The first Substantive Vice Chancellor (VC) of the Accra Technical University (ATU), Professor Samuel Nii Odai, was on Friday inducted into office to steer affairs for the next four years.
A professor of Water Resources Engineering, Professor Nii Odai appointed in July this year, is a former Pro VC of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi.
He takes over from Prof. Edmund Ameko, immediate past acting Pro VC.
Professor Samuel Nii Odai becomes the 12th head of the ATU since its establishment as a technical school 70 years ago.
The appointment of a VC for the university was in accordance with its upgrade from a polytechnic into a fully fledged university by the promulgation of the Technical University Act 2016(Act 922).
The colourful event brought together government officials; VCs and academics from sister universities especially KNUST; top military officers; traditional leaders from Nungua, his hometown; religious leaders ; school mates; family and friends.
In an address, Prof. Odai outlined a seven-point strategic goal geared towards making the premier technical university offer programmes with high impact on industry and business creation.
They include driving an impact-oriented research and innovation for national development; enhancing the delivery of quality programmes to prepare students for world of work and strengthening industrial and community engagements.
Others strategies are the development of key international collaborations to boost ATU’s visibility; build infrastructure and systems; streamlining mobilisation and prudent management of funds and ensuring quality human resource.
As part of efforts to achieve ATU’s educational philosophy of equipping students with competencies in ICT, entrepreneurship aside requite technical skills, Prof. Odai said ATU would focus on three “comprehensive areas of competency”.
Naming them as comprehensive ICT education, comprehensive entrepreneurship education and comprehensive leadership education, he said beginning next academic year; every student would be required to master them.
“The future looks bright but very challenging. We are resolved to succeed. We are determined to match on” he said and thanking various stakeholders for the opportunity to serve, he called for their support.
The Minister of State in charge of Tertiary Education, Prof. Kwesi Yankah, pledged the government’s support to technical universities through provision of resources and policy direction to make them the fulcrum of development in the country.
He said the transition of staff of technical universities onto the appropriate payroll structure was being worked and therefore urged technical universities to continue to drive the technical agenda for nation building.
Chairman of the University Council, Prof. Ralph Kingston Asabre who swore in the new VC admonished him to be guided by the Technical University Act, bearing in mind that the fortunes of about 1700 students and 700 workers rested on him.
Prof. Ameko, on his part, thanked the university council and management for the cooperation he had and asked that same was extended to the new VC so they collectively lead the university to greater heights.
The new VC, an old student of the Koforidua Secondary Technical School ; holds a bachelor of engineering degree in irrigation and water conservancy engineering from Hohai University in Nanjing and MSc and PhD degrees from Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology in Japan.
BY JONATHAN DONKOR