to November 2, 2019). The immediate past National President of ANA, Mallam Denja Abdullahi, while conferring the fellowship, said that the nomination of Raji-Oyelade for the special and lifetime award was in recognition of his literary and scholarly excellence and his devoted service to the progress of the Association over the decades. The ANA fellow designation reflects achievement at the highest level of writing practice and excellence. This is in recognition of the sterling performance of Prof. Remi Raji as a two-term president of ANA.
According to the Statement, “Professor Remi Raji-Oyelade recorded huge success and achievements while serving as the National President of ANA. Few of his achievements are: Nigerian Writers Series (NWS), National Teen Authorship Scheme (NTAS), Enhancement of ANA Prizes, Won the Litigations on ANA Land which is now known as Mamman Vatsa Writers Village, Raji-Oyelade designed ANA her current multimedia website, organized the first international creative writing workshop for Student authors in over 20 Nigerian Universities to mention but few. It is our believe that a UI Vice Chancellor requires a lot of experience, competence and other virtues for successful management. This is why the Council of the University of Ibadan by tradition, focuses more attention on academic prowess and high moral standing, managerial and administrative experience within and outside the university, amiability, sociability and good human relations as well as acceptability to the community. Prof. Remi Raji Oyelade has all these qualities.
SYNW finally calls on eminent personalities in academia, federal government and the governing council of the University of Ibadan to endorse Remi Raji-Oyelade’s candidature.
The literary scholar and award-winning poet had teaching stints at the Rivers State College of Education, Rumuolumeni; St. Andrew’s College of Education, Oyo; Ogun State University, Ago-Iwoye; and Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife before joining his alma mater as a Lecturer II in 1995. He was promoted to full professorship in the University’s Department of English in 2007.
Raji-Oyelade has served in various academic and administrative positions which include: Sub-Dean (General) Faculty of Arts, 1997-1999; Sub-Dean (Postgraduate) Faculty of Arts, 2002-2003; Acting Head of Department (English), 2009-2012; Dean of Faculty of Arts, October 2012- July 2015; Resource Person for the University of Ibadan Research Foundation (2013 till date), and Grants Writer for the University MacArthur Foundation (2016 till date).
Among other administrative responsibilities, Raji-Oyelade has been the Chairman, Faculty of Arts Information Technology Committee; Chairman, Business Committee of Senate; and Member, Senate Truth Committee. He has had over twenty international scholarship awards including the Visiting Scholar Fellowship at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, USA (2001); City of Stockholm Writing Award (2005); University of Cambridge African Scholar (October, 2005-March 2006); and the Georg Forster Fellow at Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany (2006-2007), among others.
For his academic brilliance, resourcefulness, and innovative networking abilities, Raji-Oyelade was honoured along four other international scholars with the prestigious Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Alumni Award for the year 2017. He remains till date the only Humboldtian Professor at Ibadan to be so honoured since the prize was instituted in 2009 for scholars in over 140 countries across the world.
Raji-Oyelade whose core areas of strength include mentoring of early career scholars across disciplines and coordinating of projects and grants for UI, was recently installed by His Imperial Majesty, the Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Saliu Akanmu Olasupo Adetunji, Aje Ogungunniso I as the Mogaji of Adegboro Compound, Ibadan. Raji-Oyelade was elected as a Member of the University’s Governing Council, in July 2019.