The Vice-Chancellor of the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike (MOUAU), Prof Maduebibisi Ofo Iwe, has charged newly staff of the university not to see the university system as a business hub for buying and selling, but see it as a place for rigorous research.
Prof Iwe made the disclosure on Tuesday, at the Day 1 of an Ethics Workshop/Induction for staff of the University employed from October 2016 to date, held at the Senator Anyim Pius Anyim Auditorium.
In his remarks, the VC stated that the objectives of the workshop was to improve the structure of career development, line management, and research training, in order to build organizational culture of accountability and transparency in already established codes of conduct.
Speaking on the topic, “Introduction to the University System- Academic and Organizational Structure Rules and Regulations”, the Vice-Chancellor re-echoed that the University has a culture which the newly employed staff have to acquaint themselves with, and professionally apply them in the discharge of their respective roles, so as to position the University for the best practices obtainable in world class Universities.
According to Prof Iwe, the new staff must desist from using their work time for business activities. “The University is not a business place where you can engage in all manner of buying and selling, or a place to discuss irrelevant issues. It is a place for research and a centre of knowledge”, he said.
Speaking further, the VC urged the new staff to support the organizational goals of the University management, noting that all employees will be treated equally without bias.
On his part, the former Vice-Chancellor of Abia State University, Uturu, and the key resource person at the programme, Prof. Mkpa Agu Mkpa, in his paper titled, ”Rights and Obligations of Staff, Human Rights and Disciplinary Matters”, maintained that for the University to fulfill her mission of advancing and disseminating knowledge for the improvement of the welfare of the public and for national development, its staff have the responsibility to conduct research and engage in creative activity in their areas of appointment and professional competence.
Prof. Mkpa, who is the current Chairman of Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ABSIEC), enjoined the University workforce to always conduct all research in a manner consistent with accepted scholarly standards and in conformity with legal, professional, and University codes, policies, and regulations governing research and creative endeavours.
In a separate topic, “Roles, Accountability, Work Ethics and Team Work”, delivered by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Academic, Prof. Udo Herbert, he exposed the new staff to the guidelines governing the moral conduct of workers in the workplace and the need to discharge their responsibilities in line with world best practices.
The DVC Academic went on to advise the staff to display diligence, team spirit, and transparency in their actions, and do away with unethical behaviours.
Delivering her lecture, the University Registrar, Jacinta Ogwo-Agu, intimated the new staff on how to keep adequate records and attend to files, students and staff matters timely, while the Bursar, Elder J. O. Kalu, represented by the Director, Budgets and Expenditure, Ugochukwu Ironkwe, spoke on financial provisions and regulations in the University system.
Other resource persons who spoke on different topics include the Director of Communication and Information Technology (DICT), Prof. Gideon Onuekwusi, who gave a lecture on ICT skills in higher education, and the Chief Security Officer, Sir Alex Okafor, who explored the security issues in the University system.
The Director, University Health Services, Dr. Chikwendu Udenze, also took his turn to speak to the new staff, stressing on hazards in the workplace, safety measures, common health issues and the need to enroll in the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS).
The programme was organized by the University’s Directorate of Research Administration (DURA), headed by Prof. Uma Oke, in collaboration with Association of Commonwealth Universities, ACU and UKaid in collaboration with the VC,Prof Madu Iwe.