Tech-U has appointed a new Vice Chancellor.

The Governing Council of the First Technical University, Ibadan has nominated Professor Adesola Ajayi as the Vice-Chancellor to succeed Professor Ayobami Salami, who served as the university’s founding Vice-Chancellor.

The nomination comes as a result of the Council’s approval of the suggestion of the Joint Council and Senate Selection Board during its Special Meeting on Monday, March 7, 2022, which took place in Washington, DC. From the 9th of May in 2022, the appointment is for a single term of five (5) years and will take effect on the first day of May in that year.

Professor Ajayi was selected following a thorough selection process conducted in accordance with the university’s established regulations.

According to the vacancy announcement published in daily newspapers on the 6th of December 2021, eight Professors were shortlisted and invited to participate in an interview with the Joint Council-Senate Selection Board, which took place on the 2nd and 3rd of March 2022.

Vice-Chancellor Sola Ajayi is now serving as the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of First Technical University, where he has been appointed since January. He has the title of Professor of Crop Science. In 1991, he graduated with honors from the Faculty of Agriculture, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, with a B.Agric. in Plant Science (First Class Honours) and the top overall score in the school. His M.Phil. (Plant Science) degree with a concentration in Plant Breeding/Seed Production was achieved from the same institution in 1997.

He also holds a B.Sc. (Botany) degree from the same university. Doctor of Agricultural Science (Dr. sc. agr.) degree in Seed Biology from Christian Albrecht University, Kiel, Germany, was awarded to him by the university in 2003.

Ajayi has received a number of scholarships, fellowships, honours, and awards, the most notable of which are the Climate Impacts Research Capacity and Leadership Enhancement Programme (CIRCLE) Champion Award by CIRCLE Visiting Fellows (CVF), 2021; the Green Award by the National Association of Agricultural Students (NAAS, OAU, Ile-Ife) as the most-liked lecturer in the Department of Crop Production and Protection, OAU, Ile-Ife (1989).

The position of Graduate Assistant at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife was filled on the 15th of December 1993, and he was elevated to the position of Professor on the 1st of October 2010. As a visiting scholar at Pioneer Hi-bred International in Pandorf, Austria (2000-2002), and as a postdoctoral fellow at the Cell Biology Research Unit at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa (2002-2003), he has a diverse background (2003-2005).

His other affiliations include: Goethe University, Frankfurt am Main, Germany (2013); Seed Conservation Department, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, UK (2003); Maize Improvement Program, International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, Ibadan (2011); and Agricultural Productivity Director, Winrock International/USAID-Nigeria Bridge to MARKETS II Project (Winrock International/USAID-Nigeria Bridge to MARKETS II Project) (2011).

He is a well-known research leader with a broad range of expertise that includes extensive research and industry experience in the areas of seed systems and agricultural innovations and enterprise development; climate change impacts; value chain analysis; research management; and agricultural policy dialogue.

Currently, he has more than 70 publications in the form of journal articles, book chapters, conference papers, and research reports. He has received around 30 research and institutional development funds, including grants for mentoring Early Career Researchers (ECRs).

In addition to six PhD applicants, he has successfully supervised 17 MSc/MPhil candidates, as well as other final year student projects. A participant in several national, regional, and continental agricultural policy dialogues, he also facilitates national stakeholders’ meetings on topics such as the development of the seed sector, crop improvement, and increasing farmers’ income.

He has also served on the boards of several agricultural organizations. Having been a member of several professional organisations and associations for more than 28 years, Professor Ajayi is in high demand as a scientist, consultant, and resource person due to his extensive knowledge and expertise. He has completed more than 30 consulting engagements in the agricultural sector for a variety of development organizations and agencies both inside and outside Nigeria, mostly in the United States.

From 2008 to 2012, he served on the International Seed Testing Association’s Technical Committee on Seed Storage, and he previously served as President of the DAAD Alumni Association of Nigeria, which he co-founded. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of the Nigerian Journal of Seed Science and Director of the Nigerian Hub of the Sustainable Futures Global Network, which includes researchers, practitioners, and communities in Botswana, Eswatini, Malawi, Nigeria, Scotland, and Uganda. He received his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. The University of Glasgow in Scotland and the Technical University of Munich in Germany are two institutions with whom he has active and ongoing research cooperation. Over the course of his career, he has taken part in about 100 academic conferences/meetings both inside and outside Nigeria, and he has delivered over 30 presentations at these gatherings.

Professor Ajayi has held a number of administrative posts in and outside of the university system that are related to his research. The Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, is now under his leadership as Chairman of the Governing Council. He formerly served as the first Deputy Vice-Chancellor (2018-date) and the first Director of Academic Planning and Partnerships (2017-2018) at the First Technical University, Ibadan.

He worked as a Communication Officer for the World Bank-funded Africa Centre of Excellence-Obafemi Awolowo University Knowledge Park (ACE OAK-PARK, 2015-2016); Chairman, University Security Committee (2014-2016); Director, Teaching and Research Farm (2012-2016); and Head of the Department of Crop Production and Protection (2012-2016) at Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife (2006-2008). He has served on a number of university committees, representing ASUU, Congregation, and Senate at various times. 2015-2016: He served on both the TETFund Standing Committee on Research and Development (2015) and the Executive Committee of Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) (2016-2020).

Professor Ajayi, who is 53 years old and is from Igbojaye in the Itesiwaju Local Government Area of Oyo State, is happily married to Ibiyemi Adeloyin Ajayi, with whom he has four children. Professor Ajayi is a professor at the University of Oyo.

Professor Ayobami Salami’s tenure as Pioneer Vice-Chancellor will come to an end on the 8th of May, 2022, when he will be succeeded by him.

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